The Amazing Entertainment Center… So far.

I left you guys hanging… In fact. I left you hanging on a lot of things for over a good month now. Sorry. You would think I have a herd of children, a house that’s too big to keep up with all the cleaning, and a job that is in my home and destroys said home on a daily basis.

Oh wait. You’d be right. On top of all that, the cord that connects my computer to my external hard drive is loose, or something, because it connects for a few seconds than disconnects, and it goes back and forth. So I had to go to Best Buy and get a new cord and now I have access to all my pictures again! For more than 10 seconds at a time :)

And lastly, to be honest. I have just been in a funk. I was so motivated to get shit done back in January and February; then my husband left for England; I did a lot of work around here… he came home, wasn’t too thrilled or impressed… and it killed my motivation. Ugh. And I’m at a standstill with most my projects because I need his help now, but it takes a long while to get him on that.

But when it comes to these scenarios, I think my Aunt Pam nailed it on the head. For her birthdays and Valentine’s Day, all she asks of my handsome Uncle Scott is to finish a honey-do list. Dude! Is that not the most brilliant idea you have ever heard????? Personally, I think she is one smart lady… A lot of people often think “What would Jesus do?”. My motto? What would Aunt Pam do? Much better question. And I usually like the answers that follows it.

Anyway!

I left you with this post. I showed you the samples of what I came up with:

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Ahhhhhh… that’s a beaut right there.

While the hubs was away, I did manage to finish part of the entertainment center, and my awesome cousin painted one of my walls in Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray {but in Behr’s paint- it’s amazing paint!}. I helped a tad bit.

And the wall color is perfect.

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She helps me paint all my walls, and always writes a note starting out… isn’t she precious! I especially love the giant MAR {& tiny}issa. MARissa. Ha! Thanks Bethy & love you!

It makes everything on that wall pop! The windows and door suddenly look more white {and they are far from white… they weren’t even white when we moved in!}

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I’m also excited to put up some glam decor in the area between the entertainment center and window… It’s really going to look amazing. I have a few ideas I’m toying with. But that won’t be done for a long while. Don’t look for that post any time soon.

Now moving onto my entertainment center. Isn’t she gorgeous?

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I couldn’t have been more proud and impressed with myself than I was after those boards went up! I am in love!

Wondering how I did this? Wanting to do this with an area in your own house? Well here… let me fill you in on the know-how!

I purchased:

(9) 1x6x8′ Pine boards from Home Depot.
(1) Sample paint of Herbal Tea {green}
(1) Sample paint of Beach Towel {blue}

What I also needed, but already had in my garage was:

Minwax Dark Walnut Stain
Target Diaper Cloths, White
Orbit Sander
Chip Brushes
Chop Saw
Nails
Some manly muscles!

So I started by chopping the boards to length with the chop saw. I needed 7 boards at 7′ long. The last board, I needed 8- 2 ft boards, totaling the 2 remaining boards. The reason for the 2 ft boards is because there is a giant hole in the middle of the entertainment center for the wall mount to hold the TV {because as you can see in the picture below, the mount is connected to the wall… not the entertainment center}. On either side of said hole, is 2 feet to the edge. Make sense? Good.

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Once that was done, I started painting with the chip brushes, beginning with the lightest color paint first. The green.

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I literally slopped it on. But in a very thin coat. A dry brush basically. I dabbed the ends of the brush in, got most of the paint off the brush, and then brushed it on the boards. Repeated until it was covered. With this process, you are still able to see the knots and grain of the wood thru the paint.

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Once the green is on, you repeat that entire process with the blue.

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Isn’t a beautiful turquoise color? Perfect. That’s what I was going for.

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Sorry, this picture is kinda blurry, did not realize that until just now…}

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Then, I sanded most of it off. Yup. You read that correctly. I used my orbit sander and sanded it back down to the wood grain.

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It was glorious.

There were some boards I was absolutely in love with. Some I was nervous about. And some I thought were going to turn out disastrous. You never know. You can’t keep them all the same obviously.

But then it was time to stain. And turns out, staining is my new favorite thing! I’ve always heard how awful and dreadful it was… but I personally found it fulfilling… maybe because it was bringing my vision to life? Who knows… maybe because I’m just weird. My only suggestion… get gloves. Or your hands look like you just walked out of a coal mine, for a long time.

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I did one board at a time. Literally slapped stain on the entire board, then took a white, diaper cloth and wiped it all back off. Now, I did quite a few practice rounds and tried a couple techniques. I experimented with leaving the stain on for 5 minutes or longer and then did the opposite and wiped it off immediately. And I found that it doesn’t really make a difference with this stain color choice. But I did note with each sample I created {when wiping off immediately}, the stain turned out a different color for each sample, even though I was leaving it on the same amount of time. But I loved that! I loved the un-perfection in this perfect piece of furniture.

Then, it was time to hang my boards. The moment of truth. My daddy-o and cousin Travis were huge helpers. The day Jason was to come home felt like the final day of a House Crasher episode.. ya know the Crasher series on the DIY network? Where it comes down to the wire in the last few hours and everyone is scrambling to get things done before the home owners come home??? Ya. That was us.

But they were my Rustic-Board-Hangers. Ya… that’s a thing.

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But just a friendly reminder… this was the black wall before the new planks… the wall that showed every imperfection in the construction… and my husband even did a great job building this thing!

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One board at a time… I chose which board was next. They would pick it up and nail it in… And the process would continue. As I watched it come together, my heart leaped! I couldn’t have been happier!

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The above image makes the room look so tiny… but I promise it’s not as tiny as it seems here!

