Tag Archives: stain

The Planked Wall

For all intents and purposes, our bathroom renovation is complete! But I think there are a few more decorating details that we need to do to really call it done.

A couple weekends ago, we got the plank wall cut and mounted. My concern with this wall was that it wouldn’t match the grey tile that we used on the tub surround, but I wanted a warmer element that would make the room feel less cool and grey. We stained the planks with a mixture of classic grey and special walnut Minwax stains, which made it look like weathered wood.

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We installed the pieces with a few dots of construction adhesive on the back of each, plus a few nails with the air gun. We left a gap between all of them using pennies to space the planks, and worked our way up from the bottom. The last plank at the ceiling required some tricky trimming lengthwise, because of course our ceiling isn’t level, and while it isn’t perfect I don’t think the slightly not-straight edge is very noticeable.

Here’s pictures of the progress:

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And the finished product:

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And the tub hardware that we finally got installed:

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So, its obviously brown and the tile is obviously grey, but I don’t dislike it – I think it just needs to be integrated better with the rest of the room. So our idea to do this is to make some small wooden shelves over the toilet, using wood with stain to match the planks and with industrial style brackets similar to the ones in the kitchen:

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We’ll probably do 2 shelves, and Home Depot actually sells these brackets online now (of course, after we searched forever and spent a ton of money to get the brackets for our kitchen!). I think adding these shelves will bring the wood tone forward in the room, and not make the plank wall look so isolated.

Also, after our little bookshelf in the bathroom is no longer covered in my garden seedlings, the wood on that piece will also tie into the room:

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I also have pictures of our threshold to show. We ‘stained’ this with opaque grey deck stain – not an ideal color, but we couldn’t come up with any options that we thought would match better that weren’t expensive (such as a marble slab). And, before it was nailed down I got a picture of the routing and trimming work Nik did on this to make it fit perfectly around the cement board and carpet that this was sitting between:

There is one more task I’d like to do – both in this bathroom and our guest bathroom. All our fixtures are now brushed nickel, except the tub drain and overflow:

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That rusty, old tub drain was supposed to be fixed (as per our contract) by the seller when we bought our home, and somehow he worked his way out of that agreement and just bought a cheap new stopper which probably cost him $3.99. The drain plate above is an easy swap, as is the drain stopper, but the drain itself is a more difficult story. Depending on the competency of the person who installed it and how well they adhered it to the piping under the tub, sometimes the only way to remove these is to remove the tub since they’re usually threaded into the pipes with plumbers putty. We’re going to attempt to use either a short-cut method (needle nosed pliers and a wrench), or purchase a drain extractor tool to remove the drain. If we can get it to budge, we’ll put in a brushed nickel set. And if not, it will stay as is!

In other news, work on the banisters and balusters is underway. I have one more coat of white paint for the balusters to go, and after much trial and error, Nik finally got the measurements and angles figured out to move forward with installing the banister on the bottom part of the steps that will span the column to the wall. Once we have the banisters cut to size, we’ll give them a good sanding followed by stain and sealing, which is on the agenda for next weekend.

Rescued Piano Bench

Nik found a solid wood piano bench in the dumpster a while back, so we decided to upgrade the bench we have, since this new bench has a lift up lid and area for storage. We’re both piano players, so this will be a place to hide our unsightly piles of sheet music.

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We decided to keep this bench simple, since it was made of lovely wood that just needed some TLC. We first wiped it down, and then Nik and I used the sander to strip off the old finish/stain and water marks – its been too cold to use the stripper gel to get off the old varnish, but some 80 grit sandpaper on our sander got through the old finish pretty well on its own.

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We then did our medium and fine sanding and got ready to stain. The top panel looks like its mahogany, whereas the wood on the legs seemed like something different. Mahogany is a naturally “redder” wood, so Nik experimented with some stains, and found that the top panel would get special walnut, and the legs got a coat of special walnut followed by a coat of red chestnut to match the natural red coming through in the top panel.On the left picture, the left side is the top, and the thin piece of wood is one of the legs, testing out the stain combination.

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After matching the stains, we gave it a few good coats of water based poly, and here’s the finished bench. I think the stain-matching came out perfect!

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(sorry for the grainy pictures, my phone doesn’t like indoor light it seems.)

Progress on the Ombre Secretary

Its been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ll update you on the progress we’ve made on the antique secretary we bought at the Raleigh flea market:

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This piece was in rough shape, but Nik had the idea of doing an ombre pattern on the drawers with several different shades of stain. We stripped then sanded and sanded and sanded these drawers down and finally got them to have less of an awful red tinge. We also stripped and sanded the writing surface (inside the cabinet, and also the interior side of the flip down part) and the very top of the cabinet.

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The three stains we selected are Minwax weathered oak, classic gray, and jacobean.

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And we stained the writing surface and top of the secretary, as well as the bottom drawer in the jacobean, then progressed to the lightest color on the top drawer. Here’s a few views of how the drawers came out, and again the image on the right is the order they’ll be in on the piece:

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I really like how the middle drawer came out, but we’re thinking the lightest one should have a little more gray in it to blend better. We’re going to see how the rest of the cabinet comes out with the paint, and then decide if it needs to be re-tinted with stain. The body looks like this:

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Right now, the plan is to prime and paint the rest of the cabinet (including the compartments that insert into the top of the secretary) and we’ve got a clearance can of paint that is a cream color. Our goal is to get this painted by the end of this weekend so we can wrap this piece up.

Cedar Lane Chest

Our bedroom always has lots of loose blankets and things floating around, so we wanted to redo a chest to use for storage. We found this beautiful cedar chest made by Lane on craigslist, and paid $80 for it. We loved the unique veneer patterns on the front of it. It sat around all winter while we waited for it to get warmer to work on it. Once we stripped and sanded it down it looked like this:

IMG_0798  IMG_0801 IMG_0802Some of the veneer was chipped in places, so Nik repaired this with extra veneer we had. We stained it with special walnut stain, and sealed the entire thing with polyurethane. IMG_0838   IMG_0423 IMG_0424After buying this piece, we decided it would be best to keep the waterfall dresser we previously refinished, since these two make somewhat of a matching set.