Planked Truck Art

You know when you envision a project and then you have that miracle moment when it turns out better in real life than you thought it would in your head? For me, that moment was this project – Planked Truck Art.

I wanted to create something fun, bold and unique but with a rustic/farmhouse touch to hang on the wall in my son’s room. Their room is going to be a mix of little boy, rustic and machine and I wanted something that would group those characteristics together.

I really love planked art and thought it might be fun to do a version with trucks, but the whole idea became quite real when I heard about paints from Modern Masters. They have a whole line of Metallic paints and I knew they would be perfect for painting the trucks!

Want to make some of your own too!? Here is how I did it!

Build Your Own Planked Art Canvas

cut and stain collage

1. Cut your 1×4’s. For each canvas you will need 2 at 14” and 4 at 10.5”
The finished product is 14” x 17.5”
For three you would need 6 at 14” and 12 at 10.5”

2. Stain your wood pieces. Quinn’s and Zachary’s room will be done in Classic Gray so I stained them gray.

3. When the stain is dry, sand the wood down and give it the weathered/rustic look you desire.

Build a plank collage

Note: I do not own a Kreg Jig (on my wish list!) so I went with this method.

4. Cut out 1/4” MDF to be the size (or close to the size) of your finished project. You can find small sheets at Home Depot and they will cut them for you if you would like. I choose this because it is thin and light and will give me a level back.

5. Using wood glue, glue your top piece to the very top of the MDF. This will give you a nice straight edge.

6. Flip it over, line it up, make sure it is even on both sides and then pin nail it in using 1” nails.

7. Flip it back over and glue your next pieces down.

8. Making sure your pieces are level with the top piece, lift up your MDF at and angle and shoot one pin nail in the end of each of the four wood pieces. This will hold them in place so you can flip the whole thing over and add more nails to the back.

9. Glue and nail your bottom piece on.

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And you are done!

Now we have our canvas and can begin to paint!

I used my Silhouette Cameo and downloaded some fun trucks that I liked and cut them out using expressions vinyl. I then applied the “bones” of the vinyl to my canvas.

Then used Pharaohs Gold, Green Apple, Burnt Orange and Sashay Red to paint the template.

The black paint is some paint I had in my supply. I didn’t thing about the tires when ordering and actually like that they are not metallic like the trucks. It gives them more of a “real life” aspect.

This metallic paint is awesome. It brushes on really nice and is all shiny and metallic-y and the trucks look metal – and I love that!

When I was done painting I took off the template/bones and let it dry.

I sanded over the edges of the truck a little to make it look weathered but not too much over the paint itself. I didn’t want to mute the finish.

At the last minute I decided to add some metal chains to the art. I picked up some chain at Home Depot – 3 feet for $1.75 and used a foot of chain for each one.

I measured in from each side 3.5” and used my staple gun to staple the chain to the board at the top of each one. Then I hammered the staple in as flush as I could.

I used command strips to actually hang each piece. The chain is simply for decoration. I used to strips per each piece.

Using my level and my darling little helper (who is constantly asking what she can do to help me!) I hung them up 5 inches apart from one another.

 

After they were secure to the wall I used 1” x 1/4” bolts to secure the chain. The bolts are only for decoration. I did not use drywall anchors or anything. I simply screwed them into the wall.

I am so happy with how these turned out! I totally love them!

 

They look awesome with the board and batten I installed and give the perfect vibe for their room. If your haven’t heard of Modern Masters head on over and check them out! They have so many fun metallic colors that could be used in any room of the house! You will love their paint!

I have been sewing and assembling and have a lot of fun things to show you in their room so y’all come back now ya hear!!

Happy Wednesday!

Linked to The Link Party Palooza and Remodelholic

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How to Install Board and Batten

After I had cleared out my kiddo’s room – The first thing I wanted to do was to install board and batten! I totally and completely adore the look of board and batten and want it in almost every room of my home! So today we are going to share how to install board and batten. 

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I feel like it totally adds the charm and characteristic of an old farmhouse or craftsman style house (which I am completely going for!) and couldn’t wait to get started in Quinn and Zachary’s room. I am so glad I went for it because I am so in love with the finished product!

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Why yes, I did have to shift around the crib and the bed to take these photos! and yes… there is a big mess under my feet — just keeping it real right?

We had classic style baseboard and casing and I tore it all out and installed new craftsman style baseboard and casing. With the new base and casing nailed up, I was ready to begin the board and batten.

One of the great things about the new baseboards is that I had not caulked them to the wall yet, so the board and batten boards fit it nice and snug with not much space to have to caulk.

HOW TO INSTALL CRAFTSMAN STYLE BOARD AND BATTEN

First: Head on over to Home Depot and pick up three sheets of 1/2” MDF. (You may need more or less depending on the size of your room so just measure accordingly)  Home Depot workers are amazing and will cut all the slats for you. I had mine cut at four inches. Ask them to cut one board in 4” pieces lengthwise and two boards in 4” pieces widthwise. If you want your board and batten to be higher than 49” you will need them all cut lengthwise.

