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wood

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Adventures in DIY Home Improvement-Reclaimed Wood Shelves

I decided recently that I wanted to update the decor in my loft and give it a more industrial feel. Among the many things on my list, I want to change up my gallery wall where my photographs are displayed. When I originally hung the photos, I was excited, but I quickly realized covering a 9x8 section of my wall a) cut down on a lot of reflective light, and b) did not quite have the look I was going for.

Then I came across this pin on Pinterest and it was perfect-I love the look of the reclaimed wood, and the industrial feel. Off to Etsy I went, shopping for reclaimed wood shelving...I am truly impressed with the level of craftsmanship I found there, but no one had 7' shelving, and at the prices listed for 3-4' I wasn't going to be able to afford it anyways!



So I turned to the internet for a DIY solution and found this great tutorial: the simple life: Lusting for [Restoration Hardware] and decided that I could handle making them myself. The only difference is I didn't really want to beat up the wood shelving myself, so I set off to try to purchase some reclaimed wood. After looking up some local architectural salvage places in the area, I found some great reclaimed wood...$150 for 15' (I need 35' total), maybe it was reclaimed from somewhere really fancy, but it was too much to pay for old planks. I finally ended up at Orr Reed Wrecking, and jackpot! Found nice old weathered wood planks for 50 cents a foot (happy dance)! They even offered to cut them to the length I needed.

It took two weekends (and half a dozen trips to Home Depot) to finish-one weekend to finish and seal the shelves and one to mount them. First think I did was roughly sand the boards to get rid of anything that might splinter. Next it needed to be sealed. I used Varathane semi-gloss and did two coats to get a nice seal on them.The hardware was all ordered from Amazon and Home Depot, and is black malleable piping which has a nice industrial feel.
Black Malleable piping parts to make the shelf brackets.
*As an aside, my sweet dad always saves the Sunday comics for me and I get loaded up every time I come visit :) 

Once the brackets were assembled it was time to start mounting the shelves to the wall. I have a very specific but handy way of hanging things to make sure they are level, especially when you are dealing with large items (mirrors, art, etc...). It involves measuring everything (from the floor and ceiling) and marking the mounting points. Then you stretch painters tape across, and check that with a level-then you always get it right on the first try!
Template to mark the shelf bracket holes

Tape marked off and leveled for where the shelf brackets will go


Closeup of the shelf and bracket

The finished product with my photography back on the shelves!
The "before" shot with the gallery wall-looks cluttered


'via Blog this'

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How to Make New Wood Look Old and Distressed

As part of my loft redecorating spree, I am in constant search for old, rustic looking storage. I have seen lots of storage units built with old wooden crates and loved the look. In my search down the antique stores on Riverfront, I found several, but they were pricey and none were the same size. But then I found these brand new and shiny wooden crates at Home Depot for around $10! The only problem was they were brand new and shiny, not old and weathered.
I knew I could stain it, but I wanted the wood to look old, and staining just doesn't give you quite the same effect. After some google searching, I decided on the steel wool and vinegar plan of attack and am surprised at how well it works!

What you need:

  • Vinegar-regular or apple cider
  • Steel wool-I used #00 or finer
  • Container
  • Paint brush
  • Well ventilated area-to escape the vinegar smell
Pour the vinegar into your container and drop in a torn up a piece of steel wool . Regular vinegar will leave a grayish cast on the wood, and apple cider vinegar will leave it more rusty colored. I started with apple cider and then moved to regular because that's all I had. Leave the vinegar/steel wool mixture for at least 24 hours. The longer you leave it the darker it will get.
Grab your paint brush and apply a liberal wash of the liquid over your bare wood. At first it won't look like much, but pretty quickly you will start to see it oxidize the wood. You can also brew some black tea and stain your wood before you brush on the oxidizing solution for a darker finish.


About 30 min after painting with oxidizing solution


Finished crate after sitting outside for a few days


 Once your piece has dried completely you can leave it as is, or seal it if it might be exposed to liquids (like a coffee or end table). Depending on the look you want you can use a polyurethane seal like Verathane (I like the matte finish) or a wax seal. Since I will be using this crate for office storage I left it as is. My plan is to buy some more of these crates and build a shelving/storage unit with them kind of like this:







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