Archive For The “Tutorials – DIY” Category

Preparing the surface for painting – tutorial

Preparing the surface for painting – tutorial

Preparing for painting is a pain in the rear, I know. But it’s essential!

Lately you can read a lot about paints that don’t need sanding or priming. It may be true but only if your piece is in a very good condition – it don’t have any cracks, stains, it’s not smelly or glossy –  as you probably know, it’s not the case in most of used furniture.

I’m not really fond of this part of the makeover. It takes a lot of time, lot more than painting itself, but if you want to have a nice, even and long lasting finish, you just have to do it 🙂 Try to have a good fun, play some good music and think about the end result 😉

 

1. Sanding

preparing sanding

It’s always the first step for me. No matter what type of prep work you’ll have to do later (filling, priming, replacing, reorganizing and all other -ings), do sanding first – then you’ll see what kind of wood you’re dealing with, does it need to be replaced or fixed or maybe it’s so beautiful, that you won’t want it to be covered.

The best way to do it is to use a detail sander – you don’t need any experience, it’s very easy to use. If you don’t have it and want to refurbish only one piece of furniture, use a sanding paper – it will take longer but you’ll get same result as with a power tool. Of course even with a sander you’ll have to use sanding paper at some point – for details, corners and so on.
For initial sanding you can use medium grit paper (60-80) but always finish with fine one for best results (100-220). Just remember to be careful, medium grit paper can leave scratches that will be hard to remove.
Clean all the surfaces with a slightly damp cloth.

And last but not least: ALWAYS use a dust mask.

P.S. OK, there’s one thing that I can think of that you have to do before sanding  – removing loose veneer if you have a piece with one. And here is a tutorial from another blog – here.

 

2. Fixing

preparing filling

Now it’s time grab your filler and fix all the cracks, gaps, wood knots, dents, scratches and gouges. I’m using ready-to-use wood filler, that can be painted and nailed/screwed – this bit is very important, especially when you have to replace the hinges, for example.

Apply the filler and work it well into the damage – for deeper ones build it up in layers, let it dry and sand off the excess.

 

3. Priming

preparing priming

It may seem like a waste of time, after all you have to put the same effort into it as for painting, but it’s a necessary thing.
Primer will fill the grains and make finish coat smoother, it blocks stains, bleeding and prevent the paint from peeling off after some time. It’s a must-do with a bare wood, stripped one, glossy or smelly surfaces, changing from dark to light color – and even if you think that there’s no need for using the primer, do it anyway 😉

There are basically two types of primers.
– Oil-based which is good for bleeding surfaces but it dries slowly and it’s odorous – be sure that your workplace area is well ventilated and there are no kids and pets around.
– Water-based. Dries quickly, it’s odorless but it may not block the stains (I use this one in most cases).

If you have a piece that have only couple of stains or knots (they’ll probably bleed through), use shellac on those, and paint the rest with a water-based primer.

One coat of primer is usually all you need. When dry, sand it with fine sandpaper, especially if you use water-based primer (it can rise the wood grain). Clean the surfaces with a damp cloth.

 

Now that we’re finished with preparing it’s time to paint! 🙂

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Headboard into Chalkboard – tutorial

Headboard into Chalkboard – tutorial

Make your own unique chalkboard from headboard to hang at your home, pub or restaurant!

Thing you’ll need:

  • paints and varnish for the frame
  • chalkboard paint
  • hardboard
  • sandpaper/sander
  • filler
  • rope for hanger
  • driller
  • two pieces of moulding

 

BOARDS

Dismantle the frame and cut out new boards from a hardboard sheet (you can buy one already cut to the size and shape). Reassemble the piece to be sure that new boards fits perfectly.
Of course if your old boards are wooden, flat or good quality, you don’t have to replace them 🙂

If everything fits, paint the boards first with a primer or white paint, then with chalkboard paint. Apply the paint with roller in 2 or 3 coats (remember to wait at least one hour before recoating and to level off the surface if it’s needed).
You can use spray paint – the blackboard surface will be perfectly even then – but I don’t recommend it, if you’re not experienced in it. It’s not as easy as you think 😉
Let paint dry for 24 hours before using.

 

FRAME AND CHALK SHELF

1. First, as always, clean the frame with sander or sandpaper (you can also use paint remover but be careful with it – it can contain corrosive substances that can damage wood or your skin!).

2. Drill holes in the frame so at the end we can thread the rope and make a hanger. I already had four holes on each side of the headboard (made probably for bed construction) so I drilled couple of more to make a stitch-like pattern.
Before drilling the hole, make a small dent with a drill bit – it will make easier keeping the driller in position.

3. Now the chalk shelf! I won’t lie, it’s the hardest thing to do in this tutorial but I’m sure you’ll manage 🙂
I used a quadrant and stripwood moulding but you can use only stripwood ones – it will be much easier (no need for mitering).
Cut the stripwood on desired length, then miter the ends of the quadrant moulding (also cut out and miter two small ones for the sides of the shelf) making shelf corners.

Glue all the pieces together, let the glue dry and then glue it to the frame of the chalkboard.
Fill all the gaps with the filler, wipe any excess with damp cloth and then level it with sandpaper.