NOTE: This room is 12×12 – I just feel like that is important to share!

Second: Decide the height you want your board and batten. Mine is 52” high. Why 52”? Because when Spencer asked me how high I wanted it, I told him “this high” as I put my hand on the wall and it was 52” – no scientific reasoning… just that is how I wanted it!

Third: With a tape measure and pencil in hand, walk around the room and measure and mark the wall how high you want it. For the sake of argument we will go with 52”. Mark from the floor. Mark 52” in 4-5 places along the wall – mark each side and then a few places in the middle. Using a level draw a line to connect the dots.

Fourth: Nail up the top rail. Make sure you hit the studs in the wall with the nails. You will also want to use construction adhesive (liquid nails) to help secure the boards.

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If you have rounded corners you want to cut the top rail like you did the baseboard using 22.5” miters. You can find that tutorial here.

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Fifth: After your top rail is installed you can begin to add your boards. You need to really think and do some math at this point. How long is your wall? How far apart do you want your boards? Do you want them over the outlets? Do you want a board in each corner? How will it carry over onto the next wall?  This part is always the most stressful part for me. After measuring and doing the math I decided to glue and nail them up 13 inches apart from each other. On two of the three walls it worked out perfect but on the third wall there was only about 8 inches left before the door… but with how the room was it worked great.

Measure your wall then divide by the inches you want in between the board and the boards themselves. So if I wanted 13 inches in between and my wall was 160” long I would divide 160 by 17 (13+4).  I would try to stay around 10-14 inches apart. You could also decided how many boards you want a wall and divide that by the 160 to see how far apart you need them. 160 is pretty easy – 10 boards is 16” so each board would be 12” apart. But not every wall is simple like that. You may have measurements like 13 3/4 or 10 5/8.

You are going to be painting over your wall so don’t be afraid to mark it up and to make sure that is how you want it – if you need a better visual.

When you have your measurement, measure and mark your wall. Use a level and make a level line where the board can line up. This makes things go faster during the nailing up part.

You can see my marks and my level lines.

Sixth: Measure from baseboard to top rail and cut your slats. You will only need to cut off a few inches on each one. They should almost all be the same measurement. All of mine were 42.5” – so were a little more snug than others and some needed to be shaved off just a touch because the baseboard was warped a tiny bit but nothing bad.

Seventh: Unless you are a miracle worker (which I am not) and somehow worked out your boards to line up with all the studs in your wall you will need to use liquid nails to ensure your boards are tight to the wall.

Eight: Line up your board with the level line you drew and nail up your board. Since you have glue all over the back the line makes it less messy. I always stick one nail in the top and use my level to ensure it is still level (I always double check) and then I finish nailing the board in – at least two on the top, in the middle and the bottom.

TIP: When nailing them up, make sure they are flush with the top rail. If you have to caulk, you want the caulking to be less visible and that would be at the bottom between the board and the base.

I want you to notice two things in picture below (not the bad lighting, the dang sun was shining right in the window so sorry about that!) First: Notice the board second over from the wall. I wasn’t paying attention (in a hurry) and did not do what I just mentioned – and you can totally see the gap. That will be a bugger to caulk. Second: See the gap between the wall/corner and the board. That board is perfectly level. The wall…. not so much. If I had followed the wall, the board would look wonky and off level – because it would be. I will simply use a crap load of caulking in the gap and even it all out. When finished you won’t even see the gap, but if I didn’t level the board – you would have seen that!

 

Ninth: Caulk and putty the holes and all the seams.


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TIP: When caulking, fill an extra bowl or plastic bowl with a few napkins or wet wipes and use that to get your fingers wet for a smooth finish.

Tenth: Sand! This step is annoying but very important!! You don’t want rough edges on your boards and you don’t want caulk or putty marks so sand, sand, sand!

Eleven: First Coat of Paint!!! Use your brush and cut in and paint every singe corner/edge – then apply one thin coat to your boards. Pay attention to this first coat as it will point out all the flaws. You will find missed nail holes, missed sanding, missed caulking – and this gives you the chance to fix it all!!

Twelve: Paint on your final coats. I add on two more coats – the MDF seems to just suck up the paint so I add an extra coat “just in case!”

And you are done!!! Hip! Hip! Hooray!!

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TIP: With projects like this I feel like there are so many different things I need for the entire project so I just grab a clothes basket and put everything I need in there and then I can drag it around the room and have everything close by.

I was going to call this: 12 steps to board and batten – but let’s face it! This is hard work – time consuming!! I have seen a few posts and blogs and I thought “sweet! This will be so easy – you just throw some boards on the wall and call it good!”

No. That is wrong. haha!

It is easy enough – it just takes time! I did this room all by myself. Spencer was gone and I wanted it done so I did it – with three little helpers! It took me all day Saturday (11-6) to cut and nail everything up (base and casing included) and a couple hours (7:30-9:30) that night to putty all the holes and use one can of caulk.

