Half Bath Plank Wall

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Today I finished the plank wall in the half bath, installed a new light and connected the new ceiling light.  I really love how it turned out so far.

Here are a few pictures of the starting point for this room:

I removed the old mirror and vanity...Yes, the builder didn't build that wall straight.  So, what did they do to make the original vanity flush to the wall?  Cut a hole for it.  I found that a few years ago when I changed the vanity and luckily, the new one covered their mess.

Then, I began running rows of the planking.  I used the individual unpainted pieces this time and I LOVE THEM!!!  I totally ditched my original plan for the ceiling to use the plank looking paneling like I did in the laundry room/pantry when I saw how amazing this wall looked when it was finished.

Look at the wall now.  No more holes.  Now you see them, now you don't.

And here is that new barn light I found at Lowe's for $25.  What a steal.

And here is a picture of both new lights and they work.

Remember the popcorn ceiling?

It will soon be a memory.  Now I just need to buy a couple more packs of the planks to finish the ceiling this week and trim it out.

I'll be finishing up the ceiling, prepping and priming the wood this week.  Then working on the new vanity I'm building and bookshelf for the corner.
Have a great week!  I'll be posting the Kreg winner on Tuesday and announcing a new giveaway at the end of the week.


Bookcase Makeover Idea

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Ballard Design
I just saw the most beautiful bookshelf for a home office on Ballard Design's facebook page today and it got me rethinking my quick decision to sell/donate my current space holder bookshelf unit.

When I previously posted about setting up my dining room with furniture I found around the house, I quickly dismissed this HUUUUUGE bookcase as a "must get rid of and make a new piece" item.

I thought about grabbing chalkpaint and adding different paneling for the backs...but I also thought it was just too big so this space.  Maybe it isn't the fact that it is too big, maybe the large wall of black color is making it seem like it takes over the space.

I'm thinking if I remove those two large doors and add shelves (it is currently open space for a television), paint the entire cabinet and add a different back panel, it just may work.

I would love to revamp those lower doors so I can keep my sewing machines tucked away, but I think removing them will open the space more.  Plus, I can always store them in the buffet (when I find the perfect one).

What would you do?

I welcome your feedback.


Half Bath Inspiration Board

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This is a quick post to show the direction I'm heading with my current project. 

Presenting.....my inspiration for the little half bath remodel. 

Currently, the room is a party of blah beiges - beige floor and beige walls & ceiling...Do you hear the big YAWN?! 

I'm hoping by adding the overhead light, along with the crisp white bookshelf and white plank wall & ceiling it will brighten the room a bit.

I'll be building the small bookcase and the rustic vanity to save money and get the exact size I need, but I'm still on the lookout for a vintage door.  I'll head to the Habitat Restore next weekend if I can't find one on Craiglist before then.

For now, I'm waiting for the planks adjust to the house temps/humidity and for the sink to arrive from Overstock.  While I wait, I'll draw up the plans for the two items I need to build and create a frame to reuse the current oval shaped mirror.

Stay with me.  Tons of good stuff to come.

Link to Pinterest Board


New Pages Added

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You may have noticed how difficult it has been to search for your favorite DIY projects on the blog since it is growing.  I even find it challenging to find a previous post and I made them.

Frustrating times have come to an end my friends.

I've listened to your requests and added NEW, EASY to navigate pages with photos of all of the projects at a glance.  I'm even slowly adding a "House Tour".  I hope to add the BB (before blog) kitchen to the house tour soon.

I still need to line up the photos on these new pages and make them look neat and orderly (if there was a power tool for blogging, I'd be a professional).  But, look how easy it is to find a project and click the link under the photo.

Hopefully, you will find a project you haven't seen yet now that you can see them all at a glance.


Getting aQUAINTed Link Party and Kreg Giveaway

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The Quaint Cottage celebrated a couple of big milestones this month with followers on facebook and Blogger.  But, after nine months of building, sweating and painting DIY projects around here...the blog hit 200,000 page views today.  A lovely celebration after the messy project I started yesterday in the bathroom.

Woop!  Woop!

