30 Jun

Color Inside the Lines

Build a DIY Paint Booth

There comes a time in every adult’s life when they can no longer shush the aches and pains telling them they are getting old. For the avid DIYer, those grumblings from overworked and under-iced muscles are heard over even the loudest of power tools.

A few weeks ago, the ligaments in my right shoulder and forearm were screaming at me to stop painting. When I could ignore them no longer, I put down my brush, picked up a pencil and sketched up a simple solution to help me work smarter and whine less.

Once it was all worked out in my head, I enlisted the guys’ help to clear out a 9′ x 9′ area in the garage to work in.

DIY Paint Booth

I got a little candid for the camera. Passersby thought I was having a sale but I was vacuuming and acting a fool. See what happens when there’s room to move around in?

It took a while to get to it but behold, a blank wall.

DIY Paint Booth

Using basic materials and tools, I created a dedicated ‘pop-up’ workspace to spray my project pieces and cut down on the wear and tear of my right arm. The design allows the booth to fold flat against the garage wall when not in use. So, someday I might actually park inside the garage. (hey, a girl can wish)

Paint Booth Walls

After dry-fitting the boards together I secured them with long wood screws. Each section measured roughly 2′ 1/2″ wide leaving plenty of space in the center of the back wall for a filter pocket.

Paint Booth Filter Pocket

Cutting down some scrap wood, I framed out a pocket to hold an air filter. The bottom is entirely enclosed while the top and sides allow for any size filter to drop in and swap out easily.

Paint Booth Wheels

Because of the size of my walls, I wanted to be sure they were easily moved in to place. I installed a set of medium weight casters to each wall and positioned stops for added support.

Paint Booth Support

Countersinking a screw into the wood with a spade drill bit keeps it’s head from scraping the adjacent concrete floor. It’s also a handy way not to need longer screws.

Paint Booth Support

After marking my 2×4 support level, I secured it to a stud in the wall.

Folding Paint Booth Wall

And used standard door hinges to attach the back wall to the support. With the hinge positioned correctly, the wall closes flat against the garage side wall.

Paint Booth Fold Out Wall

I wheeled the side wall over and secured it to the back wall with safety-latch eye hooks.

Paint Booth Plastic Sheeting

Inside, I measured and cut the plastic sheeting to fit over the wall frames and stapled them in place.

Paint Booth Plastic

I added a horizontal support brace that worked double duty to position the wall into place. Even on wheels, it’s difficult for a 5’nothing chick to move an 8′ wall around the garage (but not impossible).

Paint Booth Wall

To secure the end of the side wall, I stuck an eye hook in a ceiling stud and used a piece of chain someone had pitched on trash day a while back. Seriously, I find uses for everything (much to Dave’s chagrin).

Paint Booth Air Filter

The white tarp (left) drapes over the top as a temporary ceiling to contain airborne over-spray. The clear plastic sheeting allows light to permeate the space while keeping dust out and off of wet pieces. It will probably help keep paint off of Dave’s car at some point too.

Paint Booth Air Filter

And while that is a good thing, behind the back wall is where the magic really happens.

Paint Booth Ventilation

A box fan atop a curb-surfed kid’s table pulls the air out of the spray booth, cycling it towards the open service door off to the right of the garage. The filter keeps the paint particles from getting into the fan’s housing elements.

Paint Booth Folded Up

And it all folds flat when the project is complete. Or in my case, for the purposes of this single blog post.

Paint Booth Finished

Since we all know my projects will never be complete.

Want to try this in your own workshop? For a material list and easy-to-follow tutorial click here – DIY Fold-Up Spray Paint Booth and be sure to link back when yours is complete! (pin the image below for quick reference back to this post)

Build a DIY Paint Booth

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30 Jun

DIY Fold-up Paint Booth Tutorial

How to build a paint booth

Material & Tool List Paint Booth

Step 1 – Build Your Walls

Lay out the 1×8 boards horizontally and place the 1×6 boards at evenly spaced intervals. Secure with screws (pre-drill to prevent splitting). Use a carpenter’s square (or square block of wood) to keep boards level and place scrap wood underneath for support. On one of the walls (side wall) install a 1×8 board across at center for added support. (Later you’ll see that I added handles to make it easier to move.)

Paint Booth Walls

Step 2 – Frame Out Filter Pocket

Measure the height of your table / stand and mark the position of the bottom of the filter pocket accordingly.

Paint Booth Filter Pocket

Install a 1×4 board cut to length flat across the bottom between the vertical boards (A). Measure up 20″ from the bottom board to install the top boards (turned sideways) on the front and back sides of the filter frame (B). Then measure, cut and install 1×2 trim pieces to frame out and support the filter opening (C).

Frame Filter Pocket

Step 3 – Add Wheels / Support Blocks

Paint Booth Wheels

Paint Booth Support

Step 4 – Secure & Install Back Wall

Paint Booth Support

Install 2×4 level to wall stud.

Folding Paint Booth Wall

Install hinges to support and booth wall.

Step 5 – Secure Side Wall

Paint Booth Fold Out Wall

Install safety latch eye hooks to easily line and attach side wall to back wall. Secure side wall to ceiling-mounted chain for added stability.

