The Interior Frugalista: May 2013

May 28, 2013

Officially taken over the "Man Cave"

Surprisingly, I haven't heard any gripping from the man of the house since The Interior Frugalista made her mark on the Man Cave!

I found this forgotten, faded, spider web encrusted relic in the back of the shed.  As soon as I laid eyes on it I knew what I wanted to do.

I painted the entire sign in Graphite chalk paint. Then I painted the tool handles in Emperor's Red chalk paint.  Not having any milk or chalk paint in the green colour scheme of my Blog, I mixed a batch of Sturbridge White and Upper Canada Green milk paint until I got a close match.  I applied two coats and distressed it with sandpaper until some of the Graphite underneath was revealed.  

Off to the computer and using Microsoft Word, I re-created my logo to fit the sign. I traced over the text using a ballpoint pen, etching the surface of the wood.  I found it difficult to see the etching (even with my reading glasses) - the down side of aging!

So I taped a piece of carbon paper to the back and retraced the text onto the wood.  Perfect solution!

Then I painstakingly...let me repeat...PAINSTAKINGLY traced the letters with white paint using a fine tip art brush.  This is when I discovered painting fine detail is not my Forté!  I patiently removed the paint (it had already started to dry) and repeated the milk paint process to clear the slate.

I thought I was being a sneaky little devil when I ran over to Michael's and purchased fine tip paint pens.  Ha, now it'll be easy...WRONG!  The tip was too large for the intricate font.  Back to clearing the slate with milk paint!  

Did I mention patience isn't one of my strong suits!  Back to the fine tip art brush and diluting the Wicker White acrylic craft paint (leftover from my bedroom wall stencil project) so it wouldn't clump like my first attempt.  Okay, I give myself an "A" for effort!

The next step was applying a shadow *sigh*.  Using the fine tip art brush seemed far too overwhelming so I cheated and used a gray coloured permanent marker. Ha, it worked!  Well sort of...noticed I haven't included a close-up picture!

I applied a coat of clear soft wax to the entire sign to protect it but also to make the colours pop, which is one of the things I love about using wax.

Any of you expert graphic painters out there have any tips you could offer?
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May 26, 2013

Vignettes in the master

Hope you had a great weekend - don't they go by way too quickly!

Now that I've shared our recent headboard transformation (, I thought I would share some close-up shots of the vignettes I created throughout the master bedroom.  We'll start with the mantle on the headboard...

I love the French book boxes I picked up at Homesense.  They're perfect for tucking away things like the television remote, eye masks, or...well in my case, ear plugs.  Hey, I'd never get any sleep otherwise! 

I've had this pretty heart shaped paper weight for years.  I think it looks so pretty hanging on the wall!

These white washed wooden candlesticks sat on the dresser for years but they look so pretty on the mantle now.

I picked these frames up for a song many years ago at a now defunct discount store.  I love the pretty embossed paper mats.  Instead of pictures I bought a Toile de Jouy fabric remnant for $2.50 and cut out four different scenes.  I stretched them over heavy cardboard and fastened them with staples.  The glass protects them from dust and helps hold them tightly in place.  The other two are hanging in the adjacent master bathroom.

This little vignette sits on top of the hutch.  The Lumière was a pewter color so I gave it a couple coats of chalk paint in pure white, distressed the edges and applied a light coat of clear soft wax.  The apothecary jar is filled with paper roses, rose petals, and white washed driftwood. 

The picture frame used to be gold.  I dry brushed the top of the filigree with pure white chalk paint so the recessed parts still revealed the gold.  I then distressed the rest of the frame, again revealing some of the gold underneath.   

I was so excited when I discovered this graphic on a sheet of my vintage scrapbooking paper.  It echoes the pattern of the new linens perfectly!

Last but not least I dug up the very tarnished antique silver tray that I had tucked away inside the china cabinet.  After a good polish, I repurposed it here on top of the dresser.  A little glam to go with the crystal lamp (not shown) on the opposite end of the dresser!

I don't know about you guys, but I have such fun creating little vignettes around the house.  The décor in our house is constantly getting moved from room-to-room as the mood strikes me! 
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May 23, 2013

How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard

It all started with a visit to a local building salvage yard one afternoon with a friend. Way at the back of the store and behind a pile of interior doors, we came across a few very old and heavy five-panel doors. Arriving in only a compact car we were determined to figure out a way to get two of those doors home.

We were on a mission and there was no such thing as "it can't be done". With the help of a very patient staff member who shook his head when he saw what we were driving, we managed to get those babies through the trunk, over the seats, with a good portion of the doors sticking out the back end and ourselves with the seats pulled forward as far as we could get them.

