Double Ribbon Valentine Wreath

2 ribbon spool

double ribbon heart wreath on door 1-l

Hi, this is Cristina from Remodelando la Casa, I’m so glad to be here once again, sharing with you a cute and easy project just in time for Valentine’s day.

While walking through Costco (it always happens there, you go for groceries but come back home with so many things that weren’t on your list!), I spotted some gigantic spools of ribbon that for only 8 bucks, so I grabbed one and my project began taking shape inspired by a wreath created by Jessica.

2 ribbon spool

Materials:

  • One wire hanger
  • 15 yd. wired edge ribbon (1.5″ wide)
  • 15 yd. wired edge ribbon (.62″ wide,  a contrasting color from the previous one)
  • Pliers
  • Awl
  • Small decoration to hang in the center of wreath
  • 2 yd. decorative ribbon to hang the wreath in place
  • Scotch tape or glue gun

Instructions:

Using pliers, unravel the coil on the hanger.  Make a heart shape out of the hanger. [Read more...]

How to Add Molding Panels to a Flat Door

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

When my sister brought me on to the Topsail Beach condo renovation, she had a laundry list of DIY projects she wanted me to complete. One of them was dressing up the hollow flat doors with moulding panels. She showed me a pin that led to One Life to Love’s DIY beadboard panel doors. After seeing the photo, I knew it would be a great DIY upgrade to make. But, we decided to use real beadboard (instead of beadboard wallpaper) because it had to hold up to the stress of being a rental.

To begin, start by measuring and marking the doors to determine the size of your panels.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Draw lines 5″ in from the top and two sides of your door.  Draw the bottom line  6″ up from the bottom. Finally, leave 5″ between the top and bottom panels.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

When marking your doors, use a pencil and level to draw your lines.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

After we had our panel measurements, Caitlin and I headed to Lowe’s. But, she refused to push me in the cart (party pooper!)

in-lowes-shopping-cart

We pulled some 4′ x 8′ beadboard panels and took them to the lumber cutting area. We gave the Lowe’s employer our measurements and asked him to cut the boards for us. While he cut our beadboard, Caitlin and I gathered the rest of our supplies.

Materials: [Read more...]

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

One of my favorite places to thrift shop is the Habitat ReStore. I mean, where else can you find cool $2 cabinet doors?

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

This fine cast off door is just screaming to be upcycled into a beautiful tray. Especially when the same thrifting adventure yielded VERY COOL door hardware! Simply combine the two and you have yourself a unique serving tray to give as a gift (or keep for yourself.)

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Cabinet door
  • Door handle or cabinet handle
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Rubber bumpers

Optional: Rub n’ Buff Gold Leaf

The steps are super simple. [Read more...]

How to Reinforce an Entry Door and Make it Burglar Proof

Reinforce an Entry Door

Reinforce an Entry Door

Burglar proofing your home is easy. Especially f you have a gazillion dollars to hire security guards, attack dogs and a web of lasers. Ahh, to dream a dream. But, for those of us who actually have a budget there’s a quick solution. And it’ll help you sleep a lot easier at night.

Having a home invasion is nerve wracking to say the least (yes, I’ve experienced this), I understand the fear many homeowners face:

A  passionate desire to keep our family safe from all the badness in the world.

Think about this, in many instances the only things stopping a robber from kicking open your front door are 1/2 inch screws, some thin metal (in the form of hinges and  strike plates), and at best a wimpy 1 inch piece of wood called your door jamb. Um, I think my 74 year old dad could kick open most people’s doors.

Today I’ll walk you through the installation of EZ Armor. It’s a door reinforcement kit you can buy for $69 at Lowe’s. You need limited tools and 15 minutes.

Here’s a supply list to help you get started:

  • Drill or impact driver
  • 11/64 inch drill bit (if you choose the drill)
  • Phillips head bit for said drill or driver
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

I promise you’ll boost your home’s safety by leaps and bounds by using EZ Armor. It only take a few minutes to understand why.

The EZ Armor kit I bought came with the following accessories:

  • Jamb shield (1)
  • Hinge shields (2)
  • Door shields (2)
  • 2 1/2 inch screws (4)
  • 3 1/2 inch screws (17)

EZ Armor

Okay, if you’re an excitable DIYer like me you might dive right into the installation. You can watch the video or read the photo tutorial below:

[Read more...]

How to Trim a Sticking Door with a Power Planer

How to Trim a Door with a Hand Planer

Trim a door with a power planer

Doors that rub the floor or jamb are flat out annoying. This problem is typically fixed by tightening or shimming hinges. But sometimes the door just needs to be shaved down a tiny bit and this can be accomplished by using a power planer. The Ryobi planer used in this tutorial is cheaper than pair of Nikes. You can find a factory reconditioned one on Amazon for $35 (buying factory reconditioned tools is a great way to save a ton of money :-)).

Today you’ll learn how to trim the bottom or top of your door. It’s simple, straight forward, and will save you at least $50-$75 (the cost a carpenter or handyman would probably charge).

Here are the supplies you’ll need to trim any wood door (hollow or solid core): [Read more...]

How to Install Window Trim

attaching apron to a window lg

How_to_install_window_trim

Hi everyone, I’m Cristina from Remodelando la Casa, and I’m beyond excited to join the team of Pretty Handy gals and guys!  I’m still pinching myself at such a wonderful opportunity.

Today I’m going to show you a fairly easy way to transform your builder grade windows from plain and boring to beautiful with loads of character and with a more finished appearance.

trimmed left window lg

Right now I’m working on updating my bedroom, where I have a couple of these windows.

small window sills lg

 They look  like they are wearing skirts, but forgot to put on the tops! :)  Yeap, naked!

plain builder's windowslg

Let’s change that by dressing up those windows! [Read more...]

