Welcome Home Drop Zone

During this stay-at-home-forever-year-that-never-ends-when-will-this-be-over, I’ve been working on lots of DIY projects that have been on my to-do list. Our family TV room is situated in the back of the house, with an entrance that opens directly into the room. Since this is the door that our friends and family use when they visit (remember when people used to come over to your house and hang out?), I try to keep it tidy and neat. So many times, I have wished for a mud room to be able to remove snowy or muddy boots & shoes, coats, scarves and of course, masks. Over the years, I’ve tried baskets and shelves and benches, but somehow it always looked messy. So, adding an antique workbench to the entry was the perfect solution!

It offers lots of storage and looks great, but when I moved it into place initially, I thought it just looked rather small and plain against the painted wall.

So, since this is the room where I had previously installed the ship-lap wall surrounding the fireplace, I figured, why not? You can never have too much shiplap, amiright? The install was pretty simple, starting with measuring the width of the workbench, ensuring to leave enough clearance for the back door to fully open into the room. Nothing worse than trying to open a door, only to find it blocked half-way!

The shiplap I chose for both projects was from Lowes.

You can read the full DIY instructions in my previous post here. It is light weight and super easy to cut and install. That fireplace project took me many weeks, but this project took about 2 days to cut, install and add the hardware.

Once installed, I added an antique plank shelf on top-solely for decorative purposes-that I can change and arrange for the seasons. Love those antique white brackets!

Then I added vintage hooks to hold tote bags and scarves, gloves and anything else that would need to be hung to dry, plus a his & hers mask basket

and this cute little sign-a gift from my sister, because I was complaining that I kept forgetting them on my way out the door- no more! And once the mask-wearing finally comes to an end, and we certainly look forward to that day…we’ll just use it for other junk!

The workbench base was already the perfect shade of blue, so that remained untouched. The old worn top required a bit of TLC, so I used General Finishes Antique Wax in a medium brown shade called Scrub Pine. That same wax was used for the top and bottom shelves as well, to create a uniform look.

Paint on, wipe off, add a couple more coats and buff ’til it glows. We look at that antique plank of wood, and marvel at the scars from years of use in a basement workshop where we first discovered it.

Some people might look at it and think “what a mess”- we look at it and think “gorgeous”- happily saving a piece of history for another generation. It features a hand-hewn built-in trough, previously used to hold wood shavings and hardware, now useful for keys and glasses. There are hooks on the sides underneath…

previously used for tools, but now they’re for hanging umbrellas and purses. These drawers hold gloves and glasses, phone chargers and even a tape measure. Because, you know…”where’s the tape measure-we have like a dozen of them-where did they go?!”

Finally, there’s a shelf on the bottom where we store our shoes and boots in vintage crates.

Next to the workbench I added an old cabinet door chalkboard with lots of hooks for coats and sweatshirts to hang.

Obviously, I can’t write on it in chalk, because our coats would be a mess! But I could do a painted sign there. What should it say? Hang your coat seems rather obvious-any other clever ideas? So that’s it. One more project completed. It looks great and keeps everything neat and tidy by our back door. On to my next project…and praying for this pandemic to be over and masks to be a thing of the past.

Have a safe, Super (snowy) Sunday everyone! xoxoxo Sue

We’ve Been Ship-Lapped!

Sigh…Chip and Joanna, you made it look soooo easy. Joanna would say “Chip, I would like this room to be covered in shiplap”, and then the next thing you know, it was done! Ever since I saw the very first episode of Fixer-Upper, shiplap has been on my radar. If only I could find someone to install it…but I don’t have a Chip at the ready to fulfill my shiplap dreams.  So I waited and debated and thought about it a lot, then procrastinated some more, then finally decided that if Chip can do it, then so can I!

Thus began my ship-lapping journey, searching through countless samples and designs from many different companies. Many were too heavy and difficult to install, many were just too darn expensive…so I was beginning to abandon the idea altogether. Until I discovered this shiplap brand at Lowes!

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Real reclaimed, pre-finished wood planking from GPS Design Innovations, quite light and easy to work with, a fraction of the cost of many self-sticking brands…a no-brainer. What would have normally taken Chip (or any seasoned carpenter, for that matter) a day or two, ended up taking me about 3 weeks to install in my farmhouse family room. Now, this is not a tutorial on how to install shiplap…I will leave that to the pros. This is just my own personal observations about the process and the finished product.

