Oh The Things You Can Do With Paintsticks

Those humble little paint sticks. So useful for stirring paint. And for so many other things. I had a brief email conversation with a woman who had used paint sticks and adhered them to the side of a cabinet, gave it a quaint little finish, almost like siding. It was awesome.

I got to thinking about all the uses of those paint sticks, and more specifically, all the things I have used them for. They work wonders as shims, propping up furniture so that you can paint down to the bottom of a piece of furniture, heck, I’ve even used them for fly swatters.

I wanted to share with you something I am working on now. I am putting together a tall, skinny cabinet and needed a top for it. After scrounging in my wood pile, I just did not have something that would work and I bristled at the thought of yet another trip to The HomeDepot. I looked around the garage and what did I see?

DSCN2539Yes, my trusty bucket of paint sticks. And then brilliance struck. I would make a solid piece of wood using paint sticks. So one by one, I spread glue onto the sticks and positioned them together. They are actually made of two paints sticks end to end and then side to side, and staggered so that the ‘seam’ of the two sticks wouldn’t line up in a row on the finished piece.

I could have sworn that I had taken a photo of them while the glue was drying, but cannot find it now. But once the glue dried, I removed the clamps. As you can see in the picture, the surface – front and back – was a bit rough.

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I measured out the length that I needed. I marked it with a pencil and using a circular saw, The Kid trimmed both ends. I figured it would be easier to sand the thing if I was only sanding the section that I would be using.

DSCN2518Here is the rough piece and the ends that were cut off. Not too much excess. Still trying to figure out what I can do with the leftover pieces. Hmmm….

Top Made of Paint Sticks

Then the sanding began. This was not for the faint of heart… if I do something like this again, I will definitely be more careful with lining up the sticks. Also, I wouldn’t use quite so much glue. I think sanding off the glue was the hardest part.

Top RoughAfter much sanding, it started getting smooth. I must have gone through 6 sheets of sand paper working on this. At this stage, I used some wood filler on some of the gaps and divots and areas that needed more sanding. I figured that as long as there was still filler on the board, I would know where to continue sanding to make it all even.

DSCN2535Finally, it is smooth on all sides. I don’t know about you, but it looks like a solid piece of wood with some really great grain. Heavier than all get out, but I am still in love with this.

DSCN2536The Kid came out and did the routing on three sides. Just so minor sanding and then it was ready for the first coat of stain. I used a very light stain, as I don’t want to cover up that beauty, just keep it sealed. I ran out of the stain after the first coat though, so will have to finish this later.DSCN2537

Here is a shot of the end of the wood… I just love the way that looks!

I just wanted to point out the wonderful ways to use those paint stir sticks. It is a regular habit for both me and The Kid to stop and pick up a few on each trip to the store. I never feel like I am ‘stealing’ anything as I buy a butt-load of paint from them and they offer them free to their customers.

I’d love to see what you’ve made with stir sticks. They’re really handy!

julie

 

Pink, pink and some more pink!

Seems that every thing that I do lately seems to take about three times longer than it used to. I suppose that is partly due to the fact that I seem to have little ‘spare’ time to work on projects. Dang job getting in the way of my hobbies! How dare it! LOL

I did manage, with The Kid’s help, to get two more projects completed. And of course, as the title hints exclaims, both are finished in my favorite shades of pink.

First came the trunk which I imagine being used as either a toy box or perhaps a keepsake trunk. I found this on the curb about three houses down from where I was picking up some piece of furniture, just sitting there forlorn. To be fair, it had seen better days and it needed new hardware, as the lid was sitting next to it. But I could see the potential.

It got a light sanding and a base primer. Then I replaced the hinge and added a ‘soft down lid’ hinge, keeps the lid from DSCN2511slamming on little fingers. I also added felt around the top of the box to prevent it from banging when closed. Once the hardware was done, I applied two coats of pale pink in a high gloss finish. At that time, it was transferred to the ottoman in front of the couch (halfway between the couch and television), so that I could hand paint the “dots” and still watch my recent binge… “Nurse Jackie”. But that is a whole ‘nuther discussion!

Using four simple round objects – a plate, a bowl, a large glass and a small glass – I randomly marked circles over the entirety of the box. Then it was time to sit back and paint them all in. One thing I did learn was to not paint the very lightest color when the room was dim… found the following morning that I hadn’t done such a great job after all. 🙂 Just took a little clean up and second coats on most of the colors. But in the end, it turned out fabulous.

I added the little bun feet, just to add a little charm. I glued some more felt to the bottom to take care of any wood floors. And it would be easy to reposition, so that toys could be accessed easily. Here is the end product:

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The trunk is lined with cedar, but I am sure that it is only a veneer. Still, smells nice and I am pretty sure would repel moths.

DSCN2531Next up is the little desk that I picked up from a thrift store for $8. My original intention was to take it apart and stack the drawer units to create a tall vanity, but The Kid pointed out that it had a waterfall front and was in more than awesome shape, so he talked me into painting it too.

Once again, it was primed and painted the base coat of pink. I love the way the high gloss looks, making everything look very shiny. Then the drawers (also primed) received one of four colors of paint, the ombré style of painting. I can’t get enough of this, it makes me think of little princesses. It previously had these weird wood handles over indentions and I didn’t want to put them back on. A while back, I had purchased handles for another project that didn’t turn out, so I opted to use them on the desk.

DSCN2532Again, loved the way this turned out. The photo makes it look a little darker than it really is, I waited until evening to take the picture, so there isn’t a whole lot of natural light. And speaking of pictures, I have reverted to my old (bad) habit of not taking a ‘before’ photo. Sigh. I didn’t have pictures of either of these projects, but live and let live. I like the ‘after’ photos better anyway.

DSCN2533Another angle. This piece could easily be used as a vanity as well. A cute little dresser mirror on top and viola!, vanity!

DSCN2534All wood construction, always start with good bones. This was just too good of a deal to pass up.

Well into the next couple of projects, trying to get things cleared up in the garage, so that I can do my remodel out there. My plan is the effectively build a wall between the larger and smaller garage bays and get some vertical height in which to store things. Right now its all on the floor, which takes up more room than I want. I really want to be able to all the cars in the garage when necessary (I live in tornado alley after all) by just moving a few things out of the way. Right now, I feel lucky when I can get one of my three cars into the garage. Need organization!

julie

 

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