Creating Open Frame Radiator Screen Cabinet Doors

Doors_closing_animation


A few months ago when I got the call that Woman’s Day wanted to send a photographer to photograph me and my garage, I kind of freaked a little. I mean, it was my garage, the least attractive room in our house! Part of the unattractiveness stemmed from my workbench with a huge gaping hole in it.

It was suggested that I could just cover the hole with some fabric (which, yes, I could have done.) But, being that it is my workshop and a sawdust producing place, I felt I could do a little a little better than just some fabric. I decided to build custom doors for the opening. Luckily they turned out to be less of an involved project than I originally anticipated. (I love when that happens.)

Come on in the workshop and I’ll show you how I built these open frame cabinet doors. [Read more...]

How to Replace Garage Door Rollers

roll_garage_door_down_more

Let’s give a big round of applause and a thank you to Jeff from Home Repair Tutor for his tutorial on Changing Your Garage Door Extension Springs.

Today I’ll help you learn how to replace your garage door rollers! After that, with a little maintenance, your garage doors should continue to operate smoothly for a while.

Materials:

  • New Garage Door Rollers
  • Clamp
  • Pliers
  • Large flat head screwdriver
  • Prybar
  • A Helper
Instructions:

Start by opening  your garage door completely.

Place a clamp on to the track about 2/3 of the way up the door opening.

Release the garage door from the power opener by pulling on the attached release rope.

For added safety, unplug the garage door opener from the outlet.

Near the top of the track use pliers to bend the track slightly open.

Line up the first roller with the opening. Use the flathead screwdriver and wedge it between the roller and the track. Pry the roller out of the track.

Remove the old roller.

Slide a new roller in and insert the roller back into the track.

Roll the door down to the next roller and repeat the same process for removing and replacing the rollers.

When you have replaced the bottom 4 rollers, you’ll realize that you won’t be able to replace the top one because it won’t line up with the opening in the track. Bend the track back into alignment and then roll the door all the way open.

Bend a section of track in the middle of the overhead section.

Be sure to have your helper spot the door or it could slip from the track and bonk you on the head. (Home Repair Tutor shows how to use a 2×4 clamped to the track to support the door if you don’t have a helper available. He also has a different method for replacing the rollers, so be sure to watch his video.)

(Oh yes, this did happen to me! I got knocked hard enough to have me down for the count, but I got right back up and kept right on swinging.)

Pry the last roller out and replace it. Use your pliers to bend the track back into shape.

Remove the clamp from the track. Plug the door opener back in. Re-attach the door to the garage door opener by pressing the button that controls the operation of your door (usually on the wall of your garage.) The door should automatically re-attach to the opener.

Close the door and watch for any misalignment of the track.

If you need to adjust the tracks, loosen the bolts on the side of the track and re-align the track. I used a prybar to give a little leverage to move the track small increments.

Tighten all the bolts. While you are at it, make sure all screws and bolts on the garage and the tracks are tightened because the vibration of the door can usually shake things loose over time.

And that’s it folks!

For more maintenance tips on keeping your garage in tip top shape, check out Home Repair Tutor’s post on garage door maintenance.



 

How to Replace Garage Door Extension Springs – Guest Post Home Repair Tutor

Homerepairtutor_bike_garage_door

 

Hey guys and gals, I have a special guest for you today! Today I have a real life Handy Man today. That’s right we’re bringing in a little testosterone to mix things up.

This is Jeff aka Pretty Handy Man:

Jeff writes Home Repair Tutor, a blog that shares tips on saving time and money when doing home repairs. He shares his experiences, both good and bad, to help you with what sometimes seems like overwhelming home repair projects. He also likes the Steelers, (I’m supposed to tell you that because guys find that stuff important. So, if you hate the Steelers, boo on you. Can you tell I’m naive on how to talk sports?)

Plus, he always adds a little humor to his videos. (My favorite is garage door testing the unorthodox way. Don’t you just love a man who isn’t afraid to ride a pink bike?)

I’ve been following Home Repair Tutor for a few months now and Jeff’s recent post about garage door maintenance saved me some cash. I had been trying to solve why my garage door was running so rough and had already replaced the rollers. But, Jeff had one tip that I had forgotten to do: Lubricate all the moving parts! Duh, a few squirts of lubricant had the doors rolling smooth again. I hope you’ll check out his blog and follow along. You won’t be disappointed.

So, today I give you handy man and comedian, Jeff from Home Repair Tutor! Woooohoo!

Thanks Brittany for the opportunity to guest post on Pretty Handy Girl. You’ve set the bar high for home remodeling tutorials and I hope to empower your fans with another great DIY project. But first let me briefly introduce myself.

My name is Jeff Patterson and my remodeling blog is Home Repair Tutor. In my spare time I manage and fix my own older rental homes here in the Pittsburgh area. I’ve been doing this for almost a decade and have experienced numerous projects that include kitchen remodels, bathroom installations, hardwood floor restoration, and more. My goal is pass along all the tips and tricks that I’ve learned so others can benefit.

Today’s post deals with a project that anyone can do:

Replacing Garage Door Extension Springs

Garage Door Extension Spring Repair

A squeaky garage door has a penetrating sound that can drive anyone crazy. The average garage door is opened and closed over 600 times every year. This repetitive action is what leads to the creaks you hear on a daily basis.

But regular maintenance can help your garage door run smoothly and safely. Two of the most used items on your garage door are the extension springs that help lift and lower it. Extension springs are found on most traditional roll up garage doors. They’re dangerous if not properly maintained since they hold a tremendous amount of tension.

(Pretty Handy Girl notes: Torsion springs are the other type of garage door springs. They run directly over the garage door opening on a rod. Serious injury can occur if you don’t know what  you are doing or have the right tools to replace a torsion spring. In my opinion, these should be left to the pros.)

