Quarantine 2020 Projects: Shelf Floor Lamp Upcycle

Quarantine has been interesting for my #WeekendDIYGirl projects. I can’t help seeing all these projects I want to tackle because I am around the house all day.

This project happened because I decided to rearrange my bedroom. (I had the furniture moving stuff out from my home office reno and thought why not? *smh*) When I did, I found that I had too much furniture in my bedroom, so I moved these to my bonus room, which could use some better lighting solutions. The oak wood and beige shades were not the right look for my bonus room’s vibe, so I repainted these and got new shades for them.

The shades I wanted were hard to find in the right size. A quick search from IKEA gave me the right shade, but as many know, only IKEA lamps fit IKEA shades. So I kept searching, but I came up empty. I used a hack from the Shine Your Light Blog, which meant I had to go source the items. So what could have been an easy weekend project turned into a month-long research and sourcing project during quarantine. But the results are amazing!

Before image (left (or top)) a slightly updated version of my lamp. Photo Credit: Target Corporation.

Supplies:

  • Paint Color: Pewter Gray Paint + Primer (Rustoleum) spray paint, 2 cans for each lamp
  • Sandpaper, painter’s tape, and tack cloth
  • Lampshades: RINGSTA from IKEA
  • Lampshade hack supplies (See Shine Your Light Blog post)
  • White zip ties ( to replace brown zip ties that keep the cord out of the way of the shelves.)

Home Office Reno, part 5 of … The Little Things

For the last few weeks, this #WeekendDIYGirl has been doing a few repainting and arts and crafts projects to finish up my home office. While some upsetting life stuff a few weeks ago threw a wrench into some of my plans and fizzled a little of my motivation, it also gave me more free time to finish my projects.

Repainting Everything

My color palate here for my accessories consists of white and charcoal gray. I repainted several items that I want to reintroduce into my office for functionality:

  • Pen and knick-knack container (gray)
  • Bookends ( gray and white)
  • File cabinet (white)
  • picture frames (gray)
File cabinet before ( left-hand side or 1st image) and after (right hand side or 2nd image)

Recycled or Recreated

A few other projects I worked on (and am still working on) were done to update the item itself or to replace something I had previously

Clock (Still in the works): I took the mechanics off my broken clock and made a new one from leftover pieces of my desk and some numbers from a craft store. We’ll see how that turns out.

Wall hanger: I upgraded the craftsmanship on this project (a DIY experiment a few years ago) and repainted it to better match the current décor.

What’s next?

I still have some cleaning and organizing to do before I’m finally satisfied. I’m already using the office, however, and I love it! This has been a long journey, but it turned out great! See the finished pics on the next blog post.

If you want to see how any of these projects were done, drop me a comment below!

Home Office Reno, part 3 of… Desk is finally done!

Finally! the desk I dismantled and sanded in April 2020 is finally done 3 months later! If you’ve seen my IG, you know I did have to break my quarantine to go to a home improvement store (for, among other things, a new toilet seat. Toilet seat replacement in an upcoming post). So, of course while I was there, I had to purchase everything I hadn’t in months! So let the painting begin!

Desk before Project (top), and desk after (bottom). Use slider to view each picture.

Painting a desk like this one is fairly straight forward once you have prepped your surface. This required:

  1. Cleaning it out
  2. Removing the top portion ( which required taking off the back part as well)
  3. drilling and nailing some parts together that had come apart over the years
  4. Removing the pulls (handles) and other hardware.
  5. Filling in any holes with Plastic Wood filler (This desk is laminate.)
  6. Dusting, sanding then wiping off sanding with a damp towel.

I put a piece of cardboard under the desk to protect the carpet and so I could paint all the way to the bottom. This desk doesn’t have legs per-se or even furniture risers, so for a clean finish I had to paint it all the way to the ground.

With furniture, always use at least a semi-gloss paint. It costs more, but it is more durable in the long run. There is also cabinet and furniture paint specifically for these jobs that can be tinted. Here I just used a regular water-based latex in semi gloss finish.

Installing the new pulls required me to drill more holes for screws since the pulls are a different size. Always measure if you don’t have a template, so you’ll know where to drill the holes. I did one wrong by just eyeballing and not measuring. Can you tell which one it was?

