Reclaimed Lumber Farmhouse Table | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ve always wanted a rustic wood farmhouse table. I wanted a table that looked worn, well-loved and appeared to be over 100 years old. It’s very hard to achieve that look with new lumber. To get that rustic look, you either need old reclaimed lumber or the skills to stain and distress new wood. I chose the first option and bought reclaimed rafters from The ReUse Warehouse in Durham, NC.

Reclaimed Lumber Farmhouse Table | Pretty Handy Girl

They were very rustic to say the least. I was prepared to plane and glue them together myself, but I don’t own a planer (insert sad trombone sound.) Instead, I brought the rafters to Mark Kegler of Kegler’s Woodwerks. Mark has ALL the woodworking equipment and he convinced me to let him glue the tabletop together since I realized I also don’t have 5 bar clamps (Christmas wish list updated now.)

For fun I thought I’d show you the behind the scene pictures of the table top as it was being planed and ripped. That way you can view the process should you decide to piece together your own reclaimed lumber table top.

Behind the Scenes at the Shop:

First they ran a metal detector over the beams and then removed nails with an extractor.

tool-in-wood-shop

Next, the rafters were fed through a planer to give them all a uniform thickness.

Reclaimed Lumber Farmhouse Table | Pretty Handy Girl

It was like Christmas morning watching the wood as it came out and I could see the of the beautiful grain revealed.

reclaimed-lumber-before-after

Mark and Randy used a straight line rip saw to cut the edges straight with the exception of two rafter edges that would be used for a live edge on the table. I was able to salvage the edges that they ripped off for later use.

Reclaimed Lumber Farmhouse Table | Pretty Handy Girl

The boards were glued with wood glue and clamped together. Then they were left to cure overnight. In the morning, the short ends of the table were cut square.

Back at home I built the table base (the apron and legs).

Finishing the Reclaimed Wood Table Top:

Remember the salvage I kept from Mark’s shop? I used it to cap the table as edge band to hide the end grain. Hold the edge band up against the end, mark and cut the excess off.

Reclaimed Lumber Farmhouse Table | Pretty Handy Girl

Add wood glue to the inside of the edge band. Read more

How to Paint a Deck Mandala Tattoo | Pretty Handy Girl

As promised, I’m back today to show you how to paint a giant mandala tattoo on your deck. Painting a design on your deck can turn an ordinary deck into a beautiful retreat. Add a few colorful accessories and you’ll have a backyard Bali getaway! Creating the mandala is a lot easier than it looks. Ready to get started?

Materials:

Instructions:

Pre-stained your deck with one coat of Thompson’s Waterseal Semi-transparent stain. (I used Acorn Brown.) Allow the stain to dry.

How to Paint a Deck Mandala Tattoo | Pretty Handy Girl

Choose the location for the center of your design. Trace around a small circular object or use the tack and string to trace a small circle.

How to Paint a Deck Mandala Tattoo | Pretty Handy Girl

Place the thumbtack in the center of the small circle and draw circles radiating out from the center. Try to add more distance from the previous circle as you go outward. (i.e. 3″ from the center, 6″ from the inner circle, 10″ from the 2nd circle.)

How to Paint a Deck Mandala Tattoo | Pretty Handy Girl

Divide your inner circle into eight sections and make a chalk tick marks. Read more

Bali Dream Deck for Thompsons Water Seal | Pretty Handy Girl

Last month while most of the US was under heavy blankets of snow and ice, I flew to Dallas. I was hoping to find warm temperatures and lots of sun. And if I couldn’t find any, I’d create my own with my sister, Caitlin’s help. Thompson’s WaterSeal asked me to design a dream deck and told me to bring an assistant. Normally I work alone, but when I need help with design and décor I know I can always count on Caitlin. Some of you may remember when Caitlin and I worked together on renovating this beach condo. Caitlin is the talented designer behind Symmetry Designs.