4. There’s only one thing left to do. Painting!
I’ve applied 4 layers of different color paint. First red, then blue, light yellow and white. Of course you can use whatever colors you like. The end result can be really astonishing, be bold!
After the paint is dry distress it with fine grid sandpaper – do it gradually and be careful, you don’t want to scrape off too much 🙂

Now assemble whole piece and thread the rope through wholes you’ve made previously, make knots on the ends… DONE!

Check out this tutorial if you want to make an eraser for you chalkboard 🙂

Ottoman with Diamond Tufting – DIY Tutorial

Ottoman with Diamond Tufting – DIY Tutorial

ottoman makeover by inner thing

Things you’ll need:

  • driller
  • sander/sandpaper
  • stapler
  • paint/dye
  • paintbrush/ roller/ cloth
  • masking tapes
  • scissors
  • big needle and strong thread
  • fabric
  • foam/wadding/filling
  • filler
  • screws and screwdriver

Making Diamond Tufting

You can use this technique for upholstering headboards, benches, coffee tables – whatever you like. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to do the tufting on a lid of a ottoman.

1. Unscrew the hinges and take of the lid.
Now you have to plan the diamond tufting. It should consist of same size rhombuses. Make a sketch on a piece of paper, determine how many buttons and tufts  you can fit in and then transfer the pattern on a lid surface. Drill the holes in the points of lines intersections.

tufting upholstery by inner thing

If you are using foam for filling, draw the pattern on a foam, make holes in it, then put the foam on the lid,  mark corners of rhombuses and drill the holes (thicker the foam, deeper the tufts will be).

2. If you’re using fiber filling (a took mine from duvet ^^) cut out 4-5 layers – every next one should be a little bit larger than previous one. Put the filling on the lid and fasten it with couple of staples to the lid, just to prevent it from moving.

filling upholstery by inner thing

3. Cut out the fabric. You have to add at least 15-20cm on each side (or more, it depends on filling thickness).

4. Take a strong thread and a big needle, tie a knot on the thread next to the button and thread a needle on the other end. You can use regular shank buttons or upholstery cover buttons.
Put the buttoned needle through the hole and pull it out from the other side. Anchor the button in place by stapling the thread (zig-zag).
Remember to refine the folding of the fabric during the process and to keep the fabric grains straight.

ottoman tufting by inner thing

5. Now it’s time to pull the fabric tight around the edges and secure it with staple gun. First do it quite roughly to position the fabric and arrange the fold properly. Then staple the fabric all around.
After that, do the corners. Fold the fabric neatly and secure with staples.

folding fabric ottoman tufting

6. Because the underside of the lid will be visible when opened, you have to cover the fabric edges and staples. To do that, cut out rectangular sheet from plywood, hardboard, dense thin foam or whatever that will do the job, and cover it with fabric. Then attach it to the lid with glue or screws. I had to screw additionally two planks, to reinforce the seat.

Here’s a video tutorial:

Done! Your diamond tufting is ready, now let’s do the ottoman’s box 🙂


Dyeing and painting wooden box

NOTE: after every coat of paint or varnish wait at least(!) one hour before applying another coat.

1. Clean all surfaces with sander or sandpaper. Remember to wear a mask – old paints and varnishes can be toxic and even non-toxic dust is really nasty. Clean the surfaces with a damp cloth and wait for it to dry.

2. If your piece of furniture is fairly decent and not too old, you don’t have to make any improvements, you can already paint the whole thing in one color.
If not, fill most obvious gaps and dents with wood filler and level them with sandpaper. Then apply one coat of paint to see if you missed any other, less obvious gaps and fill them as well.
The easiest way  to apply the filler is with your finger, pushing the filler into the gap and taking off the excess with a cloth.

filling the gaps filler in ottoman by inner thing

3. In my case I wanted to paint inside of the drawers in light yellow, the bottom and inside of the box in solid white and the outside of the box dye white. If you want to use different color paints, you have to paint the box gradually, using masking tapes.

painting and dyeing wood by inner thing

Here is a short tutorial on how to use wood dye

4. Secure all the surfaces with wax or varnish (at least two layers). I used varnish with matt finish.

5. Screw back the lid to the box.

DONE!

ottoman makeover diamond tufting by inner thing

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How to make your own unique chalkboard eraser – 3 steps tutorial

How to make your own unique chalkboard eraser – 3 steps tutorial

You’ll need:

  • small box with lid that can be detached
  • sponge or thick felt – I used decorators sponge, if you’d like to use felt, take a look at this tutorial
  • adhesive
  • scissors, snap-off knife

1. Go to your local charity shop, go through your attic or granny’s room (ask first!) looking for a nice small box (wooden, metal, whatever you like). When you’ll find it, you are at halfway making exceptional chalkboard eraser 🙂
I bought mine for 1,5£ – almost missed it during my second-hand shopping fever.

 

2. Take the lid off, put it on the sponge and trace the box shape with a marker or pencil. Roughly cut out the shape, then gradually cut off small pieces of the sponge, trimming it to desired shape. Take your time and do it accurately.

3. Only one thing left to do! Glue the lid and sponge together.  Voilà!

 

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