Once the built-in daybed in the bonus room was complete, it seemed like the rest of the room needed to be refined a bit. I gave it a fresh coat of paint and will hang some of the kids’ art projects on the walls. I was able to repurpose a lot of my unused frames for their larger pictures and found square ones on clearance at Michael’s that fit the smaller artwork perfectly. I’ll have to think about a fun way to hang these on the wall (maybe a future project). I’m excited to get them up to bring some color to the room!
After painting and hanging some art, we were still in need of something to put a tv on. An on-line search for “rustic tv console” eventually led me to an awesome blog that absolutely blows my mind…Ana White. Not only is her blog wicked cool, but I aspire to BE her. She is the ultimate handy lady!
Ana’s site includes step-by-step plans for building a rustic x console. It is beautiful and just what I was looking for. Her detailed plan gave me confidence that I could build my own. Ana includes a material list, tool list and even a cut list. It made everything so easy!
You can check out the plans in their entirity on Ana’s site, but I wanted to share my build experience with you. The plans call for using relatively inexpesive types of wood. A few 2 x 4’s, 2 x 2’s, 2 x 8’s and 1 x 12’s was basically all that was needed. All of the wood cost less than $70 which was great because I didn’t have to worry about messing up too much. I wasn’t going to break the bank if I made a bad cut.
You do need to have a couple fancy tools for this job including a miter saw and a kreg jig. I used the miter saw quite a bit on my daybed build so I felt pretty comfortable using it. The kreg jig, however, was very confusing at first. A kreg jig is used to make pocket holes to join two pieces of wood. Its a good idea to learn how to make them because they are very strong and hide the screws in your finished product. I borrowed a kreg jig from my Dad and got a quick tutorial from him, but I ended up having to do quite a bit more research before I understood how to use the jig. The best tutorial I found was by Colorado1derful on YouTube. She did a great job showing and explaining how to use the jig. And honestly, once I practiced a few, it was easy peasy.
The cuts and build went pretty smoothly overall but it did take a long time and seemed a bit tedious at times, especially drilling all those pocket holes! I split up the work over several days and worked when I had a chunk of time. Luckily the weather was nice and I could do a lot of my cutting and sanding outside because it makes a huge mess.
I was so happy with the build and wanted to love the finish just as much. It was such a difficult decision! I didn’t want to make the wrong choice and be disappointed. This was new territory for me. I am usually decisive to a fault. I had a few stains on-hand so I started with those and bought a few more and tested them all on scrap wood.
I also tried something completely new to try to give the wood a reclaimed look. Its an odd process: first you submerge steel wool in white vinegar and allow to sit for at least a day, then you brush strong, brewed tea into the wood and once dry, apply the white vinegar/steel wool mixture. It sounds strange but it did work, kind of. It stained the woods different colors so I wasn’t able to use it for this project. I will try it in the future with another project and provide more detailed instructions and results then.
In the end, I used espresso stain and finishing wax. I liked the rustic look the color and wax provided.
A few pieces of advice for the novice stainer here:
- stain in a well-ventilated area and plan on keeping your creation there for a few days after you stain. That stuff stinks!
- don’t start a staining project at 8pm in your poorly-lit garage.
- use the same applicator on your test strip and your finished project. Notice how the color looks different on my test strip in the photo above? I used an old t-shirt to apply the stain for my test and stain applicator sponges for my console. I didn’t realize how much more stain the sponge would apply and my console came out much darker than my test (um, the fading daylight didn’t help much either!).
And finally, I was able to bring it inside and decorate it!
Notice it doesn’t have a tv on it and it isn’t in the bonus room? I liked it so much I decided I wanted to enjoy it where I would see it everyday. The kids will just have to wait for their tv stand. There’s always the next project…