Sunday, October 27, 2013

Guest Blogger: Vintage Wall Art

Now that I've moved to up north to Massachusetts, I've found that the gardening season is compressed.  There seems to be a lot to do in a short amount of time before winter comes!  I have been busy the last few weeks making beds, buying and planting all those end-of-the-season discount plants, mowing down all the brush in our detention pond, and starting the planting of the bulbs.

But, believe it or not, this blog post is not about my new garden.  We've also been working on some interior projects, and I have my first guest blogger to talk about one of them.  This blog is brought to you by a very special guest blogger - Mr. Red House himself!

Building a vintage looking Wooden Wall Art

When finishing our house we found that we had a pretty blue living room with a very very blank wall on it.

See the huge blank spot on the left!

We had seen a very pretty but oh so expensive wood art that we liked at Pottery Barn.  

This can be yours for only $399 at Pottery Barn!
Lucky for us we felt very crafty!  We had some leftover flooring from the construction of the house and decided to put it to some good use.

There was more, but I forgot to get a better picture of the huge stacks of flooring!

Step one was layout out a pattern on the floor, making sure we had enough wood.

Once we had it all laid out we decided to paint each of the pieces pretty colors. Initially a good stain seemed the ideal choice, however we discovered that the cool colored stains were outdoor only and they would not be safe to have indoors.  Instead on towards paint we charged!  

We lucked out and Lowes was having a sale on sample cans of paint!   Six different colors were selected.

Foam brushes are an awesome invention!

Now we've got paint, brushes and a pattern laid out, the next step is to carefully separate the pieces so each one could be individually painted and reassembled correctly.

We are going for a rustic theme to the house, so I explained to the kids to go easy on the paint so that the wood grain would show through.  Somehow in that explanation any large blob of paint spilled or other mistake became "rustic!"

You won't believe the debates over who painted which color and piece of wood

Finally finished painting and let our disassembled wooden jigsaw puzzle dry.


Then we ran into our first challenge.  We are dealing with hardwood flooring that has awesome tongues and grooves, however without a backing it won't stay together that well.  After some discussion and an emergency trip to Lowes to get a large sheet of plywood and lots of wood glue, the project continued!


Here we are gently laying the pieces on the plywood.  Each piece was held down with wood glue and my handy dandy nail gun!  The weight of the pieces was sufficient to adhere to the glue.  I put in two nails per piece of flooring just as an insurance policy.

Here is is all glued and nailed down.  Final size was about 6 feet wide by 4 week tall AND about 200 lbs!


I adore how the wood grain turned out!

We then did some heavy hand sanding for that weathered and rustic feel.  I originally tried a power sander, but found a simple hand sander with 100 grit sandpaper let us gently weather the wood strips to give a nice aged look.


Now for the second challenge.  The entire piece weighed about 200 lbs!  I suddenly realized I hadn't planned how to put this up on the wall so that it does not come crashing down.  After extensive research, French cleats were the answer.  French cleats are two pieces of metal that form a rail and can hold significant weight.  Here's a Home Depot one that holds a good amount.  

While the weight was fine, I sadly could not use it because our wall studs are 24" apart and these hangers are only 18" wide.  I didn't feel safe unless I had at least two studs.


That's a 5 foot pieces of aluminum up there spanning 3 studs.  I ended up mounting it to three studs and using 4 additional wall anchors.  I went for overkill, but boy is that thing heavy!

Here it is in all of its mounted glory!

Cat not an official part of art display
Our large blue wall now has some rustic charm!


Now I've spent an entire blog talking about something non-plant related, unless you count the wood which is very plant related!  So I leave you with the obligatory pretty flower picture.

I have no idea what this is, but it's pretty.

25 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading about your well executed and rewarding project. Very clever

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    1. Thank you! The whole family had fun!

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  2. One of the great things about not being able to garden is that you get to do fun interior projects. I'm impressed with how it turned out. It looks like a piece of vintage Americana.

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    1. It's been a busy time working on both the gardens and still setting up the inside of the house! I really like how the art project turned out (especially since I feel like I'm not the most artistic person). Now I have to figure out how to decorate around it :)

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  3. Mr Red House is a genius! I love your new wall art. Better than the Pottery barn one - maybe you could use up all the rest of the spare floorboards and create these to order!

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    1. Mr. Red House's sister has already ordered one for whenever she moves into a house :) Sadly, we are pretty much all out of floor boards!

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  4. What a great project and it looked like fun to put together.

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    1. Thanks, the kids really got into it!

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  5. I enjoyed every moment of that story!

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    1. My first official guest blogger was a success then! :) I'm sure he will be back with more home improvement stories!

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  6. Fabulous! I saw that very same Pottery Barn art piece and admired it as much as you. Yours is much better, since it was a family project. As the years pass, it will bring happy memories of little hands with paint brushes. I think the cat admires the art piece, too!

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    1. Even the cat had to get in on the action :) Another great thing about making our own was that we could pick the colors to match our living room. I really love how it turned out!

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  7. Hi Indie
    Not only are you settling in, but you are already making the new house a Home! What a terrific idea to imitate the PB art. Yours looks a ton better anyway and has already created memories for your family. Bravo!

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    1. Thanks! Our house is slowly coming together. This winter we will have more time to focus on it once my garden is snowed in, I'm sure!

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  8. How very creative you are, Indie. And how exciting to have a new garden to design, as well as a new home to create. You are doing a great job! P. x

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    1. Thanks, though I have to give a lot of credit to Mr. Red House, the woodworker! It's been a lot of work recently, but fun!

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  9. What a great piece of wall art, and even nicer than the one you saw, as yours have no visible nails :-) And the fact that your children was involved in the project makes it all the more valuable, I bet they will remember that when they get older. I had to laugh at the last photo and accompanying text, good you two have defined roles around the home and garden!

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    1. It's rather nice, I don't have to worry about Mr. Red House trying to mess with my garden design! I build it, he enjoys it, even if he doesn't know what it is. The only thing he has definite opinions on in the garden are trees - just about every tree he sees in the nurseries he wants! Our yard space and budget will allow only so many!

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  10. This is great! I like it better than the PB inspiration piece. Love your big blue room, too!

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    1. Thank you! We're not really ones to shy away from color, if you can tell... ;)

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  11. I love budget conscious decorating! This reminds me so much of my favorite new TV show, Knock it Off! You can watch older episodes (there aren't many) at http://livewellnetwork.com/Knock-It-Off/9048329 and the two gals have their own blog at http://eastcoastcreativeblog.com/.

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    1. That sounds like such a great show! I'm all about knocking off things I see for so much in the stores. It makes one creative, too!

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  12. I'm so impressed! How nice that the two of you are collaborating, too!

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    1. I have to give a lot of credit to Mr. Red House - he came up with the idea and plan! I chose most of the colors, and the whole family helped with the painting and putting together. There's another project in the works for the garden, so I'm sure you'll see our guest blogger again!

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  13. What an inspiring idea. I look forward to more tutorials by your guest blogger.

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