I hate to caulk – it kills my fingers and always makes them bleed – so I only do one can of caulk at a time and it took 2 cans to do the room.

On Monday I finished caulking and that night sanded and vacuumed!
On Wednesday I painted on the first coat and touched up holes and such.
On Thursday I painted the last two coats and applied a fresh new layer of gray to the top.

I had paint in my hair for three days!

Was it worth it? heck yes!
Would I do it again? Yes! (this is actually the third room I have done this too! but the other project is secretive!)

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Tomorrow I will show you the trick to cut out the outlets!

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Cinnamon & Sugar French Toast Strips

My Cinnamon and Sugar French Toast Strip recipe is one of my best tips for keeping the morning running smoothly! They are super yummy, my kids love them and they are quick and easy and pretty much hassle free – freeing up valuable morning time.

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I don’t know about you guys but I have a love-hate relationship with bread. Sometimes we eat two or three loaves a week but then other times bread is for the birds… literally.

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When we have bread we need to use up, we usually bust out the skillet and make French Toast or Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Either way, I will use up the whole loaf and make Cinnamon and Sugar French Toast Strips.

You make them just like you would make French Toast – I whip up a few eggs with some milk, coat each piece of bread and place them on my skillet. Thick bread works the best (think homemade or Grandma Sycamore) you want to pass on the cheap-o thin stuff.

When one side is cooked, flip them over and butter the cooked side.

Sprinkle with Cinnamon and Sugar.

Take them off the skillet and let them cool for a few minutes.
Cut them into strips. I use a pizza cutter and it works like a charm. I cut them in half and then cut the halves into half.

I put them all in a freezer bag and toss them into my freezer.

Now…. this is the best part! On a morning when you need a quick and easy breakfast for you or your kids, pull out as many strips as you need and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 7-10 minutes and serve with your favorite syrup.

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You can serve a delicious homemade breakfast with no effort at all!

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I love this because I can start the oven, fix my make-up, throw in the cookie sheet, fix Tenley’s hair and breakfast is done! easy-peasy!

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White Subway Tile Backsplash

I am in la, la, la love with my white subway tile backsplash. When we set the first few tiles I sort of gritted my teeth and hoped I had made the right decision but every day I just love it more and more! I love the contrast of the white tile and gray grout with the granite counter tops and (hopefully soon) cherry cabinets!

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Are you ready for a picture overload??

Here we go!!

A couple before and after’s….

  

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It’s quite the difference huh? The white makes our kitchen so much brighter and cleaner and adds such a fun farmhouse aspect to our home.

(farmhouse may or may not be a little bit of foreshadowing!!) {wink!} {wink!}

Here are a few more beauty shots for you to enjoy!

   

One of my favorite things about the new tile, is that it goes up and over the window around the sink. At first we only had it as high as the tile underneath the cabinets, but then changed our minds and carried it all the way up and it was the best decision.

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Another fun decision we made that we both really love is replacing our white outlet covers for silver covers. We purchased ours from Home Depot and they are actually nickel covers and you can find them here. I love the simple step detail of the covers. It adds a bit of personality without being “too much.”

 

What do you think? Do you guys like the subway tile? Do you guys have it in your kitchens? Are you thinking about it now!!

I hope so!!

If you are on the fence – do it! You will love it!

To create this look in your home you can find all the tips and tutorials you need here:

How To Use A Tile Saw
How to Cut Tile for an Outlet
Create a Subway Tile Backsplash
How to Grout Tile
How to Seal Tile

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Build a Cedar Picnic Table

Towards the end of the summer, I got an idea to build a cedar picnic table in my head and could not get it out! It was one of those “we have to build this right now or I just might die” kind of projects. I ran my idea by Spencer and he was totally on board so we loaded up the kids and headed to Home Depot for supplies. It took us a couple hours during a couple afternoons to complete the project and we had a great time building it and staining it together. The end result is amazing and I am totally in love with our new cedar picnic table.

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Don’t you just love it?! A few of our family and friends have seen the table and each person has said something about how much they love it and how they wish we would build them one! haha! If they know anything about Spencer then they know that we built it – but most people are still amazed!

We are about $150 into this table. It is a little more pricey because we went with Cedar because it holds up to the elements and bugs much better than regular ole’ 2×4’s. But still…. $150 is pennies compared to most quality cedar tables. (Seriously… goggle it… then head to Home Depot for supplies for this one!) I wanted a darker table with a darker stain, but even if you didn’t stain it, the table would be just as pretty because of all the color variations in the Cedar… Cedar is lovely and it smells good too!

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Obviously, you can’t have a picnic table without seating. We choose to do benches for three reasons: they are easy to build, they are easy to store and you can fit lots of little kids on them!  We made our benches slightly smaller than the table so we can store them underneath when not in use. That was Spencer’s idea. I think he is brilliant!

Over the next few days, we are going to walk you through the instructions/tutorials to build your own Cedar Picnic Table for your own backyard! I will also give you a cut list so you will know exactly what you need to purchase to build one. