Friday, June 23, 2017

Super Easy Pallet Sign!

Building a pallet sign is so simple and easy- I can't see why you wouldn't just make one instead of buying it. Mrs. Awesome and I have seen signs of a similar size selling in boutique shops for over $50! And well, us being us, we wanted to create something which was unique to us.

Making a pallet sign really couldn't be easier. In order to make one, here's what you'll need:

A pallet
Some scrap 1"x 1" pine stock for cross pieces
A saw to cut the boards to length
Some picture hanging wire or scrap wire
1 1/4" wood screws
Screwdriver or electric drill

Begin by cutting the planks from the pallet. If you want a longer sign, you can use a pry bar to try and work the boards off the cross pieces. Once you have the boards free, arrange them horizontally or vertically, depending on how you want the sign to hang.

Decide which pieces fit best where. An old, weathered pallet will have a beautiful patina which you can use to enhance the beauty of your sign. If you are going to give your sign a shape, some boards long, others short or the tops cut at an angle, whatever it is, lay it out and cut the boards to shape. 

Once that's done, you'll lay them out face down on a solid surface, making sure to reverse the order of the boards. The leftmost face up becomes the rightmost face down.

Figure out how long each pine cross piece needs to be, leaving an inch or so from the edges and cut 2 to length.

Place each cross piece where it needs to be and using a screw, screw each board, from the back through the cross piece into the pallet wood.

Using a length of scrap wire wrap it around two of the screws to make the mounting wire.

Decorate your sign however you want!

We used acrylic paints, a vinyl stick on and a few coats of satin polyurethane to finish the "Hello Sunshine" sign.

This is a great project to do with your loved ones to enjoy your Loved Lived Life!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The never-ending bathroom reno

Wow, what a shock to realize that we haven't posted on the blog in weeks! I blame the bathroom renovation. I am known for blithely wandering into a home improvement project only to discover it's a much bigger undertaking than I realized, but this one may take the cake. 

We calculated the other day that we have spent 74 hours on tiling thus far. This isn't counting the time doing demo or anything like that, just 74 hours preparing the tub enclosure and working on tiling the enclosure. Yeah, you read that right, 74 hours and we haven't even gotten to the floor. 

And...we're actually not even done with the tub enclosure. We've had endless problems with the mosaic tile. Don't buy paper fronted glass tile. If you love yourself and your sanity, just don't do it. Don't. (I warned you.) Over twenty of the little so and so's fell off and had to be reattached with tile adhesive. We also had lots of thinset bleed through that had to be tediously ground out with a dremel and grinder bit. 

I can't help but think back to when we had professionals re-tile our kitchen and entry way and they were done in 2 1/2 days including the grouting. Grouting, I haven't even begun to conceptualize the day that will happen. It might be December...of next year. 

Wish us luck! We need it!

This glass mosaic tile may look innocent, but it hides
a heart of pure evil. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tiling is not for the faint of heart

All our good intentions were for naught and we went into Memorial Day weekend unprepared to begin tiling. Thus, we spent the majority of Saturday learning the intricacies of tiling at a Home Depot free tiling clinic and then mounting backer board and sealing the joins, cleaning up the drywall where we removed the mirror (they didn't skimp on the glue for that) and removing thinset from the floor. We wrapped up on Saturday night around 1:30 am. 

Tackling the project again on Monday, we were ready to tile...or so we thought. We thought we would finish the shower stall in one day, but instead we didn't even finish one wall, even though it was a twelve hour day that wrapped up at midnight. 

Our twelve hours:

12-2: We spend two hours figuring out the math of how to lay the large rectangular tiles and have space for the accent tile without it looking weird.
2-2:30: Eat lunch.
2:30-4:30: We then spent two hours figuring out how to cut the tile with the tile saw and get the cuts to be straight and where we wanted them. We never get it right.
4:30-4:45: We mix thinset and discover we don't have the correct size trowel for the size tile we have.
4:45-5:15: I run to Lowe's while Mr. Awesome begins tiling with the wrong size trowel.
5:15-7:15: We think the thinset is too thick, but persevere, because what if we're wrong. A mallet turns out to be a bad idea as the tiles slip and slide and knock the spacers out repeatedly.
7:15-8:15: We eat dinner.
8:15: Make thinset again, thinner this time.
8:30: Set one tile.
8:40: Decide thinset is too thin and go thicken.
8:50-9:50: Set tiles with excruciating slowness.
9:50-10:20: Set the paper fronted glass mosaic tiles. Realize we don't have as small a trowel as they call for, but the home improvement stores are all closed, so we go with what we have.
10:20-10:50: Finish laying lower tile and realize we can't lay the tile above the glass mosaic until it sets, because it will just rip them right off the wall with the weight of the bigger tile.
10:50-midnight: Tediously moisten and try to remove the gum paper from the glass mosaic tile. Little tiny glass mosaics fall off. Reapply. They fall off. Reapply. Fall off. Reapply. Try to clean thinset from between mosaics. Mosaics fall off. Reapply. Fall off. Reapply. Repeat until we're ready to scream.
Midnight-12:30: Realize we made way too much thinset and end up having to dump the rest, because according to the interwebs there is no way to save thinset. Clean up. Wish life was like a TV show and they could do a fade and when they fade back in, the tiling is done. 

Lessons learned:

  1. Much of preparing a tub enclosure for tiling seems to be conjecture. There is no hard and fast rule about how to treat the cement board or how much space you need between the cement board and tub - the more we researched, the more we learned different people have different opinions. 
  2. Never buy paper fronted glass tile unless you are an experienced tile layer. We were not ready for that tile.
  3. Figure out the math before you're ready to start tiling
  4. You must get thinset out from in between tiles or you won't be able to grout. This is another reason you should not buy paper fronted tile. 
  5. Mixing large format tiles that require a lot of thinset and small format tile like glass mosaic creates quite the depth difference that inexperienced DIYers (like us) are ill-equipped to handle. 
  6. Tubs are not level. Walls are not straight. Be sure to determine level and make adjustments along the edges so all your tile isn't crooked. 
  7. You shouldn't use mastic in a shower. We almost made that mistake. 
  8. Conversely, you shouldn't use thinset on drywall. 
  9. However long you think tiling will take, double it. Maybe even triple it. 
  10. You will be sore. You don't know how this is possible, but it is. 

This does not look like 12-hours of work.