Category Archives: Life As A Painter

Pallet shelf with coat and key hooks

Another pallet venture. This is modified from some pictures we found on Pinterest. In those pictures, the ones that had coat hooks had them attached to the front piece of wood, but that won’t work for us since the door would open into them. Instead, we got some celing hooks to attach underneath, and a couple standard coat hooks to serve as decorative “key hooks”.

DIY Dining Room Table refinish/painting

Here’s a recent project I took on. My wife has been begging me to do something with a dining room table for a while. I’ve been reluctant to paint the one we have because it has a laminate/formica top, and I wasn’t fond of the idea of the finish chipping off.. But after some research, I felt more comfortable with the idea. After sanding the crap out of it, I ended up using oil-based kilz as the bonding primer. My cousin Pete suggested XIM, but I had already completed the priming process, and I’ve had nothing but good experiences with kilz over the years. But while talking to him, I did get some invaluable advice for which products to use to ensure durability for years. Since This table project is not something I’m looking to repeat any time soon, I took his advice to use a lacquer paint followed by a lacquer clear-coat. I hauled it over to a friend’s cabinet shop where he let us loose with the HVLP cup gun. We gave a it a couple good coats of white, came back the next night to scuff it up a little to give it that touch of shabby chic, and then gave it a couple good coats of clear.

Overall, I’m super happy with result, and I think it’s going to hold up even in our hazardous environment (we have 3 kids, I’m sure you understand).

Operation Desk: DIY desk and shelves

I decided to build a desk since the prices of nice desks are astronomical, and since I wanted it to be a custom fit for me. I knew I wanted more desk space, but didn’t want to necessarily build a giant desk, so I opted instead to build two side shelves that could serve as an extension to the desk. This is super convenient if I ever needed to use the desk in a smaller location or if I wanted to position the shelves differently.

Since it’s a style i’m familiar with (and like), I decided to build it using a similar technique to how I built the media cabinets, and the tv stand. The main difference being that I wanted to stain this piece, so would need to have a better solution for the nail/screw holes. I ended up buying a pocket hole jig from lowes, and that solved the issue (almost) perfectly. Since pocket holes aren’t quite as strong, I had to do some additional reinforcement on the desk legs to keep them straight.

I had a few mishaps along the way and not everything lines up perfectly, but overall I’m really happy with how this project came out. Below are some pictures of the project in progress, and completed.

Because no DIY project would be complete without before pictures. ;)


Phase 1: Build it

Phase 2: The finish

Phase 3: Putting it all together

Probably 5 too many pictures, but what the heck.

Gratuitous details

“Southport version of Extreme Makeover”

For the last week, we have been renovating Vic & Cindy’s master bedroom in anticipation of Vic’s arrival here.  He lost his job in MN, which is a bad thing, but is a good thing because he gets to move here to be with his family.  We wanted to do this for them, because we appreciate them so much, and to give them a haven to get away from all the “young people.” Since they always take care of themselves last, we knew their room would never get done, unless we did it now.  And it’s a good thing… the room started out bad, and was only getting worse with the addition of miscallaneous things that didn’t belong anywhere else.  Here’s some “before” pictures.


the couch was a new addition to the room… you could say it’s what pushed us over the top…

After we started moving stuff…

room between bathroom and bedroom.


Ok… enough of that… now for the “After” stuff!

first, pictures:

Master Bedroom

Master Bath

And the video “reveal”