This tutorial will take the mystery out of how garage door extension springs work and will show you how to safely replace them on your own without spending a ton of money. By the end of this post you’ll confidently be able to perform this home repair project, and tell your neighbors you’re a garage door Jedi :).

Are Your Garage Door Springs Misbehaving?

This tutorial is going to address garage door extension springs that run along the door’s horizontal track. But how do you know if your springs need replaced?

The picture below is a good example of what a spring looks like at the end of its life cycle.

Warped Garage Door Springs

If this spring breaks it will release an extraordinary amount of tension that can be unleashed on a person or item in your garage.

Another sign of worn springs is creakiness or uneven closure of your door. Bad springs can put pressure on the garage door rollers and cause them to screech. If one spring is bad but the other is in good shape the door may close unevenly, too. You’ll notice this if the door is closed and one side is higher than the other.

Extension springs are colored coded. In my case the springs had red paint sprayed just on one end, and this indicated that we had a 150 lb. garage door.

Garage Door Springs are Color Coded

You can go to Home Depot and buy your replacement extension springs based on the color code. The picture below shows the wide range of springs you can buy.

Garage Door Extension Springs are Sold Based on Their Color Code

Now that you know how to choose your springs you can get started on your project.

Become a Jedi of Garage Door Springs

But even Yoda would agree that safety comes first.

Completely open your garage door and unplug the power cord to the opener.

Place a C-clamp on each track underneath the the bottom garage door roller. This will prevent the door from rolling down to the ground in the next step. For extra protection you can put a step ladder underneath the center of the door.

Use a C-Clamp Underneath the Bottom Garage Door Roller

Pull down on the garage door’s manual safety release. This allows the garage door to be moved up and down without the help of the opener.

Pull Down on the Garage Door Manual Safety Release

The door weight should now rest on the C-clamps.

This next step is a smart tip that will ensure your extension spring installation was done correctly. Place a piece of blue painter’s tape on the garage door track underneath the pulley that’s attached to the extension spring. Then place a mark on the tape to indicate the center of the pulley’s bolt.

Place a Mark on the Tape to Indicate the Center of the Pulley's Bolt

Since the spring has no tension in it you can safely remove the steel safety cable that runs through it. This cable is in place so that if your garage door spring snaps it won’t shoot across the room and hurt someone. The safety cable runs through the spring. It’s tied to the horizontal support bracket closest to the garage door opening on one end and is simply tied to the vertical support bracket on the other end.

Before removing the safety cable from the support brackets you should take pictures of how it was tied together. This will help you when you have to re-tie it after the new extension spring is installed. I also numbered the holes on the vertical support bracket as 1 & 2 to help with this process.

Take a Picture of the Steel Cable Before Undoing It

Since the steel safety cable will only need to be removed from the horizontal support bracket I also decided to make a reference mark on it. This mark will allow you to reinstall the safety cable to how it was originally setup.

Place a Reference Mark on the Steel Safety Cable

The next step is to remove the garage door extension spring.

There’s a steel cable connected to the bottom of your garage door. This cable runs over a stationary pulley that’s attached to your garage door track. This steel cable continues until it goes over and around a second pulley that’s attached to your extension spring via a pulley fork. The steel cable then is attached to the horizontal support bracket via an S-hook. This S-Hook is also attached to a three hole adjusting clip.

Mark where the S-hook was positioned on the support bracket then remove it.

Mark the Position of the S-Hook Then Remove it From the Support Bracket

Now you need to disassemble the pulley that is connected to the spring. This is simple but again take a picture of your configuration for reference. Remember that the steel cable that runs from the bottom of the garage door goes over the top of the pulley then to the horizontal support bracket. You’ll need two wrenches to undo the nut and bolt that hold the pulley to the pulley fork.

Remove the Pulley from the Pulley Fork by Undoing the Nut & BoltRemove the pulley and pulley fork from the extension spring. The spring can now be taken off the eye bolt hanger. The eye bolt hanger is attached to the vertical support brackets that come down from the ceiling.

Remove the Extension Spring from the Eye Bolt

The picture below shows the old spring on the left and the new spring on the right. Is there any doubt the extension springs needed replaced? :)

Old Versus New Garage Door Extension Spring

A New Era of Garage Door Efficiency Begins

The installation of the new spring, as you can imagine, is opposite that of the removal process. It’s easy but requires attention to detail.

Attach the non-color coded end of the spring to the eye-bolt and run the steel safety cable through it.

Pull the steel safety cable through the vertical support bracket. I labeled the two holes the steel cable will pass through.

Hole 1 has the cable going through it right to left. The cable should then pass through Hole 2 from left to right.

Position the Steel Safety Cable Through the Support BracketA loop is created. Thread the cable back through this loop. Notice the black reference mark that was made on the cable. I used pliers to pull the wire tight such that this mark stops short of going through Hole 1.

Thread the Steel Safety Cable Through the Support Bracket

Pull the steel cable through the hole on the far side of the support bracket.

Weave the cable back and forth in the same manner as it was before being removed.

Tighten the Steel Safety Cable to the Support Bracket

The other end of the steel safety cable that runs through the extension spring should be tied to the horizontal support bracket closest to the garage door opening.

This next part is where your attention to detail is somewhat critical.

Place the pulley fork onto the color coded end of the extension spring. Ensure the plastic bushing that has the steel safety cable running through it is facing away from the garage door track.

The Plastic Bushing on the Pulley Fork Must Face Away from the Garage Door Track

Pull the steel cable that comes from the bottom of the garage door over the top of the pulley. The S-hook and 3-hole adjusting clip attached to the steel cable should be hanging down from the pulley.