Paint Booth Wall

Step 6 – Cover Walls with Plastic Sheeting

Paint Booth Plastic Sheeting

Measure and cut sheeting to overlap wood sides for complete coverage. Secure with staples.

Paint Booth Plastic

Step 7 – Install Temporary Ceiling

Paint Booth Air Filter

Secure a white / clear tarp or plastic sheeting to be pulled over booth to contain airborne overspray.

Step 8 – Set Up Box Fan & Table

Paint Booth Ventilation

Place fan on table outside booth close to air filter. Face fan away to draw air out towards fresh air source.

Airflow Diagram for Paint Booth

Step 9 – Fold Up for Storage

Paint Booth Folded Up

(Notice the center board and added handles I mentioned adding earlier.)

Step 10 – Secure for Safety

Paint Booth Latch

Secure side wall to back wall (once folded up) with a safety-latch eye hook.

Paint Booth Latch

Install hook eyes and thread rope in a figure-8 style to secure side wall to support.

Project Notes: Take care not to stack or push anything up against the folded booth frame that would puncture the plastic or damage the wood. When the plastic sheeting is covered in paint overspray, swap it out for new plastic. Always clean up the floor after painting to prevent it from drying and causing a slip hazard. When possible, use a stand or sawhorses to elevate pieces to be painted. I like to use a small platform on wheels to make painting around a piece easier.

As always, follow proper safety protocol when working with paint and other toxic substances.

For the original project post and more photos click here – Color Inside the Lines

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06 Jun

Small Desk, Big Color

painted desk

I’m convinced that if I could get my office pulled together the rest of my house would, once and for all, stay clean. Now, it isn’t dirty in a half-eaten-plate-of-food-sitting-on-the-counter sort of way but every horizontal surface in the main living area is obscured by a pile of crap that should go in my office.

The problem has always been finding the right desk.

I thought I had done so a few months ago after responding to a local online ad. But when I went to pick the desk up, I remembered why measurements are important and photo cropping is a bad idea.

small wooden desk

Can you tell just how small this desk is? That’s a kindergarten chair off to the right (which I’ve been known to use while painting). Not only was the desk smaller than I had anticipated, the drawers didn’t fit so into the project pile it went and my search continued.

When my neighbor asked if I had a kid’s desk in stock I knew it was the perfect size for her 6-year-old son.

prime desk

So it got the typical sanded top and primed base treatment before being painted with a semi-gloss blue paint.

painted desk

That I absolutely hated. I really should have known better. Semi-gloss paint is very unforgiving and I have a tendency to over-brush. It wasn’t so bad on the chair and drawer fronts after toning them down with a bit of glaze, but the desk side panels excited my ulcers. I whined about it on Facebook a couple of times before engaging the paint stripper and a razor blade. Good times I tell ya.

Once it was back to bare wood, I mixed up some flat blue paint with Paint Minerals and repainted the desk base.

painted desk

After two coats I was back in business. But then I decided to make some last-minute design changes.

It’s a good thing I’ve already done a few pieces for this neighbor – she wasn’t surprised that I tacked on a few more hours (after telling her the desk was done) because of a great idea I’d had. It’s always nice when clients trust your instincts and work with your insanity creativity.

painted desk

I decided that I wasn’t a fan of the decorative trim pieces under the drawers so I removed them and had to do some touch-up.

drawer hardware

The wooden corner accents, originally under the seat front on the chair, were relocated to a more prominent location and I flipped the drawer pulls around after staining the ‘grips’ to match the desktop.

painted desk

I figured a kid was more likely to use a finger-over approach to open the drawers anyhow. Plus, it looked better this way. Some slight distressing accentuated the glazed drawer fronts and the stained seat pulled it all together.

painted desk

But my favorite part might have been the pull-out secretary return.

painted desk

painted desk

…or knowing that little boy has the perfect spot for all of his crap.

painted desk

Someday I’ll know what that feels like.

painted desk

24 May

Hot Mess Saturday

I’m heading out to the shop to move some things around. Pretty much everything inside will be moved outside to make room for the walls I’m building. If you’re in the area feel free to drive by and see just how much crap can be shoved into a 2-car garage. If you’re not local, you know I’ll be posting pictures of that hot mess for your viewing pleasure.

Speaking of, if you follow me on social media let me share something handy. As you’re probably aware, the Facebook gods have gone to great lengths to keep you from seeing what I post on my page (and every other page you opted to follow). Why? Because we won’t give them any monetary love.

The way around this is to manually select to receive notifications from my page. I swear it’s not as hard as it sounds.

Facebook pages

See? Easy peasy. You can follow along on Instagram too (click here).

Now – let the (junk) unloading & (pic) uploading begin!

19 May

A Tale of Trash in Two Cities

close up carving detail

Lately, the weather in southeastern Wisconsin has been all over the board. For those of you who live in an area that doesn’t see much change in temps from spring to summer and fall to winter come hang out with me – you’ll probably experience all four seasons in one day.