Lessons Learned

After ripping desk from cardboard, some of the paint went with it!
  • Sand lightly, even if it requires 2 or 3 passes. (This just needed a 220 grit paper to get the shine off.) Some of the areas on the desk were slightly gouged because I was aggressive with the sandpaper.
  • Be prepared for multiple coats. Here, even though my paint had primer in it, I probably should have also primed because we are going from a darker color to a lighter one. this means less actual paint coats. But I had just enough!
  • Cut away the paint before lifting it from the cardboard. Paint adheres. That is how it stays on stuff, unlike stain, which seeps into wood. So when I painted down to the end of the desk, some inevitably got on the cardboard. Which means, the cardboard is now stuck to the bottom of the desk at that point. Of course, I just ripped it up, which caused a messy bottom edge. Tip: Use a craft knife to cut a paint line and prevent the messy edge look.

Overall, I am excited to finish this paint project! It is a pivotal part of the home office renovation. Now on to next steps: hanging my new curtains, cleaning, arranging, and even some more painting. (My bookcase is getting another paint job!) And of course creating some creative accessories–like maybe a new clock?

Personalized accent pieces

I should probably make a blog series out of the pieces of furniture I have customized with a new paint job lately. Actually this piece needed a little more than painting.

This was a plain box-store coffee table that I’ve had for over a decade. It’s made of particle board/pressed wood with a wood- grain patterned laminate (Remember what we said about laminate?) It had some chips in the laminate, and the seams in the top may be separating a little (they felt rough), but the biggest issue here is that my furniture in the room where this sits is a different color now. Every accent piece is lighter brown–almost beige–except this one. What a perfect time to use the leftover paint from my wall patch project to upcycle this coffee table?

My steps:

1.) First I had to fix the chipped laminate on the legs. Because a) I knew that I was going to paint this and b) I was being lazy and thrifty, I used leftover joint compound from my wall patch project to do these fixes.

 

2.) Then, I sanded. Again, with laminate, you don’t have to sand if you have the right paint. Laminate is basically plastic, so sanding is not required. However, here because I had several marks or rough patches, I did sand. Also, taking the shine off this laminate is a good idea. New paint doesn’t like to adhere to high-gloss painted items. So I took the shine off with my 220-grit sandpaper. Always wipe off piece after sanding with a damp cloth to get all the dust and grit off.

3.) I did 2 coats of the beige paint (this is a paint WITH PRIMER)  and let them dry overnight.

This stencil caught my eye in the craft store, so I thought to try this with some acrylic paint. The acrylic color is a metallic silver.

4.) I taped down my stencil and used the dry-brush technique to sponge on the design. I waited for drying time and moved to opposite sides the table after each stencil job to give each stencil even more time to dry.

5.) To protect the furniture’s new finish, I coated everything with clear semi-gloss polyurethane.

So, for all the drying time needed, this took longer than a weekend, but it was so worth it. I love the new look! What do you think?

Footstool Upcycle

Finally! I’m back with a new DIY project! Thanks, readers, for hanging in there through the blog move and waiting for the next DIY.

I’ve been hinting at this on  my Instagram for a while, and I’ve also had it finished for a few weeks, but  I haven’t  been able to create my post until now. (Now that I’ve gotten some breathing room from my many jobs and other projects, I can get back to DIY-ing.)  This one was a fun one, and relatively simple (except for the legs). The key here is getting all your materials. Once you have those,  this should take an afternoon – a day at most.

