Thursday, April 7, 2016

Redneck ReModel

Full Disclosure:  My home d├ęcor is best described as Antlers & Trophies… and anything related to antlers and trophies. No, not “rustic” or a cozy “cabin feel,” just straight up deer heads, mounted antlers and motocross trophies.
My Story: I moved into the 1990-something modular that my husband owned before we met.  Since then, we have slowly, and I do mean slowly, tried to class it up a bit with our own personal touches. We don’t like to spend money on renovations and certainly are not gifted with an eye for interior design. So, when I started to fall for all of the gorgeous Pinterest inspired pallet decorations (something like this and this), I asked my husband to help me make it happen. And so, armed with a deep seeded hate for our ugly, flimsy, prefabbed walls and with my Pinterest boards full of inspiration, a DIY project was born.

(It should be noted that we first began this project a year ago and picture dates vary. Also note that my husband is far from photogenic, therefore, you will not see any ‘action shots’ … feel free to reference the following video links if the use of any of these tools is new to you.) Try here or here.
Drill – We trust a red and black one (The brand? I have no idea.)
Jig Saw
Pen – Or maybe one of those chalks made for this sort of thing.
Measuring Tape – Note: It’s important to measure the area before shopping for supplies.
Screws – Long ones.
Nails – The dainty trim-hanging kind.

Trim Pieces
Stain – I chose Minwax Brand (Colors: Early American, Dark Walnut, Red Mahogany, and Gunstock)
Clean, Empty Tuna Fish Cans
Paper Towel
A Drying Rack – For us, the dog crate worked great

 Gettin’er Done:

1)      Stain the Wood.

A few things here - we used pretty much the cheapest lumber on the lot, affectionately referred to as ‘Standard Board,’ at Menards  but there are several fancier species of wood and even a tongue and groove siding you can use if you’re willing to pay for it.

The stain colors we chose are listed above, but for a spicier, more customized look we went ahead and mixed some of our own colors by combining the store bought versions in the empty (clean) tuna fish cans. I prefer to stain with paper towel rather than a brush. Paper towel is less messy, and for that reason, easier to control the shade during application.

Don’t forget your trim pieces; we used 90 degree angle trim to cover the edges of two perpendicular walls but there are several variations of trim depending on what it is you are trying to hide, stain those too.  Now wait; it’ll dry and you can add another coat for pieces you want darker - and then wait some more for that to dry.

2)      Cut and Hang Wood/Trim.

It’s pretty much that simple. Measure the width of the wall; using the jig saw, cut the excess of board off. We like to then lay ours out in the order they are to be hung to be sure two boards close in color aren’t on top of each other and to try to establish a sort of pattern in dark and light pieces.  Once you have the order, use the pen to mark notches for light switches and/or wall sockets on the appropriate boards.
 Notch them out with the jigsaw. Use a drill to screw each board into the existing walls. Be sure to hit studs (for help finding studs without a stud-finder, click here), you want a sturdy and permanent mount.

Measure and cut trim pieces; using nails affix the trim over seams at connecting walls, floor, and/or ceiling.
Boom. Done.

And now, for a moment of reflection.
What I Learned:
Menards is the best home improvement store ever. Maybe even the best store ever. Period. It’s huge and it’s awesome.
Huge carts are best driven by a person of patience and empathy. This tidbit is more for the safety of end caps and other shoppers. After watching our cart bash into a display of gloves, topple over a few boxes of dog treats and block the isle,  resulting in a steady in-flow of frowns and scowls,  I enjoyed a good laugh (several if we’re being totally honest), and then declared my husband unfit for operation. My turn next time…

Pre-drill holes to prevent wood from cracking. This is probably obvious to most, but it was news to me.

What We Effed Up:
Light Switch – An instance of measuring gone bad. Measure carefully and stay on your line during the cut.

Gap – This may have had something to do with my over zealous approach at moving the board into place with a rubber mallet. Notice that the rubber mallet did not make the “tools” or “supplies” list. I quickly lost the trust of the drill operator, and my rubber mallet privileges after a feared cracking and the discovery that the board was not properly lined up. Oops.
Trim Misfit – I blame laziness. I’m sure someone with more zest for detail would have painstakingly measured and properly shaped the top piece of trim to fit snug against the upper molding. We didn’t.

And there you have it folks; enjoy it, copy it, hate it, take notes, laugh at it, clap for us, whatever fits. Just know that, as I gaze at my wall now, I am both excited and delighted with our results. Our creativity and ‘hard’ (honestly, it wasn’t that hard at all) work really paid off.

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