Make sure this steel cable is not twisted with the steel safety cable. (I didn’t check for this and had to undo the entire pulley/pulley fork assembly — not fun.) The steel cable should run freely from the stationary pulley closest to the garage door opening to the pulley that will be connected to the extension spring.

Position the pulley into the pulley fork then place the nut onto the pulley fork so that it is next to the plastic bushing.

Place the Nut for the Pulley on Top of the Pulley Fork Next to the Plastic Bushing

Pass the bolt through the pulley fork and pulley. Tighten the nut and bolt until they’re secure.

Attach the S-hook & 3-hole adjusting clip to the horizontal support bracket where it originally was located.

Place the S-Hook & 3-Hole Adjusting Clip into the Support Bracket

At this point you can use the reference mark on the blue tape to check the tension of the steel cable. In this case the pulley’s bolt lined up perfectly with the mark and tension was good to go.

Check the Tension of the Garage Door Extension Spring

The tension of the garage door springs can be adjusted by doing the following:

  • Move the S-hook to different holes in the horizontal support bracket
  • Adjust the cable in the 3-hole adjusting clip connected to the S-hook (this is a pain!)
  • Moving the eye-bolt up or down on the vertical support bracket. Do this with the door open and C-clamps on the tracks. (Moving the eye-bolt up will increase tension while moving it down releases tension)

Use great care when adjusting the spring tension. As mentioned before, garage door extension springs can cause serious injuries and that is the last thing anyone wants. This is a safe project to perform as long as you follow all of the steps :). Remember that both extension springs need to replaced at the same time. So, while this tutorial only shows one spring being removed you need do the above steps for the second. Otherwise your door may close unevenly. Besides, if one spring is bad, chances are the other isn’t in good shape.

Queue the Chariots of Fire Theme Song

Plug your garage door opener into the outlet and remove the C-clamps. Hold your breath (just kidding) and hit the garage door opener. With any luck you’ll see the garage door close smoothly, safely, and with a resounding feeling of accomplishment.There’s a chance that your door may not close completely due to the new springs having more tension than the old ones.You can adjust how far the door travels by turning the adjustment screws on the door opener.
Adjust the Travel of Your Garage Door by Turning the Travel Screws

Now you know how to safely replace your garage door extension springs. Give yourself a high five! New springs will help your garage door run smoothly and efficiently while eliminating annoying squeaks.

For more garage door maintenance tips, you can read my post on regular garage door maintenance.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask them in the comment section, I’d be more than happy to help you with your project.

Thanks again Brittany for the opportunity to bring this tutorial to your fans. Hopefully this showed that it’s not difficult to do any project when you’ve got the right mix of patience and curiosity.

Make it a great day!

Thank you Jeff, what a great tutorial! I can always count on Home Repair Tutor to help me learn something new.

Keeping with the theme of garage door repairs, I’ll have a tutorial on how to replace your garage door rollers on Friday! And how I fought the garage door and I won!

Stay tuned and don’t touch that dial (bonus points to anyone old enough to know what the heck that means.)

Front Door Dilemma

aqua_door

Our plum colored front door has served our home well for over 5 years. Actually, I can’t take credit for the color choice. The previous owner chose the color, but luckily she and I had similar taste. I know I told you that we used to live across the street from our current house. But, did I ever tell you that we both painted our powder rooms at the same time? We saw each other on Monday and were shocked to learn that not only had we both been painting our powder rooms over the weekend, but that we had chosen the same color!

Time has passed, and I’m yearning for a brighter and cheerier front door. A door that makes people rubber neck! [Read more...]

Saying Goodbye to Barney and Hello, Beautiful!

tarped_roof


I detest Barney, the purple dinosaur. I’m not sure what it is about him that turns my stomach. Maybe it’s because he’s too artificially sweet. Maybe it’s his annoying theme song. Or perhaps it is his unnatural purple and green color combo.The dislike of all things Barney has carried over to my house, because I nicknamed this ugly purple awning over our side entrance: Barney. Hmmm, look, they even have the same color palette. Yuck.


Barney has seen better days, his outdoor canvas has started to wear thin and the sky is peeking through the awning. [Read more...]

Industrial Work Table with Vintage Dictionary Top – Guest Post by Hammer Like a Girl

Hammer_like_a_girl_3_ladies

Y’all are gonna love today’s guest post! Hammer Like a Girl is in the HOWZZ! Check out that industrial book page topped table that they created.

Today’s guest post is brought to you by THREE handy gals! I’m seriously thinking about moving to Seattle just so I can be one of their friends and share in the DIY project co-ops. Heidi, Monica and Mary Jean make up the power trio at Hammer Like a Girl.

These ladies get together once a week to tackle a DIY project together. They rotate which house they will work in next. Check out some of their transformations like this oval to rectangle table transformation, rustic wood bathtub surround, or tile backsplash.

[Read more...]

10 Top Secret Spots for Hidden Storage

cigar_canister_in_door_top

photo credit: Sean Michael Ragan

It’s time to get your James Bond vibe on. I’m a sucker for hidden storage and using wasted spaces. That’s what inspired me to create this Parentables post on 10 top secret places to hide your valuables, clothes, blankets, coats, CDs, flash drives, jewelry and more!

Watch out, it will turn you into a top secret agent by the end of the slideshow.


 

Best of Pretty Handy Girl 2011

It’s the end of the year and I know y’all have been busy. So, I thought I’d give you the cliff notes version of Pretty Handy Girl in 2011.