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It ties so much together! The new wall color, the other gray wall. The coral wall. The newly painted mirror, my picture frames… Everything! It was perfect. Even my babes were perfect… they didn’t even notice anything was going on around them. Just played with each other. Good girls.

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Every time I would walk into the living room, I would stop and just observe. What a difference an entertainment center can make! As I mentioned in my other post, I loved the construction, my husband did an amazing job, and the storage! It’s what I wanted… but my design element was awful. {Hey, gimme a break, I’m learning as I go here.} And now that I know what style I’m wanting for this house, it comes together much easier.

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Next step is the 3 long and skinny compartments just under the plank wall. Where the receiver, Blu-ray player, internet modem, etc is all located. Time to get those bad boys hidden because my twinnies are pulling themselves up and this current set up is just not going to work!

Stay tuned, because it’s almost done! :)  In the mean time, here’s a sneak peak!!

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Until then, Loves and Toodle-o’s!!!

Pallet Coat Rack Part 1

I haven’t done very good sticking to my posting schedule of every Monday and Thursday huh? I’m getting at it. I have numerous posts started, just need to finish my projects so I can finish the posts! They’re coming… I promise.

So, if you have ever been to my house, you know there is no where to put your coat. And for the longest time, I never really thought twice about it… But within the last year or so, I’ve realized “Damn, it would be really nice to have a place for purses and coats for guests.

When you walk in, the first thing you see is the coat closet, and that is always a disaster. I can’t expect guests to actually hang up their coats in there. And anyway, I want to re-model that entire closet. I don’t like how it’s such an eye-sore right when you walk in. Eck.

But when you walk in, there is a pretty big wall to your immediate left behind the front door. That is perfect for something. It took a looong while for me to come up with exactly what I want. I knew I needed something thin, anything that stuck out too far would get hit and chipped by the big door. And I wanted something that held more than 3 or 4 coats and purses. More like at least 12 hooks. So when I saw this on Pinterest, I fell in love with it and knew this was going to be my inspiration.

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I have been holding onto a pallet I picked up on the side of the road for a long while now… going on almost two years. And I just didn’t want to tear into it until I knew for sure what the perfect project for it was. This thing was an incredibly nice pallet! One of the better ones I’d seen… and it was free, so I wanted to make sure I used it well and not have any regrets shortly after tearing it apart.

And I found it.

A coat rack. A free pallet and a need for something to hold coats is going to come together super nice on my wall.

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I started by loading up my pallet into the Yukon to drive to my bestie Kelley’s house. She has a heated workshop with running water and electricity… Score!

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We may have had our safety goggles on… but I’m pretty sure some of the moves we did that day were not safe in the least bit… But we walked away with all limbs, toes, and fingers in tact. That’s a score in my book.

Once we figured out the first few steps of how we were going to assemble it, we dove right in.

The problem was, I needed both sides of the pallet. So we had to somehow split this beast in half width wise. Think oreo cookie and you have to cut the frosting in the middle in half without breaking the chocolate cookie on the outside…

The other problem was we had limited saws. We had a reciprocator saw, a circular saw, & a jigsaw. And we had limited space to work in because there is only a 6″ opening in-between the two out side panels.

Since there were 6 ‘planks’ on both sides of this thing, we decided to cut it down to 2 slabs, 3 planks each. It’d be easier to gain access to the middle we were trying to cut at.

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We did have to take a quick break because some of the rubber material on the outside of the reciprocating saw was falling off… we had to reinforce with some duct tape. Seriously? What does duct tape not fix?!?

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Once that all was taken care of, we got back to it until there were two pieces.

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We then used the circular saw to saw in half the two outer boards we had access to. Those were the easy ones. It was the two inside 2×4’s we still weren’t sure how we were going to cut.

Once the outers were cut. We talked and pondered and brainstormed how the hell we were going to get to the center two boards, cut them in half without taking the planks off on the outside.

We finally just went with the reciprocator saw. It was just going to be a sloooow process. We think we had the wrong type of blade for it, and the wood was thick anyway. And there was just not a good angle to go about cutting it.

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This part took… awhile.

And awhile.

And awhile.

BUT! The end finally came! And we got all the halves we needed!

Next was time to use the circular saw to make everything somewhat even. We needed the now, 1×4 all to be approximately the same size, so next up with the circular saw.

Now tipsy friends… I’m no stranger to power tools. But this beast of a saw for some reason scares the shit out of me. It is intimidating. And when you are literally throwing your entire body into this saw to get it through the knots and nails {probably wasn’t supposed to cut thru metal… but we got ‘er done anyway} it tends to make the heart skip a little faster.

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Finally… after countless hours of pushing, cursing, sore arms and power tools, we finally had everything cut down to size how we needed it.

So we laid it all out how I want to nail it to the wall so we could figure out the remainder of this project.

Which will be a whole new post. :)

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Thankfully the hard part is done. The rest is going to be so much simpler. Can you envision it yet?

I can… and I can’t wait to show you the rest!

After all those hours spent on power tools and a stubborn pallet, we decided it was time to treat us to Mexican! Indianola has an awesome Mexican restaurant called La Casa and I try to make it there any chance I get when I’m in I-town.

As Kelley and I are munching away on some chips, cheese, and our margs, the waiter brings us four shots of tequila!!! You read that right… I never, ever do shots. I don’t like them and I can’t ‘shoot’ straight liquor.

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But. Since we had a super successful day, it was tequila vs any other kind of liquor, and it was free. I made a go of it. But not without the proper steps to prepare for this shot. Salt on the left hand, which was holding the lime to finish off the shot with, and the actual shot in my right.  {I may have even dumped some of the shot in my marg so it wasn’t a full shot}

No more shots for this mama for a good long while…

Toodle-o’s Tipsy Friends