Oh, I know y'all don't always feel like leaving me comments or feedback.  I'm cool with it.  We are casual enough around here we usually have paint on our clothes, right?  I know you are there reading along with me, but I'd love to get to know you better.  I'm kind of bad about leaving comments too, but I'm turning over a new leaf.  I'm going to try to remember to reach out and give more back pats and thumbs ups in a virtual sense.

To celebrate the 200,000th page view today, I'm throwing a little informal link party to get aQUAINTed (get it?) with you, the best readers ever.

If you already follow along with the DIY projects here on The Quaint Cottage, you know many  most of my projects involve some kind of wood project and one of these...(insert choir singers - ahhhHHH!).  Aka the best little invention ever!  Kreg.  The best blue accessory for a girl like me, apart from the pencil sticking out of my sawdust covered ponytail.

So, I thought I'd do a little giveaway for one lucky reader to win this mini Kreg set as a way to share the love and give back to the awesome readers who follow along with my dusty, odd, messy and sometimes awesome projects.

Also, as I blog my way to the one year milestone, I'm planning more giveaway parties for May, June and July.  If you have ideas for those giveaways, leave a comment on facebook, tweet, email or any of the other communication devices.
You don't have to have a blog to play along with the giveaway, but I'm adding a link below to add any project or simply a link to your main blog so I can follow you back (and check out what you guys are up to in your own homes) and give you a platform to highlight yourself with the other readers of this blog.  Trust me, this is a super informal thing.  Link your favorite recipe post, your favorite DIY post or a post you did on a roadtrip while trying to determine the odd insect you found on your windshield...ANYTHING.

And I'm NOT asking you to link back to this blog, no blogging party police.  I promise!!! 
Just a get aQUAINTed party.
Link up and share your awesomeness with the world.  Er, well, the 1,000 daily people who wander in from Pinterest and Google accidentally?

Now - on to the giveaway!

To enter:

1)  Leave a comment below with what DIY project you would do first with the Kreg.  See?  Easy peasy!

2)  Follow on Facebook, then leave another comment.

3)  Follow on Twitter, then leave another comment.

4)  Link up a project/blog link/whatever, then leave another comment.

If you already have a Kreg, please feel free to share this link party with your friends who could use one.

The link party closes on April 30, 2012.  I'll close the comments at 7pm CST and generate one winner randomly the morning of May 1st.

I think I've covered everything.

Good luck!


Test Drive

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Remember a week or two ago when I decided I wanted to switch my dining room into an office/library?

Well, I decided to shop the furniture in my own house to temporarily set up the space as I wanted it.  A test drive to see if it would work and if I liked it as an office.  I must admit, even with it just set up as a temporary space, I LOVE IT!  I love having a spot for my daughter to color and then put her supplies away in the cabinet.  I love having a room where I can hide my sewing machines and fabrics and bring them out when I want to create.  I love having a spot for my stuff. 

It's a Woman Cave!

The dresser/buffet was the spot where I plan on having a credenza, so I didn't have to change that.  I've been shopping on Craigslist every night for a buffet/credenza, but the prices are ridiculous.  To those ladies who find garage sale, roadside rescues and Craigslist finds for under $100, I tip my hat to you!  I'm going to have to build what I need.

I moved the dining room table against the wall as a place for the desk.  Put a chair on either side of the desk.  Obviously, this table is too big for a desk, but it will work for now.

I moved that huge black bookshelf unit into the room as a spaceholder for the future bookshelves/cabinets.  It has been sitting in the front living room for about a year without a purpose.  I thought about revamping the black bookshelf unit with chalkpaint and a barnwood look on the back, but it is just too deep for the space.  I think I am going to need to list it on Craigslist.

I still need to finish the crown molding and repaint in a lighter color, but luckily I'll be able to shorten this light to use it during the changes until I find the awesome Orb Light.

So there you have it.  I took a test drive with items I already had in my house and I liked it.

Stay tuned for posts this weekend on the half bath.


Swiss Cheese Anyone?

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This is a tale of my short trip into madness. 

If you have ever tried to run electrical lines in the ceiling of the first story of a two story house, you will feel my pain. 

When I ran them in my kitchen a couple of years ago, I don't think it was this challenging.  Maybe it is like childbirth, you forget the pain when you see the finished result?

I set out with the goal of adding a bit of light to this small, one light fixture/no window 6'x6' half bath.  (If you remember, the idea was just to freshen up the paint in this room, but I'm so past just a coat of paint now.) 