Gift Bucket Liner from Goodwill Pants

How to Paint a Dandelion Wall Mural

Fork Photo and Note Holder

Spring Paper and Button Flowers

How to Paint Doors the Professional Way

 

How to Paint Like a Pro Series:

 

Build Your Own Ladder Display Shelves

Photography Secrets for Shooting Indoors

 

Toilet Repairs Series:

 

Dream Big Butterfly Window

Backlit Cut Out Bookcase

Rustic Wine Crate

How to Replace an Ugly Hollywood Strip Light

Board and Batter Tutorial

How to Make a Branch Towel Bar

Light Bulb Comparison

How to Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Ombré Paint Chip Lampshade

 

Cabinet Door Revamped to Chalkboard Message Board

Kitchen Cabinet Turned into Shoe Storage Bench

 

Dollar Tree Placemat Garden Flag

 

Beveled Glass Light Fixture Ornaments

DIY Matchbox Car Race Track

 

And Finally, A Whole Slew of Power Tool Tutorials:

Compound Miter Saw

Jig Saw

Finish Nailer and Compressor

Cordless Drill

Circular Saw

Table Saw

Band Saw

I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited for 2012! I hope you’ll stick around for some more DIY tutorials and empowerment!

Did you have a favorite post of mine this year that I forgot to mention? Do tell! Chosing from almost 200 posts makes for some tough decisions.

It’s a ScotchBlue Painting Party and a Cabinet Door Revamp

yellow_spray_paint_cabinet

“It’s a Party and I’ll Paint if I Want to…Paint if I Want to… Paint if I Want To…You Would Paint Too if you had Scotch Bluuuueee!”
I think I’m going to call 3M ScotchBlue right now and suggest this as their new jingle. Kind of catchy isn’t it?!

Welcome to the ScotchBlue™ Painting Party! You’re just in time, because you’ve entered at the start of the party! This group of fantastic DIY (die hard paint fan) bloggers, including myself, all completed projects with the help of ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape with Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector:

Come on in and view some awesome tutorials, gather inspiration, have fun and win prizes! Check out my project tutorial on revamping an old cabinet door below, and then jump to the next blog in the party to see more inspirational DIY tutorials!

Go ahead, grab your paint and brushes — and don’t forget a roll of ScotchBlue painter’s tape!

I have been using ScotchBlue painter’s tape for a while and I really like it. I am not being paid to say this (even though they did send me a few free rolls of painter’s tape.) You’d know I like ScotchBlue tape if you have read the backlit bookcase post, painting the bamboo rug post and the painting like a pro post (where I share some tips for using ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape!)

But, enough looking back, I want to share with you how to make something out of a disgustingly filthy grease covered discarded cabinet door. So, let’s hop to it! While building my mudroom bench, I took off the doors and kept them in the hopes of being able to use them another day. I’m working on a new bench for my Habitat ReStore demonstration, so I have more cabinet doors now! I devised a plan to reuse the doors in a creative way, a way that would be fun and yet help us keep track of our comings and goings. Meet my cabinet door turned into a chalkboard message board with hooks:

Materials:

  • ScotchBlue painter’s tape
  • Cabinet door
  • Baby wipes
  • Kilz spray primer
  • Rustoleum spray paint – summer squash color
  • Krylon chalk board spray paint
  • 3M sanding block
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Mod podge
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Rub on decals (optional)
  • Garment hooks
  • D-ring hangers
  • Scissors
  • x-acto knife
  • Drop cloth

Instructions:

Clean the doors! If you have a cabinet that has finished it’s first life as a kitchen cabinet, and has so much grease on it that you could grease a pig…well, you need to clean it off. I experimented with several different techniques (GooGone, Dawn Detergent, Shakelee DeGreaser Spray, and Ammonia), but the one that worked best was inexpensive ammonia mixed with hot water.

 

I saturated the cabinet with the ammonia mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes and voila! The grease came off like butter (no pun intended.)

 

Dry the cabinets and gently sand all the surfaces to rough them up slightly. (Don’t rough ‘em up too much boys, we need him to be alive. LOL! Spoken like a true Western character.)

 

Wipe off the door thoroughly with a damp baby wipe.

 

Use wood putty to fill in the wood grain on the middle panel of the cabinet. (You could also fill in the cracks on the frame of the cabinet too, but I have other plans for the frame.)

 

Let the putty dry for about 10 minutes. Sand the panel until it is smooth.

 

Wipe off the cabinet door again. Be sure to get all the sawdust off.

Spray your cabinet door with spray primer. One coat should be enough to cover the door. It helps to elevate the cabinet with a block or two underneath so it doesn’t stick to your drop cloth.

 

Mask off the middle of your door with newspaper and ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape. Press the edges down firmly by running a finger along the edge. (If your cabinet door is very textured, you can seal the edges by brushing matte medium where the tape meets the door.

 

Spray the frame with 2 even coats of the summer squash yellow color (allowing the paint to dry between coats.)

 

Remove the mask, now ooo and aaaa over that clean edge! Give the paint about an hour to cure before the next step.

 

Wrap newspaper around the back of the cabinet door and fold the edges up. Use ScotchBlue painter’s tape to tape the edges of the frame off (cover all the yellow with tape or newspaper.)

 

Spray the inside panel with 2-3 even coats of the chalkboard paint. Let it dry throughly before you remove the tape and newspaper mask.

 

It is starting to look rather purrrrdy, ya think?! Feel free to stop here and say that you are done…

 

…or if you are a perfectionist (like me), you will want to cover the woodgrain on the frame with scrapbook paper.

 

Simply measure your border and cut scrapbook sheets to that width. It is okay if your sheets aren’t long enough to fit on one length, you can tile them.

 

Brush one layer of mod podge onto the frame then lay the scrapbook paper on top of the mod podge. Press out all the air bubbles. Let the mod podge/paper dry for a few minutes.

 

Then brush 1-2 coats of the mod podge on top of the scrapbook paper borders to seal the paper.

 

If you want to embellish your chalkboard frame, you can rub on transfer decals (or paint some decorations using white acrylic paint.)