This past Friday I managed to get a sunburn while it snowed 15 miles south. A couple of days before that I was sweating bullets in the garage while tornado sirens blared. About two weeks ago I had to skip my weekly curb surf rounds due to early morning sleet and hail.

Although it certainly didn’t feel like it, the next day the kid and I headed down to visit my folks for Spring Break. It’s about a 3-hour drive to a small town of 1500 people. The last time we went for a visit I spent most of the time bringing a vintage wardrobe back to life so this time I planned on visiting family and friends.

Funny thing about plans though…

About half an hour after we’d settled in my little brother popped over and made mention of the town’s curbside pickup scheduled for the following morning. I perked up – wait, what? My mom insisted nothing would be set out until the designated 6:00 pm start time yet as I cruised up and down side streets at 2:00 pm I immediately came across these three vintage wooden chairs. One was stamped ‘Grace Bible Church’ along the back and all had years-worth of dust and cobwebs.

vintage church chairs

I’m pretty sure I lapped that small town ten times in the course of 2 hours and while most of the stuff was trash, I was fortunate to find a really cool old rocking chair.

antique rocking chair

The guy at the antique place uptown estimated it being from the late 1800’s (however I’m guessing the shitty paint job is Circa 2010). If you look closely you can see the floral stencil along the back top rail.

large hinged box

Probably not an antique yet pretty cool in its own right was this large, hinged wooden box just hanging out on a dirty mattress. That’s duct tape and a nickel glued to the top.

old wooden table

I’m not sure if this is a dainty side table or a stool for a very, very lightweight person. The top is slightly curved so I doubt anything could be set on it without being off kilter but I can’t imagine it would be sturdy enough to allow anyone to sit on it. It would make for a perfect feline perch though.

I had come across a really nice coffee table that didn’t need much work but passed it up thinking someone might really need it. Sure enough, when Mom sent me back out for it, it was already gone. Apparently I wasn’t the only one out treasure hunting.

While we were out of town, the handyman I had install plumbing and electrical in the basement shop dropped off a Lane table he thought I might be able to do something with.

Lane side table

And a couple of days later I scooped up a chest (along with a random drawer) the neighbors set out on the curb.

short dresser

At the same time I noticed a large cardboard box taped up and laying on the ground. Four days later the trashmen had come and gone yet the cardboard box was still on the curb. I had no idea what was inside but I tossed it into the back of the SUV and took it home.

Imagine my surprise when I opened up the box to find this…

vintage full size mirror

close up carving detail

By the way, all the paint in the mirror’s reflection? Yep, nearly full and left on the curb after someone’s rummage sale.

I guess the weather isn’t the only thing fickle ’round these parts.

30 Apr

DIY Daily Magazine

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The first issue of DIY Daily Magazine was a huge hit and I’m gearing up to release May’s edition.

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17 Apr

Oversized Message Center (PBT knock off)

Pottery Barn Teen

Jenny and I used to be neighbors and our boys were friends. Her youngest daughter, Natalie, was crazy about My Littlest Pet Shop and you know how I feel about my pups so we were instant buds.

Somewhere along the line, this little girl sprouted up and was in need of a tween bedroom makeover. They asked me to work some magic and create a message center a la Pottery Barn Teen. Apparently, Nat had been drooling over their Blue Bubble Dottie Style Tile Set but the $300+ price tag made Jenny gag.

Luckily, I didn’t have to start from scratch. Jenny had already picked up the whiteboard and cork tile squares. So they were covered in fabric and batting or chalkboard paint accordingly.

style tiles

If you feel like you’ve seen this all over Pinterest you probably have. The difference between those projects and mine is that I didn’t conveniently scale this down to fit ready-made frames. I couldn’t since I had to build around what I was given.

I checked my wood bin and pulled out some furring strips along with (4) 48″ base mold trim pieces. I boxed out the tiles, securing the corners with glue and hardware then prepared to install the face frame. Sidenote: Anytime I catch baseboard molding on sale I scoop it up – you should too.

build a box

Now listen, mitering wood trim doesn’t have to be hard. I’m all for shortcuts to save time and frustration and alleviate complicated mathematical equations (like addition and subtraction).

Here’s my simple solution for mitering these (and any) 45 degree angles – no math necessary.

measure molding

…the up close & personal view:

miter corners

The trick is repeating Step 2 twice with the bottom board on top the second time around. I like to use arrows to remind me which way to set up my cut at the chop saw. Bonus: If someone else is cutting your wood you’ll save a good 15 minutes of arguing about who screwed up the direction of the cut with this tip.

After all the cuts were made, I glued up the corners and sank in some staples for good measure. If you want to get technical here you could use biscuits to join the wood, pulled tight with a Bessey clamp until the glue sets. Or you could get really fancy and make your own picture frame jig. But that would probably be overkill for this project.

staple corners

Overall, this piece measured 4′ x 4′ and was quite heavy. For extra support I added horizontal braces across the back before screwing in extra-strength hanging hardware.

add backer braces

I admit, it’s not beautiful from behind but it does allow for easy dismantling should Natalie ever decide she doesn’t like it and wants to re-redo her room.

Message Center

Which she’s probably suggested a few times since this knock-off was delivered.