During the terribly uncomfortable drive home on the freeway back to our little hamlet, we laughed and talked about how we were going to transform those Old Doors Into A Headboard.

How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard

The door sat in my basement for a couple of months before the snow finally melted so we could take it outdoors and get to work.

Prepping An Old Door To Turn Into A Headboard

Not having saw horses and being the industrial person that I am, the two drawers leftover from my Twin Headboard Bench project came in very handy.

How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard

Cut the door to fit queen size mattress

Cut Old Door Into Queen Size Headboard

To accommodate a queen size mattress the door was cut to 68-inches long, trimming it evenly from both the top and bottom ends.

Building a frame and French Cleat

Add French Cleat on old door turned into a headboard

Attach 2 x 4 lumber on either side and the top of the door to beef it up to accommodate a mantel ledge on the top (see photo above).

The strongest way to mount the heavy headboard onto a wall is with a French Cleat. To make a French Cleat, rip two 2 x 4's at a 45°degree angle down the middle of the lumber using a table saw.

Attach one cleat onto the back of the headboard so the angle is facing towards the bottom and towards the headboard (as pictured above). The other cleat will be mounted on the wall and we'll talk more about that installation further down in this post.

Building a mantel ledge

Adding Trim To Mantel Ledge On Old Door Turned Into A Headboard

First we installed large crown molding along what will be the top of the headboard (see picture below).

Next we cut a piece plywood to measure 1/2-inch larger than the top of the crown molding on the front and sides. Using a nail gun we attached decorative trim along the front and sides, cutting the corners at 45° angles (see photo above).

Again using a nail gun we attached the trim piece to the top of the crown molding (as pictured below).

Building a mantel ledge on old door turned into a headboard

First coat of paint on the headboard

Painting Old Door Turned Into A Headboard

The entire headboard was painted with Behr Latex Eggshell Paint and it's hard to tell in the photo above that the color is Wedgewood Gray (the same color as the walls in our bedroom).The paint finish is looking rather glossy because the picture was taken while the paint was wet.

Second coat of paint on the headboard

Whitewashed Milk Paint On Old Door Turned Headboard

Once the latex paint was dry I applied a wash of Sturbridge White milk paint over the Wedgewood Gray.

Giving a time-worn look to the headboard

Distressed Paint Finish On Old Door Turned Headboard

With fine sandpaper, I removed some of the paint to reveal the Wedgewood Gray underneath. To protect the paint finish I used clear wax and buffed it with a lint-free rag to a matte finish.

To age the painted finish I applied dark wax into the crevices and along the edges, removing the excess with a lint-free rag.

Installing French Cleat on wall

French Cleat Used To Hang Old Door Turned Into Headboard

Now it's time to mount the other side of the French Cleat onto the wall. First, decide where on the wall the headboard will be mounted and mark the height of the top of the mattress onto the wall with painter's tape. You want the bottom of the headboard to be just below the mattress.

Once you've determined the placement of the headboard, measure from the bottom of the headboard to the cut point of the cleat installed on the headboard. From the top of the tape you placed on the wall in the previous step, mark this measurement on the wall. Using a level, mark this measurement across the wall.

Find the studs in the wall using a stud finder and mark with a pencil.

NOTE: You will need a second set of hands for this part.
With the 45° angle of the cleat facing upwards and towards you, line up the back of the cut with your mark on the wall. With a 4-inch screw, attach the French cleat to the wall on each stud.

Essentially the two cleats fit into one another to form a strong and sturdy hanger, ensuring that heavy headboard will not come crashing on your head in the night.

Old Door Turned Into A Headboard Mounted On Wall

In case you're wondering whether that is wallpaper or a stenciled wall behind the headboard, it's a Large Chelsea Allover Stencil. For tips on how to stencil a wall visit my Tips On How To Stencil A Wall .

If you found my tutorial on How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard helpful, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

How To Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard

If you would like more ideas on how to repurpose old doors, I repurposed a smaller old 5-panel door into a Le Jardin Flower Planter. I also turned Old Louvered Doors into a back yard privacy screen.

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May 22, 2013

Twin Captain's Bed Repurposed Into An Outdoor Bench

In a heap of debris accumulated from various projects we did around our house over the winter, I found a twin captain's bed. It wasn't just any captain's bed, this one has been in my family for almost five decades. It started as my youngest brother's childhood bed back in the 70's and then was passed down to my children growing up.

While sorting through all the debris to take to the landfill I didn't have the heart to load this onto the truck because there were too many sentimental memories attached to this piece. Besides, I really like the spindle rail on the headboard and footboard and that's when I decided to turn the Twin Captain's Bed Into An Outdoor Bench.

Twin Captain's Bed Outdoor Bench

This is the state I found the bed after pulling it from the rubble.

