Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wood Growth Chart

This project is a little late.  It is something I have planned on doing for the last 3 years and just kept putting off.  Finally after my youngest son ripped the paper chart we have I decided I had to get something more permanent. I have seen all kinds of different options on Pinterest that were all simple enough to make but I just could never find one that really struck my interest.  So combining a few different ideas I came up with my own.

I planned to make a tutorial out of this but it took a lot of trial and error before I finally got it complete and I'm not sure I could tell you all the steps it actually took.  I will tell you how it ideally would have gone.  If you want to try to take this on make sure you do a trial run on a scrap piece of wood!

I started by measuring out the ruler and marking every inch.  Then I took a router with a round bit and routed out the lines.  This surprisingly was the easiest step of the whole process.  I expected it to be the hard part since I have never used a router before.

Next I printed the numbers out to the size I wanted.  Then I took a pencil and scribbled on the back side of each number.  Place the number with the pencil scribbles down on the wood where you want it located and use a pen and trace the number.  The pencil lead will transfer from the back of the number to the wood so you have an outline of your number.

I used a dremel tool to route out the numbers.  I did practice this on a scrap piece of wood before doing it.  I found the easiest way to do it was to gradually work deeper and do several shallow passes.  Doing it this way makes it easier to not lose control of the dremel and get out of the marked lines.

After this was complete I sanded down the surface, starting with an 80 grit sand paper and working up to 220 grit to give it a smooth finished surface.

Finally, the step I thought would be the easiest, and boy was I wrong!  Staining...  First mistake, I used maple wood.  Very hard wood that does not take stain well and since I planned to make it dark this just didn't work.  I went through 4 different finishes wiping off, sanding off, wiping off and finally giving up trying to get it as dark as I wanted.  The wood wasn't the only issue.  The routed out lines and numbers also pooled stain and the amount of time it would take to get back to it to clean out the pooled spots made streaks when I would try to fix it.  So I really don't know how I got to this final finish.  It isn't exactly what I wanted but it will work.

So tip...if you want it darker use a darker wood to start with!

I applied a satin poly to the top to protect the wood and finally it is complete!

I can't wait to get it mounted and my kids marks all over it :)

Mirror Makeover

Finally!  Time to update my guest bathroom!  For my first project I updated the old boring mirror with some glass tile.  It turned out amazing!

What you need:
-Sand paper (80 grit)
-1" Mesh mounted tile
-Painters Tape
-2 part clear Epoxy Glue (I used 2.5 tubes of gorilla glue)
-Unsanded Tile Grout (and grouting supplies)

Step 1: Lightly sand the edges of the mirror.  Be sure only to sand the area the tile will be covering.  You only need to scratch it up a bit to be sure the glue adheres.

Step 2: Cut the mesh on the tile to the desired boarder size.  Mine is 3".  Be sure to trim the edges of the mesh as close to the tiles as possible.

Step 3: Mix 2 part epoxy.  Be sure to read the directions for the glue!  You won't want to mix all of it at once or it will set before you are able to use it all.   Apply glue to the back of the tile and position on mirror.  You have a few minutes to adjust the tile position before it sets.

This was the hardest part of this project.  Since I did this with my mirror still on the wall the tile would slide out of position so I had to hold it for about 15 minutes, which got really tiring.  After the first few pieces my husband recommended painters tape to help hold it in place, brilliant!  So instead of holding it for 15 minutes I held it for maybe 5 until the glue started getting tacky then let the painters tape do the rest.

Once complete let the glue cure for the recommended time in the directions.  I think it was 24 hours.

Step 4: Grout. Be sure to use unsanded grout if you are using glass tile, sanded will scratch the surface of glass tiles.

Using painters tape, tape of the inner side of the mirror where it meets the tile.  This will help ensure a clean grout line along the edges.  You may also want to to it at the wall if you are doing this with the mirror still mounted.  As you can see in my picture the grout got on the wall and made a bit of a mess but as this is just step one in my bathroom remodel, paint is coming very soon!

Mix grout in a large bucket and using grout float apply to tile.  Be sure you push it down into the cracks and wipe away excess.  Use a sponge to clean surface.  I recommend searching youtube for a video on how to grout before taking this on.  It's not difficult but needs to be done correctly.

Peel tape from mirror before the grout is completely dry.

Step 5: Once grout has cured for recommended time on the package seal the grout to help prevent any mold growing in the wet bathroom environment.

And you are done!

Project number 2... Floor tile!  I can't wait!

Update:  1 year later and the mirror still looks great!  Just a change of wall color! I'm sanding and painting the doors dark grey next!

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