 

To make your chalkboard frame more functional, add 2 D-rings on either side of the back for hanging purposes. Then add some garment hooks to the front.

 

Don’t forget to season your chalkboard. (I prefer Old Bay seasoning…just kidding! I always wanted to say that.) Rub a piece of chalk on its side all over the surface and then wipe it off with a dry rag.

 

And that concludes the tutorial. Don’t you think the results are sweet! Especially because it is made from something that would have otherwise been discarded.

 

I envision a wall with several of these chalkboard frames lined up, one per family member. That way a message can be written to each person. I guess I better get busy and make 3 more.

 

I love how the hooks add additional storage! Be sure to use two picture hangers (one for each D-ring hook.) If you have good eyesight you might have noticed my fishing line that is hanging the cabinet above. This was for photography purposes only. Unless you want your frame to rip the drywall and land on the floor the first time your child wants to hang something heavy on the hooks, do as I say, not as I do.

 

Awww, isn’t she just a perfect little slice of sunshine on a blank wall? She makes me happy.



You made it through another one of my insanely long tutorials! Congrats!

Want to attend some more ScotchBlue painting parties? Head over to the ScotchBlue Facebook page and “Like” the page and see the schedule and participants for the upcoming Painting Parties.

That wraps up my portion of the party, so grab your paint brushes and head over to my friend, Halsey’s with Spunky Junky:



 

 

Disclaimer: I was one of the bloggers chosen to host a ScotchBlue Painting Party. I was not paid or compensated for this post. I was sent a few rolls of ScotchBlue painter’s tape, but I honestly can’t remember if it was 2 or 3 or 5 because they promptly got added to the collection of ScotchBlue tapes I already own.

Go Bold or Go Home! Show Your True Colors.

livingroomdone2

I am drawn to homes that have unique front door colors. I crave something beyond the normal white, black or burgundy. Give me a unique color that tells me something about its occupants! I love being able to say, we’re the only house on the street with the purple doors.

Our front door. Purple Honor 8906N by Duron

Cameron Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Raleigh. It is tucked between Oberlin & Hillsborough Street (two very busy roads). The houses are old and the trees are ancient. But, there seems to be an ongoing competition for the boldest and brightest front doors. I spent an hour just walking around the neighborhood snapping pictures of these louder than words portals.

I used a Sherwin Williams color deck to choose an approximate match for each door. If you are considering painting your door with any of these colors, be sure to paint a large sample on poster board and hold it up to your door first. Keep in mind, some of the colors may need two coats before you see the true color.

Chartreuse SW0073

Blue Peacock SW0064

Halfway between Danube SW6803 and Dignity SW6804

Slick Blue SW6949

Open Seas SW6500

Crabby Apple SW7592

Atmospheric SW6505

Aqua Tint SW6939

Indulgent SW6969

Bee SW6683

Swimming SW6764

Fabulous Grape SW6293

Cloudless SW6786

Lobelia SW6809

Honorable Blue SW6811

Copper Pot SW7709

Sapphire SW6963

Wild Currant SW7583

Ebbtide SW6493

Lantern Yellow SW6687

Nautilus SW6780

Lei Flower SW6613

And just in case you have a lust for the international palette, these are a few doors I spotted in the UK:

Frank Blue SW6987 – Obviously this door has a weathered look though.

Fine Wine SW6307

Blue Chip SW6959

Nifty Turquoise SW6941

Blue Blood SW6965

Heart Throb SW6866

Talk about WOW factor! I found this green door online HERE.

Outrageous Green SW6922

And if that isn’t enough to catch your attention, look what Allison Cosmos did to this door:

The Front Door eclectic entry

This is my all time favorite front door photo from The Impatient Gardener. Could you tell that I’m drawn to blues?

Blue Chip SW6959

 

Back at the Pretty Handy Girl abode, I am very particular about the colors in each of our rooms. I am a color nerd. Color evokes very strong emotions for me. When we paint the interior rooms of our home, I knew the exact color I wanted. But, it actually has more to do with the feeling the room should portray.

Our living room speaks of warmth and a comforting embrace (Wasabi Powder UL200-16 by Behr).

Our master bedroom must create serenity and peace (Tradewind SW6218).

Our kitchen greets me with a warm sunny disposition every morning (Shoreline 3006-6B by Valspar).

And the home office requires a neutral color so I can focus on color palettes for my graphic design clients and not my wall color. (Hot Spring Stones AC-31 by Benjamin Moore)

I hope you have been inspired! Now Go Bold or Go Home!

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Fixing Common Door Problems

strike-plate-adjustable

Do you have a door that sticks or doesn’t close properly? You are not alone. Many factors can contribute to this problem (house settling, humidity, dry air, young boys swinging on them.) Without being able to control the reasons, it is important to know how to fix a door that rubs or doesn’t close properly.

First, step back and look at the gaps between the door and the frame.

Look closely and notice where there are no gaps as well.

This will give you an idea where you need to make adjustments. For my closet door, I need to move the top slightly to the right and the bottom in to the left.

The easiest adjustments you can make on a door is to tighten or loosen the hinge screws. On my closet door (shown above) I loosened the top hinge screws to increase the gap and tightened the bottom hinge screws to reduce the gap.

Before you break out the power tools, be sure to don a pair of these:

I am loving my new Safety Goggles with Clear Anti-Fog Lens that my friend Sandra turned me on to. The only complaint I have is that everytime I put them on, I spontaneously start making funny faces.

But hey, how many other excuses can you have for making funny faces! So, I’ll keep ‘em.

To adjust my closet door, I loosened the hinges where the gap was nearly non-existent and tightened the hinges where the gaps were large.

Much to my dismay, the door still didn’t close properly.

Sometimes you need to shim your hinges to bring them out from the door frame further. My preferred “shim” for this task is recycled cereal boxes or chipboard. Cut the shape of your hinge into the chipboard. (Be sure to cut two because you might need more than one thickness of cardboard.)

