Tag Archives: diy

DIY laundry table – a learning experience for a newbie!

My recent DIY project got me motivated to try more daring things. I should have known but I went ahead anyway.

My new front loader washing machine was delivered and, as I expected, there wasn’t room to sit the machines side by side, like I had with the last washer. Yet the dryer sitting on top of the washer looked completely out of proportion.

I also had a bigger problem. Henry the cat always eats his dinner on top of the dryer. If I put his food somewhere else he just sits on top of the dryer looking at me askance.

Something had to be done.

After triple checking the measurements (the first two checks resulted in different outcomes) I headed to the local hardware store. I love this store and I prefer to shop locally, but I don’t think many females walk into the timber section. The first guy I spoke to had the typical Australian male response – he looked around to see if there was somewhere else he could be. When I asked if they would cut the wood to size he said the cutter didn’t cut very straight. Whether he meant the machine or the person using it, I’m not sure. He then put me onto another person who had better communication (and sales) skills.

I reckon the new guy worked me out pretty quick as a DIY enthusiast – lots of enthusiasm, not much knowledge or skill.  Anyway, he was great. He cut the table legs to size (yes, they are straight) and gave me a piece of MDF for free (it was used as packing material – a bit like reusing pallets, I guess). The table items including brackets came to less than $30. My hardware store bill though was over $100. How does this happen? You add in a can of paint, this and that, and next minute you are wishing you have shares in the hardware store business.

I painted the items first. As I said, lots of enthusiasm. MDF takes a lot of paint. I used a primer, followed by two coats.

Yes this is on a lean. Or at least the concrete is on a lean. The sawhorses were freebies - picked up when the hard rubbish collection was recently held here.

I predrilled screw holes and drilled the brackets attaching the legs and table top.

Table was wonky.

Lady at work gave me a few ideas how to fix it. Thank you Eva.

Back to the hardware store Saturday after hair appointment. Still lots of enthusiasm.

I also had a brainwave. How about adding a silver trim to the table top edge to match the silver trim of the whitegoods and stainless steel of the laundry wash basin? Ooh. Style!

A final coat of white semi-gloss (it looks spiffy white and clean) was followed by masking the table top ledge and painting the edge using a sponge roller. So easy. I just wish I added a few more coats of the silver to deepen the shade but I still have that opportunity if I so wish.

How it turned out …

Okay. Not the best, but it does its job. And I couldn’t have bought something to suit for any $.

Yes, it holds the dryer, a full dryer load in action, and the cat’s dish (slightly smaller than the pictured laundry basket) and the 6.6kg cat.

I learnt heaps and know what I would do different next time so a worthwhile experience.
Close up of the exceedingly complicated washer electronics. Still haven’t worked out what some of the symbols mean. Yes I have read the booklet.

I’ll try to add a photo of the table in use as was intended – a shelf for the cat’s meals. Henry the cat eats for the Antarctic so shouldn’t be too difficult to catch that on digital film.

The latest project – upcycling a cabinet door into a frame – part two

Hi. Back with an update on the project. Remember I was repurposing an old cabinet door into a frame.

It started with this ...

Last weekend I sanded down the door and tried a spray on primer.

The “primed” item looked dreadful. I can’t show you a photo. Too embarrassed. I made such a shocking mess I spent time searching the internet and asking advice.

What not to do with spray painting (all kinds for that matter):

  • Don’t go heavy, keep it to a light coat
  • Don’t spray paint on a windy day
  • Don’t mow the lawn and leave grass clippings to be blown about and get stuck to newly painted item!

Taking on board some good advice, I decided that I would get an electric sander and see if that would help. The type I got has an extra drop down “mini” sander attachment for small detail work.  The thing I find strange is the sander looks sort of like an iron. I know how to use one of those.

I then found at the hardware store a couple of marked down sample pots of mis-mixed paints in colours I like. And my sister-in-law mentioned using a foam roller (the craft size that comes with its own tray). Brilliant suggestion Rach.

So this weekend the project continued with a sanding down and a clean up with a damp rag to pick up the dust the sander hadn’t collected in its little dust collector container.

The paint rolled on beautifully with the mini foam roller. So easy. I gotta say this is the way to go. No mess like with the spray paint. And the fumes weren’t potentially lethal. I know I will use the spray paint again, particularly with finicky items, but this will be my preferred style from now on.

The first coat using a foam paint roller

I  liked the accidental effect of the white trim and decided to leave as is.

Up early Sunday morning for the second coat – so quick and easy – then spent the day with friends visiting the art: market and lunching in a wonderfully upcycled historical building on the wharf. Home again to finish the project.

I chose a vintage fruit crate label as the item to be “framed” by the “cabinet door”, via decoupage.

It dries clear

Ignore the air bubbles (I’m trying to).

The finished project. Not too bad for first effort. I like it.

The latest project – upcycling a cabinet door into a frame – part one

My latest project suits my vintage decorating style which a friend once described as a cross between shabby chic and french provincial. I like to call it Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

Yesterday – vintage

Today – technology

Tomorrow – trend setting.

Okay, maybe not so much the latter but I’ve been practising the current diy trend of reusing and upcyling for years, from the coffee table made out of a door back in the 80s to my most recent fun finds of turning a vintage radiogram cabinet into a bar. That is, if I get round to that project. My lack of woodwork experience has lead to me trying this simple project first before I work my way up to restoration and french polishing.

So here it is my first project item – amongst more of my vintage finds –

Small cabinet door

So many items I have at my house have not been purchased new. Many people move to Tassie, buy a house load of brand new furniture and then move interstate in six months, not wanting to pay the quite substantial removalist cost.

Given this is a test project, I haven’t yet worked out what I will frame within the cabinet door frame. I thought the butterfly print (actually a card) would suit, but the dimensions are not right for it. Though this may look different after I paint the door.

Trying to choose what to frame ...

Some prep work.

Now, the painting. There will be a part two to this project write up. It may be a how-not-to diy project post. We’ll see.