  1. Buy the product that matches your skill level. If you’ve never used power tools (or any tools), stick to the pre-cut planks with the self-sticking tape.
  2. Use a level. CAE80420-4BDB-48E5-A6B2-297198A5A30AThis is important! Visually, shiplap is long lengths of boards attached to the wall in a straight row. Leveling as you go will ensure a clean, unwavy (is that a word??) sight line.
  3. For my particular brand of shiplap, I utilized a miter saw, a jigsaw, a utility knife and my Ryobi Airstrike Brad NailerF0BFCB6C-086D-418D-A03A-4796DDF3D867 (I would not have attempted to do this installation without one.)
  4. Choose the correct glue and use PLENTY of it. I started out trying to use small dabs and ended up with some planks with edges that curled up because I hadn’t glued down them down. Fortunately, this ship-lap, even glued and nailed, is pretty easy to pull off to start over. 0F58323A-224A-49FC-BC68-066D6AB1392EI used Loc-Tite Power Grab adhesive in a tube that required a caulking gun. The planking instructions stated that I could have chosen double-sided mounting tape, but I found that the plank edges tended to curl and warp if they were not glued down.
  5. Figure out the design configuration before you begin. 8780D22A-B590-46C5-B5EE-36FB299919FDThis particular brand of shiplap had an assortment of lengths in each box, so it was important for me to decided which pieces would go in which order for each row. I was working around a fireplace and ceiling and baseboard moldings, so I had to figure those into the equation. It would have been so much easier if I was working on a simple blank wall, but that wasn’t the case. I taped these on to the wall to visualize how it was going to work before I started the actual nailing and gluing.
  6. This shaping contour gauge tool saves a lot of time- C2B93AB7-E058-402C-BD35-5F3BEC203456you push it into an area and it forms into the shape that you need to cut around. C502B4C3-7D8E-413D-851D-2542F87A4140Otherwise you’ll need some paper and tape to create a pattern to cut around. 94872423-F8D8-4968-B1A8-DC266ED187A5
  7. Work stacking up or down in rows but do not try to work sideways and slide pieces into place in between 2 glued and nailed pieces. 7B747A1B-A20C-461D-9B5E-90C4CA64CEBBIt just doesn’t end up well. Fortunately for me, this particular brand is pretty rustic, so a few cracks and holes blends in quite well!
  8. Don’t try to skimp and use leftover pieces. Well, I did, but don’t you do that. BD6F4FCF-DCD9-4176-A4EB-F189BA338355It made it so much more tedious than if I had just kept using the larger pieces instead of trying to save them…for what, I have no idea….but I’ll figure something out.
  9. My ship-lap was already finished with a white wash called Sun Bleached- but I am debating whether to add another coat of white paint to it. What do you think?!?6F42FDB2-6853-4E99-9176-90A0DE95CFA1For now, I am leaving it as is and enjoying the fruits of my labor.
  10. If Coach wanders in and says “how much is this costing?” after you’re already 1/2 way done, just grit your teeth and keep plodding along. For the record, the total cost for this one wall was a little over $300 for the planks and the adhesive (and free sweat equity from moi, don’t forget). Again, a fraction of the cost of some of the pre-stick brands, which can run upwards of $1400 for a 10 x 12 space!
  11. Make sure you have all the materials you need for the entire project. I had to stop twice because I had underestimated the amount of shiplap I would need. 79F41971-A60A-4BA4-938F-4670250A4AA0Each time I returned to the store to purchase more, it had to be seasoned in the house for 36 hours before I could install it. Which meant more messy days in our family room.
  12. When I put the final board into place, I honestly wanted to cry…from sheer exhaustion, but also because it makes me soooo happy to finally have the shiplap feature I have wanted for such a long time. The room isn’t finished or styled yet, but I will share the final pics once its done. BA734292-C559-469A-BAA5-92C5086479D4As an aside, I have a much deeper appreciation and newfound admiration for carpenters and contractors-actually, anyone who labors for a living-especially older folks, like me. The work is fulfilling, but it is not easy-the difference is, I did this for fun, they do it for a living. So my work here is done…for now…and I am shiplapped out… until my next project comes along. Have a terrific Thursday, everyone! And if you decide you need some shiplap in your life, I know the name of a great contractor I can share with you…and its not me : ) xoxo Susan
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