Bali Dream Deck for Thompsons Water Seal | Pretty Handy Girl

When we arrived, the weather was mild, but we were still craving some warm sunshine. We decided to create a Bali getaway destination on our Thompson’s WaterSeal Deck. We started with a clean slate deck pre-stained with Thompson’s WaterSeal Semi-Transparent Water Proofing Stain in a beautiful Acorn Brown color.

Bali Dream Deck for Thompsons Water Seal | Pretty Handy Girl

Joining us were Beckie from Infarrantly Creative with her assistant Erin and Ashley & Jamin from The Handmade Home. They also had a blank slate deck to design.

Bali Dream Deck for Thompsons Water Seal | Pretty Handy Girl

The first thing Caitlin and I did was paint a giant white mandala “tattoo” on our deckRead more

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

We are days away from Christmas and I’m sure there is someone on your list that you just can’t figure out what to get for them. I have the perfect solution! Make them a wood block floating picture frame using scrap 2×4″ lumber and plexiglass.

If you don’t have scrap 2×4’s lying around, you can purchase a 2x4x8 foot stud for less than $4! You could make 16 photo frames out of that one board! (Granted, you’ll need to buy the plexiglass for each.)

Materials:

  • 2 – 2 x 4s (cut to 6″ lengths)
  • 4 – 6″ x 9″ pieces of plexiglass (3/32″ thickness)
  • Ipswich Pine Stain
  • gel stain or Minwax Express color
  • small detail paint brush
  • pencil or pen
  • photos
  • tape
  • rag
  • optional: scrapbook paper, double stick tape

Tools:

Instructions:

Set your table saw to a 10 degree bevel.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the saw blade to a depth halfway through your block (about 7/8″ deep.) Set the fence to 2″ from the blade.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

Use your GRR-RIPPER to safely guide the 2×4 over the saw blade. Check to see if two pieces of plexiglass will fit in the groove created by the saw blade.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

If not, nudge the fence over slightly and make a second pass over the blade. Check to see if the plexiglass will fit now. If not, repeat the process until they fit snugly. Read more

Build Your Own Giant Chalkboard | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you scoured antique stores or Craig’s List looking for a big giant vintage chalkboard? Those vintage school green chalkboards are highly sought after. But, hard to find. I have good news for you! You can build a Giant Chalkboard any size you want! (Although, typically you’ll be restricted to 4′ x 8′ if you want to use a sheet of masonite.) And you can mix your own chalkboard paint in any color.

Take out your notebooks, your pencils, and get ready to take notes.

Materials:

  • Masonite sheet cut to desired size (mine is 22″ x 48″)
  • 1×4″ pine boards for frame
  • 1 cup flat latex paint in color you desire
  • 2 tbsp. of unsanded grout
  • Pencil
  • Stain
  • White paint
  • Paint brush
  • Sanding block
  • Container to mix paint in
  • Kreg Jig
  • Drill
  • 1 1/4 inch pocket screws
  • Staplegun
  • 1/2″ staples

Instructions:

Build Your Own Giant Chalkboard | Pretty Handy Girl

Pour 2 tbsp. of unsanded grout into your empty container. Add 1 cup of flat latex paint and stir well. (Yes, I used satin and it still worked.)

Build Your Own Giant Chalkboard | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the masonite with the chalkboard paint. Pull your brush in one direction. Then smooth out the paint by dragging the brush in a perpendicular direction.

Build Your Own Giant Chalkboard | Pretty Handy Girl

Let the paint dry. Lightly sand and add a second coat of chalkboard paint.

Build Your Own Giant Chalkboard | Pretty Handy Girl

Let that coat dry and sand smooth.

Assembling the chalkboard frame: Read more

Gray Restoration Hardware Stain Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ve fallen in love with the Restoration Hardware Salvage Gray wood stain. But, try as I might, I haven’t found a pre-mixed stain that produces the same look. That never deterred me, and I don’t like to give up. Therefore, I created my own recipe for approximating that Restoration Hardware Weathered Gray stain. You may have seen this beautiful gray stain on my Sports Gear Storage Shelves the other day. Because I love you and I love to share, here is the DIY Restoration Hardware Weathered Gray Stain Recipe.

