Recent News

Recent Post

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Garage plans

Garage plans

After my folks left, I started cleaning out the garage.  Lots and lots of saw dust. 

I had been planning to paint the garage floor with epoxy paint, and actually bought some before my folks arrived, but I wasn't able to get to it in time, which was a good thing, because the process takes several days to complete.

I bought the Valspar stuff at Lowe's.  Mostly, it had the best reviews.  I was going to tint, but after thinking about it a day or so, I decided not to tint, and just go with the gray kit that comes with black, blue, and white sprinkles.

If you decide to do this, know that the gallon that comes with this kit, is not a full gallon.  It's enough though, with the hardener added, to cover one half of the garage, and maybe a little extra (in my case, I was able to paint 3 squares).

But, the sprinkles were not enough.  Fortunately, I was able to get my queen to pick some more up on the way home right as I was finishing the second square.  This got me through into the 3rd square also, knowing the next day I was going to have to go back to Lowe's and get another kit.

First Day...

So that picture above is one kit, plus an extra shaker of sprinkles.

The next day, after researching the deal some more, and trying to find another Lowe's that wasn't out of stock for the gray kit I was using, I started reading up on the clear coat you can apply  afterwards.  Well, I did like the gray, and I did end up liking the sprinkles, but it became clear that the clear coat was going to be needed to seal in the sprinkles and give the floor a real professional look!

So I bought the second kit, and I bought two clear coat kits.  Sheesh!  Really adds up!!!


Total: $346

Well, it's only money!

Yesterday, I etched the fourth square.  Be prepared because you have to spray off the floor to get the acid off, and that causes the concrete to get wet, taking another full day at least of drying time.  Today, the last square was ready to be painted, and the first three squares were ready to be clear coated.

Clear coating was a lot easier!  Stuff turns white looking when you mix in the epoxy, but it clears up soon enough.  But, the added glossy shine is worth it!  And the floor is that much more sealed.

In the pictures above you can really see the gloss.  Also, be sure to do this on a breeze-less day since little grass and leave pieces can blow in (I had to pick out a few that got stuck).

Tomorrow, I plan to clear coat the right 1/2 of the garage.

So what is next?

All this work in the garage has got the brain thinking, else sniffing all that epoxy has got me coming up with some crazy ideas.

Since I currently don't own any tool chests (tools are actually sitting in a Rubbermaid bin in the living room), I've been spotting these Huskies over at Home Depot.

I am thinking I want two of them since they are fairly cheap and have pretty good reviews.  The drawers feel nice, and will be a good fit for some smaller power tools, like drills jigsaws, etc.  The wood top is a huge plus, and though not real chopping block maple, will still make a great work surface.  I am really close to pulling that trigger.

Next up, the walls.  OMG... that concrete does not look good against my new glossy floors!  Because you know, you have to look good running all the power tools.  I've been looking at a range of storage shelves, and cabinets, and there are a lot out there, but 1) they won't cover up the concrete walls, and 2) they are pretty expensive.  Beside's I am just not there yet.

Instead, what I came up with was to surface the concrete with 4' Diamond Plate sheets.  Since the concrete walls protrude a little, and only come up a little less than 3', I plan to build up the wall with studs to create a mounting point for the diamond plate, additional wall outlets, and a small white trim shelf along the top.  So imagine a small 4' ledge around the garage, covered in diamond plate, and a 5" strip of white trim to top it.

The really expensive part of the cabinet systems out there is in the wall track systems.  I felt they were too expensive and too proprietary, meaning only their clips would work.  I started thinking of peg board as a far less expensive alternative, but peg board is cheap MDF, breaks, and may not support a lot of weight.

Then I found metal peg board.  It holds up to 600 lbs.  So I am thinking of finishing the drywall, and putting up this blue stuff along the whole wall.

That's about it for the garage plans for now.  Well, there is still my plans for a loft, but not gonna get to that for some time.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 18, 2013


This week, while on vacation, my folks came out to visit from Colorado.  They stayed for 5 days, and had a great time.  Prior to coming out, my Dad bought me a table saw and had it shipped to my address, plus he was bringing me a couple tools of his that he had extra with the idea we would spend a few days building something.

I thought of a couple ideas, some I drafted up in Sketchup 3D.  But the best fit for making use of his time and experience was an idea I had for the main hallway.  I needed a large, rustic, chunky mirror!

The design of the mirror came from Crate & Barrel.  They have a mirror, called the Seguro, and it is a great piece, and fitting for our hallway.  Only problem is, well, it's $900 freakin bux!!!

The colors and distressed reclaimed look is quite desirable for this mirror, it is large, chunky, and rustic, but hardly worth $900.

When my dad arrived, and we began talking about possibilities, I showed him this mirror, and he bit.  A project like this would make a perfect use of his skill, and the miter saw, and table saw I had yet to use.

The following are pics taken along the way.

We bought the wood from Lowe's, 1"x4"x10' cedar boards, chosen for their variance in color and knotted patterns.  We sawed the boards in half, lengthwise to give us 10' long 2" strips.  The 2" side would give us the depth of the mirror, giving it that chunky appeal.  One of the qualities of the Seguro, is if you look close, the wood looks cut with numerous ridges that run perpendicular to the board.  We talked about how they may have achieved this, and my Dad thought that the wood was probably old barn-wood and that was how it was cut back in the day.  Since we weren't using reclaimed barn-wood, I thought about how to replicate that texture, and so decided flaming the wood with a blow torch would do it.

So two-thirds of the boards I took a blow torch to (simple hand-held bottle of propane) and scorched the surface of 5 boards stacked together, and held with clamps.  After the board edges (what would be the face of the mirror) were thoroughly charred, I laid the stack flat on the table, took a wire brush, and scraped perpendicular to create the desired striped pattern.  You can see the effect in the 3rd camera pic above.

With two-thirds of the boards scorched and scored, we began cutting all the boards in varying lengths of 7" 9" and 12" long.  Soon we had stacks of small pieces we could begin gluing together in random places, taking care that no two stacked high, terminated at the same seem, and also taking care to place a "blonde" piece every so often to get the appearance to vary evenly.

I'll skip the details of all our screw-ups, and typical woodworking tricks of the trade, and get right to the end of staining.

I ended up using 3 different colors of stain: Ipswitch, Classic Gray, and Classic Oak.  I started first with the gray, and just painted a couple pieces with small streaks.  The gray was to give the mirror a weathered look, and simulate a real aged piece of wood.  Honestly, the gray ended up being too pronounced, less like stain and more like paint, but I will get to how I fixed that later.  I let the gray dry a few hours, then came back and stained with both the Oak, and Ipswitch, dabbing my brush into one, painting a couple pieces, then dabbing into the other to pain some more.

Once the whole mirror was painted, I could stand back and see the gray was looking a little too fabricated, so based on my Dad's recommendation, I took the blow torch, and started charring again the gray stained areas.

The big concern for all of this, is to take care that each plank piece looks unique, and no two pieces together have markings that extend into the other piece.  So after burning a few spots, places where the burnt marks bled into neighboring pieces, I was able to take some sand paper and lighten up the neighboring pieces to bring back the uniqueness, yet retain the grey-to-scorched appearance.

Here is the result...


Copyright © 2013 Another Rome All Right Reserved