A Quick and Lasting Faux Bois

Avid thrift shoppers, garage sale hunters and curbside collectors alike have yet to put a crimp in the availability of solid wood finds worthy of up-cycling. I like that word, up-cycling–it has a certain poetic ring to it that blurs the fact that really what we’re all doing is passing our discards around. Doors are probably my greatest obsession, and a solid cherry or, better yet, walnut door is a hard thing to find by the curb. So when they do turn up, I strap them onto the roof of my old Volvo and add them to my pile of “someday someone will need this beauty.” Someday may come sooner than I thought for my tall pile of rescued wood furniture, thanks to the greatest invention an up-cycler could ever hope for–a reliable waterborne wood stain called Arborcoat. Continue reading

Colors Every Man Will Love

Now that you have all had a chance to process the construction details of my tiny storage cabinet, I’d like to share the inspiration for this unusual color solution. I’m not opposed to a solid color accent wall in general, but with a little ingenuity it’s possible to take the ubiquitous solid color accent wall to new heights. Surrounding yourself with color references that recall a time in your life you fondly remember has the same effect on your well being as tuning into a radio station that just happens to be playing your favorite song. It’s subtle, it makes us smile, and it makes us feel happy and safe, all at the same time. Reaching back in my memory for a collection of colors I feel best about got me half way there. I’m giving myself some extra credit on the pattern. Continue reading

Accentuating Tiny Storage Spaces

In order to realize the endless stream of hyper functional storage solutions I dream up, I’ve come to rely on the expertise of more than a few fine carpenters. It’s a help to my renovating exploits that I can paint and it’s a plus that I have an expertise when it comes to picking colors. At the other end of my personal design skill continuum, is my poor drafting skill and non-existent ability to accurately read a tape measure without replacing sixteenths and eights with the word “tinys.” My shortcomings are never reflected in the work, thanks to my gifted carpenters, who can both speak and fabricate in sixteenths of an inch. It’s a gift to be sure to turn a lowly door into 28 square feet of storage. Continue reading

Glazing New Wood Cabinets: Finding the Right Formula

Those of us who know our way around the paint store really well will invariably make a pit stop in the glazing liquid aisle. I know I’m not alone in this as I’ve consulted a legion of glazing liquid aficionados on the subject. We all agree–one can never have enough, so we buy it often whether we need it or not. As I edge closer to the thirty years of professional painting mile marker, I’ve started to wonder how many gallons of glazing liquid I’ve gone through. Accused of being obsessed with this factoid, I’ve settled on a best guess and believe I’ve made my way through around 1,080 gallons of glaze. What I can’t figure out is how many times this single product has bailed me out of a color or paint durability jam. Continue reading