Tools Needed:

Footstool (this one has a 14″ square base),  Upholstery Foam (thickness is up to you–this is 3″ thick, size is based on the footstool you have–here, footstool is 14″ square), Upholstery Fabric (this is 3/4 yard to cover size of stool, foam, and batting), Felt– in a complimentary color to your fabric, or black (at least the size of your base or more–for base bottom), loft batting (found in the same place in craft stores you would find foam. Choice is up to you. I chose medium generic batting for price, and because I could use extra for quilts) , heavy-duty stapler and pointed staples, spray paint, painter’s tape, regular claw hammer, craft knife, screwdriver (this may be optional. First determine how your footstool’s legs are attached),  letter opener or other straight edge and pliers ( these may be optional. First determine how your footstool’s fabric is attached)

Steps:

  1. First, I removed footstool legs and old upholstery.   Do this kind of slowly, documenting mentally or with pictures (like I did) how your footstool is put together. Because basically, you’re going to put it back the same way you bought it. Mine had foam with fabric covering it. The legs were screwed into the base, so I unscrewed them, keeping all hardware. The fabric was stapled on, so I used a letter opener, claw part of hammer and pliers to pull staples up and out. Use caution when doing this (Wear eye protection and, if needed, gloves).

Inside of footstool. Shows the base (wood) and foam covered by fabric.

Bottom of footstool. Shows felt covering the base (wood), where legs were screwed into base, fabric stapled on, and a piping border added (with staples).

2.   a) Once I stripped everything off, I went to put it back together. The legs were tarnished, so I polished them. I don’t really like the brassy look, so I covered the screw plates and spray painted them. This color is Champagne Nouveau Satin gloss (Paint + Primer by Krylon.

 

Foam covered in loft batting (top of foam)

b) I cut my foam to size and covered it with batting, even though the old foam did not have batting. Batting will make your fabric easier to work with–it keeps it from sliding, and it keeps it smoothed out as you are attaching it–and it has a softer feel than just foam and fabric.

 

 

 

3. Assembly– a) I laid out my fabric, wrong side up. Then I put my batting-covered foam, top side down, in the center. I put the base on top of that, bottom side up.

Fabric covering stool and stapled in place. Notice corner folding.

b) I pulled the a fabric tight (but don’t stretch  fabric to its limit. If you’re going to do tufting, leave a very small  amount of slack  to allow for tufts) around the foam and base and stapled it to the base in key spots opposite each other. Sometimes, I had to hammer staples in. When folding corners, I did a trifold (fold corner edge in, then fold sides on top of the corner edge). Staple corners  opposite each other. This is so you can adjust your fabric while assembling  to keep it from being skewed or stretched, and so prints can be where you want it to be the first time. Striped fabric and small prints will show more stretches and skews than a solid color or a big print like this. Prints can end up being in the wrong place if not periodically adjusted while stapling. Cut back fabric if needed to reveal screw or nail holes where legs were attached.

  • You can also purchase fabric piping and staple it around the edge. I did not do that here.

Felt stapled to bottom along sides. No staples in corners.

c) Cut felt  to size, then staple around to bottom of stool. Make sure to puncture with a knife or cut away felt where screw or nail holes are to reattach legs.

 

 

 

 

 

Footstool with legs attached.

d.) Reattach legs to corners. I had to cut into felt a little because I forgot to make holes in it to screw the legs on. And done!

 

 

 

 

Optional– You can also hot glue buttons on the top of your stool. If you want a tufted look done easily, stand stool upright and staple in the area you want a button from the top of the  footstool through cushion to the bottom. (Make sure your staples have enough height to do this. A 1/2″ staple is not going to go through batting and 3″ foam to adhere to the bottom.) You may need to do a few staples together in a triangle or square shape, depending on button size. This will make a little  dipped in place in the top of your stool. Hot glue your button to hide the staples. Voila!

Lessons Learned:

  1. Upholstery fabric is thick and hard to puncture. Make sure you’ve cut away  the upholstery fabric from the  places on the base where the legs should go, or you are going to have a hard time reattaching the footstool legs. The hardest step for me was putting the legs on, because I did not cut away the fabric. (So, I was screwing these in through fabric by hand, on an angle. Never again.)
  2. Same goes for the felt.
  3. Heaven forbid you staple in the same spot you need to attach the leg!
  4. No one is going to see the bottom of this. Unless you’re doing a blog like me. So who cares if it’s a little messy on the bottom?
  5. The felt is a must. You do not want to get a splinter in your foot or hand when you’re grabbing this to move it  or turning it over with your foot.
  6. Spray paint is awesome. Spray painting is a quick way to update any metallic object (make sure it’s clean, dry and free of tarnish. I love the way this turned out!