Twin Captain's Bed Turned Into Outdoor Bench

And the transformation began...

Twin Captain's Bed Repurposed Into An Outdoor Bench

Materials for Twin Captain's Bed Turned Outdoor Bench

Against my use what you have on hand rule, we purchased lumber for this project. Believe me, I searched high and low around the house for lumber I could salvage but to my disappointment, came out empty handed.

I haven't included a tutorial on how we built the headboard bench but you can find my tutorial on how we made a similar bench here in my Outdoor Garden Bench For Two post.

Twin Captain's Bed Turned Into Outdoor Bench

The bench was painted white using Behr Plus Exterior High Gloss Enamel paint. The captain bed drawers came in handy as makeshift sawhorses.  I love how fresh and clean the bench looks painted white.

In the photo below it looks like the top of the footboard will jab into people legs when they sit down. I did this on purpose because not only will there be plenty of clearance for legs once the 2-inch cushion is placed on the seat, that overhang will hold the cushion in place.

Painted Twin Captain's Bed Turned Into Bench

I had full intentions of sewing a custom cushion in a vibrant green chevron pattern fabric. En route to the fabric store, I popped into HomeSense (Canadian retailer like HomeGoods) to pick up items for another project. On display in the front of the store was a huge pile of assorted outdoor cushions in all shapes and sizes but limited fabric choices. Of course, I had to go digging.

At the bottom of the pile (isn't that always the way it works) was a green cushion. Not what I initially had in mind but it was the right size, I couldn't complain about the price, and it would save me loads of time. Win win in my books.

Twin Captain's Bed Turned Outdoor Bench

If you like my Twin Captain's Bed repurposed into an Outdoor Bench, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Twin Captain's Bed Turned Outdoor Bench

Here are a few more headboards that we turned into lovely headboard benches.

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The mess has been cleaned!

Whew, thank goodness one of my strong suits is perseverance!

After many head scratching, colorful word spewing, patiently impatient hours, I FINALLY got the blog back in order.  Note to Self: always...may I repeat...ALWAYS...back up my template before making HTML code changes!

In November 2012 I took the plunge and entered the blogosphere.  I started with a standard template and was pretty impressed with myself.  That was pretty short lived when I discovered the world of  "professional" blogging.  Oh my gosh, there are a lot of beautiful blogs out there!

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May 14, 2013

Can you guess what's next on the workbench?

Happy Monday!  A fresh new week and that = fresh new projects for The Interior Frugalista.

It's probably not that difficult from the picture, what I'm up to next.  I've already got two projects on the workbench waiting to be completed.  But when inspiration strikes, motivation sparks!

I hope to have a post with After pictures of this week.  One more coat of paint and a little sewing before the reveal.

The is ready for it's first coat of chalk paint.  I'm so thrilled with how it's coming along.  Hopefully the reveal will be posted next week!

But in the meantime, it is now 1:09 AM and I should be sound asleep in my comfy bed instead of playing on my blog.   I've been burning the candle at both ends these days multi-tasking between projects, blog design hiccups (as you can see I have lost my date header somewhere in the blogosphere), and life.

So off to bed I must go so I have enough energy tomorrow to play in the workshop.  Good night all!
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May 13, 2013

This bed needs a new purpose!

Ahhhh, it feels good to finally see the last of the snow and venture outdoors to do some Spring yard work. While cleaning up the heap of debris that accumulated over the winter from projects around the house, I unearthed our kid's childhood bed frame.  This bed has done it's rounds as it was my youngest brother's childhood bed back in the 70's.

The plan was to donate it but to my surprise the charitable organizations I contacted do not accept beds for fear of bed bug infestation.  So out to the heap it went.

I don't have the heart to let it rot in a landfill because of it's sentimental history.  So there I stood, coffee in hand, looking down at it and wondering, "Hmmm, what can I turn you into"?

Here's a hint as to what I came up with...
Look for the AFTER pictures next week!
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May 1, 2013

Exciting new treasures in the workshop!

I'm still dancing for joy over these 
Last weekend a friend generously "gave" me her family's 70 year old dining suite.   She said she knew I'd treat it with TLC and give it a brand new life.  Indeed I will Karen and a great big THANK YOU to you and your family for your generosity!


The table has a hidden leaf and seats six.  There are only 4 chairs but I'm perfectly fine with that.  Gives me an excuse to go on a treasure hunt to find two high backed chairs that I can unify with the same upholstery fabric and chalk paint!

Hmmmm, what chalk paint colour(s) are they begging for?  What fabric for the seat?  Can't wait to do some research and get started on these.  But first, antique door headboard for the freshly stenciled bedroom!
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