Simply set the cardboard behind the shim and re-insert the screws. Don’t tighten them too much. This should put more distance between the door frame and the door.

Unfortunately, this DID NOT solve my closet door problem. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the one hinge did not sit flush with the door frame.

It was time to break out the big guns.

Or the little guns: like my cordless Dremel. If you don’t have a Dremel, you can use a chisel and a hammer, or in a pinch I’ve been known to use a flat head screwdriver as a chisel. The goal is to remove some wood from the door or the frame so that the hinge can sit flush with the frame. In my case I had to remove a little from both.

I used the sanding attachment on my dremel and it made quick work of removing the wood within the hinge cut out.

Sometimes, the door sticks on the top of the frame. If you have tried to adjust the hinges and it still sticks, you need to plane the top. This doesn’t involve buying a ticket or boarding an airplane. Planing is removing material from the edge of wood. You can try using sand paper with a coarse grit to sand it down, but if that doesn’t work, reach for one of these:

This is a hand plane. The plane has been around for centuries! Some have been found in excavations in medieval Europe and Asia. As you run the planer across the top of the door it literally shaves off some of the wood. Simple design, but very effective.

Occasionally, you may encounter a door that doesn’t latch all the way. The door closes, but the latch won’t set into the strike plate (the cutout hole in the door frame.) If you look closely, your interior door strike plate may have a small screw holding a bar on.

Loosen this screw and pull the bar out from the door jamb slightly.

Tighten it and try closing your door again. Continue to adjust the latch until it sets properly and your door stays closed.

That pretty much sums up fixing common door problems. Next time you have an issue with your door, be sure to “Mind the Gap”. Sorry, just a little british humor.

On a completely unrelated topic, I caught some of the excitement surrounding the upcoming royal wedding on the news today. Several networks have sent their reporters to London.

It was exciting seeing some of the spots that I visited last year while Pretty Handsome Guy and I toured London (in 3 days).

I was thinking about sharing a few photos from our trip, but I also completely understand if you want me to stick to the DIY topics. Let me know, okay?!

 

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The Lettered Cottage

How to Paint Doors (The Professional Way)

Home-improvement-1-2-3

So you want to paint like a pro? Well, sit back and let me give you some tips and a tutorial for painting a door for starters. Then we’ll work our way around the room.

Our doors are all the six panel type. If you have flat (non-panel) versions, you can skip this post and come back later. For the rest of us, get out your paper and pencils and take some notes (does anyone do this anymore?)

Step 1: The easiest way to paint a door is to start by removing it, then removing all the hardware and lay it horizontally on saw horses. This will eliminate potential drips. But, I’ve painted plenty of doors without removing them. So, it’s your choice.

Step 2: Lightly sand the entire door. No need to bust out the power sander, you can use a sanding block or sheet of sand paper. Be sure to sand down any bumps or blemishes. The main goal is to give your door a little “tooth” for the new paint or primer to adhere to.

Step 3: Time to decide if you need to use primer. Here are reasons you would need to use it:

  • If the door is bare wood or stained wood.
  • If the door is a dark color and you want to paint it much lighter.
  • If the door was painted with oil and you want to use latex paint (how to tell? Rub a small spot with ammonia and if the paint comes off it is latex.)

If you are painting over latex with latex (or oil over oil) and the previous paint job is in good shape you can skip the primer. (This was the case with my door, so I didn’t prime it.)

Step 4: Paint the panels first.

Using a small roller to paint doors can greatly speed the  process. Begin by rolling paint on the panels.

Work quickly by rolling on the paint, then use a brush to smooth out the paint and fill in any spots missed by the roller. Follow the arrow directions above when brushing on the paint.

Drag your brush  in the same direction as the woodgrain on your door. This will highlight the grain and keep your door looking neat and clean. NEVER run your brush strokes perpendicular to the wood grain. This does NOT look professional.

Step 5: Next roll the inside cross pieces. Start by rolling and painting the center vertical piece.

Again, drag your brush up and down vertically with the wood grain (see arrows in the above diagram.)

Then paint the horizontally pieces in the middle of the door.

Keep your brush strokes horizontal as you cross over the tall vertical center.

Step 6: Paint the border. Pay attention to the direction of the woodgrain for this last step. The grain on the two sides should flow vertically from top to bottom.

There are header and footer panels sandwiched between the left and right sides. These “sandwiched” pieces should be painted by dragging your brush horizontally (see diagram above.)

Step 7: The last step is to paint the edges of the door. (Avoid painting the hinges…that’s not very professional either!)

Roll paint onto the edges then smooth them with the paintbrush. Be on the lookout for drips or puddles of paint.Go back and check the face of your door for drips as well.

Let your door dry (30 minutes – 1 hour), then follow up with a second coat of paint. When you are done let the doors dry for 2+ hours before flipping them to paint the other side. I have found that it helps to put a pieces of cardboard or scrap bare wood under the door so the paint doesn’t stick to the saw horses. But you can also buy some of these Rockler Painting Pyraminds.

Now about the rest of your home, let’s Learn How to Paint Your Walls Like a Pro!

PHGFancySignIf you liked this post, you’ll love more of my painting tutorials:

Over 50 Painting Tutorials!

 

Removing Door Knobs, Latches and Hinges

unscrewing-stuck-hinge-screw

Removing a door’s hardware (knobs, latch assembly, hinges) is really a piece of cake if you know what you are doing.

There are several reasons you might need to remove a door from its hinges:

  1. The lock is broken and you can’t open the door.
  2. You want to replace your door.
  3. You want to replace the hinges.
  4. Your six year old was warned that if he slams his door one more time he will lose the door (true story).
  5. You want to repaint the door.