This is the ceiling.  Isn't that some pretty popcorn on the ceiling? 

I know.  Don't worry. 

This is the second to last ceiling on the main level with popcorn I need to tackle - aka I will soon stop talking about it all the time and move on to another pet peeve.

Here is step one of the madness - make a few holes to run a line from the light fixture.

Easier said than done on this ceiling. 

Double header, joist an inch inside from the header (fail on first ceiling hole)...ugh.  I sent my co-worker a text asking if she had any ceiling art work I could add to just scrap the project.

No turning back now. 

Next step - I press on to get access to the wall so I can drill through the header.
Note - I don't have fancy drill bits that all the cool electricians own.  They probably have lasers and magic too, so I am a bit jealous of them.

Take a step back and figure out a game plan...What?  Do you plan BEFORE you knock holes into walls.  Geez, that sounds boring.

Game plan (with cool coach diagram):

Wire needs to go from point "A" to point "B", through two joists and then weave around a rogue air vent added by the builder ten years ago for the exact purpose of messing with me today.  Those prankster HVAC guys.  Haha!

So, instead of running to the hardware store to get the drill bits I need and spend $$$, I remembered I planned on adding paneling to the ceiling AND the back wall behind the toilet and sink....maybe I did plan it after all.

In honor of the Marvel comic books, I went Hulk on the drywall...

Well, if Hulk used a keyhole saw?

Then the final step of the day, thread the new electrical line.  The fishing line (not the fancy name electrician's use) where you tape the line to the metal wire and fish it thru the holes didn't want to work either.

I am waiting until Saturday when I can devote the whole day to installing the paneling on the ceiling and the wall before I install the lights.  I mean, that would just be silly if I didn't wait.  Right?

You are welcome to set down your soda now and burst out laughing at my drywall.  I did.

See you on Saturday.


Disclaimer - this is a blog of my projects, not an instructional how-to blog.  Please use it for your entertainment and do not attempt to make this mess in your own home.

If you give Karen a Paintbrush....

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I either have some kind of ADD or maybe this is a better comparison -

"If you give Karen a Paintbrush"

While I was doing a bit of research for the dining room switch to a library, I realized my little half bath between the new laundry room and what will be the new office would stick out like a sore thumb if I didn't at least paint it.

But if you just try to freshen the half bath with paint, then you will need a new light fixture and mirror.  And maybe some planks on the wall (and ceiling).

Hello beautiful inspiration photo.

 Then I found an affordable little light.  We shall see if it will be big enough.


Then there is the paneling I used to cover the popcorn in the laundry room.


And then I saw this beautiful little bookshelf with beadboard from The Lettered Cottage.  That would be perfect in the corner of the bathroom for towels and such.

The Lettered Cottage

Nothing is ever a simple little paint job with me.  Does the same thing happen to you?
Since at this point I'm not replacing the vanity or toilet, I would like to think this will only be a weekend project.  But I'm really loving the square white sink on top of a wood counter.


Road Block on Dining Room

Pin It Last week, I made a little inspiration board for my new dining room that will be converted into a library/office. 

On the board, there were these two tall, rustic, glass door bookcases that I thought set the mood for the whole room.   

Here is a closer look.

Then I found out where these bookcases could be purchased and knew I couldn't afford to buy one ($1800), let alone two.  So out of my budget.  Big old Sad Face everyone :(:(:(  

Although, now a $600 Orb Light I saw on Restoration Hardware doesn't sound so expensive.

Of course, then I set to pricing the hardware (Cremone Bolts) so I could replicate my own bookcases.  Ouch!!!  Those bolt prices ($175 and up for one) could explain the price of the bookcases.

Source - $420 bolts
 Long story short - While I was searching for affordable Cremore Bolts, I think I found a way to recreate these cabinets, with a similar look for a fraction of the $175+++ bolts.

I see a tutorial in the works for some rustic bookcases, don't you? 

Until then I just need to post some of my current furniture on Craigslist to make room for the new stuff. 

Karen :)

Inexpensive Window Hardware

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Today I did some simple curtains for the laundry room and hung them.

However, when I was shopping for curtain rods and hardware I was a bit shocked at the prices.  For a small window like this one, it was going to cost anywhere from $50 on up for simple hardware  ($20 for brackets and $30 for the rod). 