Materials:

Glaze: 

DIY Restoration Hardware Weathered Gray Stain Recipe Instructions:

Premix your glaze in a jar or bottle. 1 Part Valspar Arid Plains with 3 parts Valspar clear glaze.

Sand your wood smooth. Put on a rubber glove and slip an old sock over the glove. Dip you hand into the stain and wipe the stain onto your wood. Always wipe on stain with the grain.

Gray Restoration Hardware Stain Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

After the first coat has dried, repeat by adding a second coat of Minwax Provincial stain. Let the stain dry.

Gray Restoration Hardware Stain Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

Lightly sand the wood before applying the glaze. Read more

How to Build Custom Rustic Box Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Making custom rustic wooden box crates is super easy. You can build your crates to fit in a book case or use them as drawers in a cabinet. When I was giving my IKEA cabinet a makeover, I chose to remove a door and build custom box drawers instead.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s the super easy tutorial so you can build your own:

Materials:
(some links are affiliate links)

Tools:

Instructions:

Begin by cutting the 1/2″ plywood into four pieces the size you want for your crate sides.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Test fit the sides together. Add a line of glue to the ends of the plywood. Read more

Rustic IKEA Hack Cabinet Transformation | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic is not usually a word used to describe IKEA. IKEA is better know for their modern furniture, simple lines, meatballs and funny Swedish words. Today I’m going to change how you perceive IKEA furniture forever! Are you ready for this? Well, hang onto your hästes (Swedish for horses) because you’re going to see a transformation nothing short of amazing! You too can customize your plain jane furniture by adding legs and cladding the exterior with reclaimed picket fence wood.

This tale starts with a hunter green stained IKEA storage chest that I bought for our first apartment and stained myself (can you tell what decade it was? Hint: hunter green, honey pine, throw some burgundy in there and I’m sure you’ll be guessing no more.) It moved from room to room each time we settled into a new home. But, it never really fit in.

ikea chest in guest room

The cabinet was short and not very deep. Plus, it bore the mark of the popular 90’s hunter green. It was ugly. Why didn’t I get rid of it years ago? Maybe I was attached to it because it was the first piece of furniture I ever stained myself. And it brought back fond memories of calling the fire department because I smelled gas. Turns out you aren’t supposed to use an oil-based stain indoors, especially if you have a gas stove. Lesson learned.

Rustic IKEA Hack Cabinet Transformation | Pretty Handy Girl

Fast forward two decades and it’s still hanging around. The other day as I was lamented the fact that our foyer is too small to fit a cute dresser, I found myself looking at this sad little IKEA chest. I picked it up and put it in our foyer. The fit was perfect in the small space behind the front door! But, it was short and let’s not mention the hunter green again. Plus, it just wasn’t cute. And it doesn’t reflect my warm and weathered style. But, you know me, I wasn’t deterred.

I did some mental gymnastics and began to hatch a plan to create a marriage that would last longer than two decades.

Old picket fence pieces

It began with some pieces of old picket fence that I found by a dumpster. They were perfectly chippy and rustic! Luckily the 3M Lead Check results were perfectly negative. I carefully took the fence apart and removed all the nails.

Lead check picket fence paint

Ready to see how I convinced the two polar opposites that they belonged together — rustic and modern — to create a match made in heaven? Let’s explore this couples’ counseling further:

Read more

blue-loft-bed

Guys and Gals, I am here today to tell you that you can build a loft bed for your child! However, unlike most of the tutorials you find on my site, building this loft bed is not one of them. Instead, loads of gratitude goes to Ana White and her fabulous plans for building a loft bed. You can follow her plans for the build. I assure you, they are detailed and easy to follow.

DIY Loft Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

The only modification I made to the plans was to move the ladder to the foot of the bed instead of the side. What I will show you is how to color stain the bed blue in two simple steps. I’m absolutely in love with the Minwax Express Color wiping stains. They go on super easily, and clean up is a snap with soap and water. Then you seal it as easily as you stained it. Coolest product EVER!

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Materials:

Read more