When I decided to give my downstairs half bathroom a makeover, I knew I needed to paint the door as well. The easiest way to repaint a door is to remove it from the hinges, remove all the hardware, and lay it flat on sawhorses and paint horizontally.

Before I show you how to paint the door, I will share with you how to remove the door, hinges, and the door knobs (or locksets if it has a key hole). How to remove the locksets is a helpful skill to learn should you wish to replace your door knobs, deadbolts or locksets.

Letting you in on a little secret: Speaking of replacing locksets, did you know that if your house has several different locks you can have them rekeyed to just one key as long as they are all the same brand? When we moved into our home we had three different locks (2 Schlage and 1 Kwikset) and keys to only ONE lock! Arrggghhhh!  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the keys for either Schlage locks.) But, I really wanted to change the locks for the whole house. When I got a quote from a locksmith, I nearly passed out. $250 to get all our locks to match and to cut a few spare keys!

I thanked them and hung up. So, here is what I did. I bought one new Schlage lockset (handles and deadbolt set) for the Kwikset door. Then I took the locksets off the other two doors and brought them to a local locksmith (Busse’s Lock Service in Raleigh.) They were able to rekey both locks using my new Schlage key. The cost was under $50!

Photo courtesy of Handlesets.com

Later when the old lock on our front door broke, I ordered new ones from Handlesets.com (they sell all types of door hardware) and the customer service rep helped me enter the code from our master key when I placed the order. That way my new locks would match the rest of our house. Best of all they didn’t charge extra to for that service!

Sorry for the diversion, but I really wanted to let you in on that little secret.

Removing the Door Handles and Latch Assembly:

There are several types of door handles, you will need to inspect yours to determine how to remove it. Most door handles have screws on the interior side (for safety reasons, you definitely want them on the interior) that you unscrew to release the handles. Our door handles are a little different, but almost as easy to remove.

Insert a flat head screwdriver into the little slot on the side of the handle.

Pull the handle out and away from the door until it releases.

Unscrew the collar (also called a trim piece or escutcheon – yup, there is that word again!) that is up against the door until it comes off. You might need to use pliers to coax it free.

When it releases from the threads, remove the collar (ring, trim piece, escutcheon, WHATEVER.)

Gently pull the other handle off.

To remove the latch assembly, unscrew the two screws above and below the latch.

Gently pry the latch assembly out.

And remove it being sure to keep the screws with the latch.

Removing the hinges:

If you have the type of door hinges that the pin can be removes, follow these instructions. If not, you will have to unscrew the hinges from your door (but don’t worry, I’ll show you how to do that in a minute.)

Removing the hinge pin is a snap. I use a flat head screwdriver and a hammer. Set the screwdriver just below the head of the pin and tap it lightly with the hammer until the screwdriver can fit below the head. If you can’t get the screwdriver under the head of the pin, insert the screwdriver into the bottom of the hinge and tap the bottom of the pin up slightly. Then angle the screwdriver end up and the handle down. Continue to tap on the screwdriver handle with the hammer until you can release the pin*.

*Oh, and before you remove all the pins, you may want to ask someone help hold the door while you remove the pins from the other hinges. Not that I’ve ever made that mistake (uh, okay, maybe I did.)

Remove the other two hinge pins and gently pull the door off the hinges.

Use a screwdriver or cordless drill with a screwdriver bit to remove the hinges from the door and door frame if you are painting the trim as well.

I ran into a few painted over screws that I couldn’t turn. Here is how to deal with those little buggers.

Lay your door on it’s side with the hinge facing up. Fit a screwdriver into the screw slots as best you can.

Then use a hammer to bang on the other end of the screwdriver.

This will either crack the paint or make enough of an indentation that you can turn the screw.

Be sure to keep all your hinges and screws in a separate bowl or bag.

Now you are ready to paint your door or paint your hardware (Like Beckie at Infarrantly Creative did HERE) or both! More tutorials to come.

Inserting Spring into My Wreath

TieWire

Have you been following me for a while? Do you remember this base wreath (below) that I bought from Target a while ago?

I challenged myself to use this wreath through every season for one year. Well, I’m now about 6 months in and I have given this wreath its fourth transformation. I injected some pretty yellow paper flowers into the wreath to greet the budding flowers and trees outside my window.

From Christmas – Valentine’s Day our wreath was red, white and green:

For Thanksgiving, I added some feathers to the wreath:

For fall, I simply inserted magnolia leaves into the wreath:

 

Here is My Tutorial for a Spring Paper Flower Wreath:

Materials:

  • Two coordinating scrapbook paper sheets
  • Buttons for flower centers
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Floral Wire

Begin by cutting out flower shapes.

Lay your flower on top of the coordinating paper and cut a flower shape larger than the first.

Lay both flowers on top of one another and cut slits in toward the center of your flowers. Be sure not to cut too close to the center.

Trim the edges of your petals if you need to round them more.

Fold the edges of your flowers up to give them dimension.

Cut a length of floral wires, long enough to wrap around your wreath.

Thread the wire through your button. If you have a four hole button, you may want to thread it like this:

Then poke the wires through the centers of the flowers (it is easiest if you have one on top of the other so you are going through two flowers at once.)

Set the flower on your wreath.

Wrap the wires around the back and twist to secure.

Repeat until you have as many flowers as you like. Then add a coordinating ribbon bow.

I am definitely ready for spring, how about you? I hear my good friend Sandra (aka Sawdust Girl) just had more snow near Chicago. Poor girl.

Lucky for us, there are random pops of color blooming down here in North Carolina! Here is a sneak peek at a budding magnolia tree. I’ll share some more Spring color with you later this week.

Speaking of Spring, it is time to change our clocks forward one hour this weekend (if you do that kind of thing.)

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