As I was trying to play off the industrial metal backsplash, silver cabinet handles and the metal accents I put down the curtain hardware and decided to check out the plumbing section of the hardware store.

Until I found this...

It looks like curtain hardware to me.  Here are the product packages for anyone who is interested.  The flange and split ring hanger are in the plumbing section, the threaded rod is in the screws and bolts section. 

Then add your favorite conduit or spray painted wood dowel.

They even have pipe end pieces to add for finials, but I wanted this simple look.
Here is my new $10 curtain rod, including the hardware. 
The little clips were another $5.

What do you think?  Would you use plumbing for your window hardware?
I like it so much I may use it in my upstairs hallway (spray painted oil rubbed bronze).

Karen :)

Laundry Room Panel Ceiling

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If you have read any of my previous posts about the ceilings in my house, you will know how the builder of my home used the popcorn texture on all the ceilings AND how much I hate said popcorn texture.  Not only is it ugly, it makes the ceilings look much lower and sucks up all the light.  But, if you have any in your house you already know.

However, instead of scraping the painted popcorn ceiling (which was a pain compared to unpainted popcorn) I decided to create a plank ceiling.

I priced the individual pieces, the ones that are primed and have the tongue and groove like flooring.  They weren't too expensive, but I found this paneling (4x8 sheets) and it was about 1/3 the cost of the individual pieces.

Let me start by emphasizing the importance of marking your ceiling joists (on the wall so you don't lose them when you go to install).  Unfortunately, it took me about a half hour to figure out my ceiling was running a different direction from the rest of the main level since the laundry room is a little bump out from the main structure.  So, instead of 16" joists, I had 24" and they ran the length of the room.  BOO!

I think that raised the difficulty level a bit, but I pressed on anyway with visions of smooth white paneling dancing in my head.

This is not a one man job.  It is probably better with several people, but only two could fit in this small room.

I installed a little bit of help on the end where I was going to start with the nails.  This little guy allowed me to use one hand to press the liquid nailed panel to the ceiling while nailing with the other hand (with hubs holding the other end to the ceiling).

Already I could see how much better it would be vs the popcorn.  Ba Bye Popcorn!!!!

In addition to the nails along the joists, I installed 1x4 flat trim and the 1x2 against the wall.  I helps hide the edges, adds support and it looks great.

Here is the last shot of the night.  I decided I would save the other piece for the morning.


And I added a bit of boards along the blank wall...

The next morning, I finished the ceiling and toenailed the seams to make them a bit less obvious.  I didn't want to run a piece of wood there to cover it.  The above picture is before I added the extra nails along the seam.  You can still see the seam in the right light after the paint and caulk, but it doesn't draw your eye as much as a piece of trim would do.  Look at the very first picture of this post if you want to see the finished seam with the light.

Once all the panels and boards were installed, I grabbed the goodies to make it look good.

Wood filler for the MDF boards
Caulk for the ceiling nail holes, seams, baseboards, trim pieces, etc.
Primer (accidentally bought oil based...works better, but so smelly and bad clean up)
Sanding block
Tools to hammer any nails that aren't recessed
Drywall patch for previous nail holes and wall damage
Paint Supplies
AND....rubber gloves.

This isn't to protect a manicure or anything.  I hate the way wood filler feels on my hands, so I use gloves.

Gloves for the caulk too?  Yep.  I use a cup of water to wet my finger and run it along the caulk.  It makes it look perfect.  If you haven't caulked before, it is easy to learn but it takes practice.  Don't cut the tip too big, generally an 1/8th to 3/16th is enough.

Here is the trim after I caulked, filled, sanded, primed...it is a lot of work, but if you don't do these steps your paint job will not look as good as it could.

Then two coats of the white.

I let the white dry overnight before coming back to cut in and paint the walls.  A) because I usually run into the wet paint and B) because your brush doesn't accidentally pull the white into it.

Or it gives you time for it to dry if you use painter's tape.

The color I used is Light French Gray from Behr (eggshell)
and Behr Pure Ultra White Semi-Gloss on the trim. 

This is the last post for the Laundry Room Remodel.  I hope you enjoyed following along with the project.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!!!

Karen :)