DIY distressed blue wooden caddy

One of the many perks of attending the Haven Conference each year is that I get to take home some cool swag. (By the way, if you’re a DIYer and/or a home niche blogger, you should seriously consider attending Haven this year. Bonus: We can meet in person and hang out!)

For example, last year the folks from Home Depot handed out cute wine rack and wooden caddy kits.

Home-Depot-garden-caddy

I finally got around to putting my caddy together this week, so I wanted to share with you how I made it extra special. (For a free plan on how to build your own wooden caddy, click here.)

I started by stenciling the two long side pieces with the Royal Design Studio French Number Stencil. I already had this stencil on hand after using it on my wooden coat rack project.

Royal-Design-Studio-numbers-stencil

I used Royal Design Studio Stencil Crème in Bronze Age for the color.

Stenciling

After that dried, I mixed together a combination of Bleached Blue and Vintage Aqua Varathane® wood stains.

Varathane-stain-bleached-blue-aqua

I applied the stain mixture to every piece of the caddy except the handle. (The pieces weren’t put together yet.) I even brushed the stain right over the stenciled numbers.

Staining-over-stencils

I wiped back the stain and this was the result:

Stained-stenciled-wood

While that dried, I spray-painted the caddy’s handle with a coat of Rust-Oleum® Aged Metallic Paint & Primer in One – in Weathered Steel.

Rust-Oleum-Aged-Metallic-Weathered-Steel

I used my orbital sander to distress the edges of each wooden piece. Then I attached all the pieces.

Putting-together-garden-caddy

To give the caddy an aged look, I used a watered-down coat of Varathane Wood Stain – in Kona – over the sanded edges. I wiped back the stain with a damp piece of steel wool until I achieved my desired result.

Distressing-with-Rust-Oleum-Kona-stain

Finally, I applied a clear topcoat in a matte finish. Done! I can use this caddy to hold my tools or garden supplies.

Distressed-garden-caddyOr I can use it as a decorative piece in my living room.

Decorative-garden-caddyHave you stained any wooden pieces lately? I’d love for you to share your project in a comment.

Special thanks to Rust-Oleum, Home Depot and Royal Design Studio for providing the supplies needed to complete this project. 

Thrifty doorknob transformation: From old gold to modern bronze

Earlier this week, I shared with you my thrifty door transformation. My faux wood door turned out so well that I just couldn’t bear to put back the old, scratched-up gold hardware. But I also couldn’t bear to shell out the bucks for a new lock set.

So I headed downstairs to my newly organized paint shelf and grabbed a can of my favorite spray primer and a can of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.

How to paint door hardware

I started by cleaning the hardware really well and roughing up the finish with steel wool to help the paint grip to the metal. Then I set up a makeshift spray paint area.

Gold-doorknobs

Cardboard boxes work great for propping up pieces to paint!

I gave the knobs and deadbolt a good once over with black Rust-Oleum® primer. This is my favorite primer because it’s (almost) fool proof.

Priming-doorknobs

Tip: When spray painting, patience is key! Use quick, light passes and keep the can at least 5-10 inches from your piece. Think two light coats rather than one heavy coat. I have gotten impatient with spray paint in the past and it always leads to more work in the end.

After the primer dried, I gave the hardware two light coats 😉 of Rust-Oleum Universal® Metallic Spray Paint in Oil-Rubbed Bronze. You can pick this stuff up at your nearest home improvement store.

Oil-rubbed-bronze-doorknob

I waited for everything to dry really well, which is the hardest part for me. Then I reinstalled the hardware on the door. Done!

Oil-rubbed-bronze-door-knob

I’ve now got a “new,” rich-looking lock set that only required stuff I already had on hand in my basement. I love it when that happens. :)

Faux-woodgrain-door-1

One word of caution: I like to let painted metal “cure” for about a week before I start handling it too much. It helps ensure a good bond and a durable finish. Fortunately, our side door rarely gets used, so this was not an issue for us.

What do you think of my “new” door hardware?

Thrifty transformation: How to paint a door to look like wood

For a few years now, I’ve been wanting to spruce up the side door that opens into our garage. This is what it looked like “before:”

Side-door-before-1

As you can see, there’s nothing really wrong with the door, per se. (Yes, normally the hardware is intact.) 😉 The only part that really bothered me was that the trim around the windows was left white. I originally planned on simply painting that to match the tan on the rest of the door.

But after thinking it over, I decided to make this door look richer – like a brand new, expensive, solid wood door. And I knew I could achieve the look using my faux wood grain painting technique. This technique will give the appearance of a high-end, solid wood door – even close up – for under $40!

After removing the hardware and cleaning off all the cobwebs and bugs, I gave the door a once over with a coat of exterior flat paint.

Side-door-before

I chose Clark+Kensington® Paint & Primer in One – in Copper Pot, purchased at Ace Hardware.

Clark+Kensington-paint

I chose the orange color because I wanted a finished result that mimicked a cedar/cherry wood look. I would recommend choosing a base paint color that matches the undertones of whatever wood you want to replicate.

After the paint dried, I mixed together portions of two tubes of Minwax Water-Based Express Color Wiping Stain and Finish.* I chose mahogany and walnut and ended up using a little more of the mahogany. (This thicker wiping stain or a similar gel stain is key for this project. Regular stain will not adhere to painted pieces.)

Minwax-wiping-stain

Then I used a good paintbrush (Purdy is my all-time favorite) to apply a coat of the mixed stain to a small section of the door, attempting to create a natural wood look.

Applying-faux-woodgrain-door

I had my laptop nearby the whole time, displaying a photo of a door I wanted to replicate. This gave me a clear picture of the direction, appearance and texture of real wood grain.

I used this handy wood graining tool to create realistic knots and different types of wood grain patterns in the stain.

Wood-graining-tool

This tool is tricky to get the hang of but, once I did, I was impressed with the results!

How-to-use-wood-graining-tool

Together, the exterior paint base and wiping stain create a superior, durable finish. I used this exact same technique on our front door and it has held up spectacularly well for several years. We have a dog that jumps on the door every day and there is not one single scratch in the finish!

Here’s a look at our “new” side door:

Faux-woodgrain-door-1

Faux-woodgrain-door-closeup

Faux-woodgrain-side-doorThe door hardware was previously gold. I spray-painted it oil-rubbed bronze to give it a more modern look. I’ll share all the details of that project in a post later this week.

Oil-rubbed-bronze-door-knob

Faux-woodgrain-door-2

What do you think of my thrifty door transformation?

Door-before-and-after

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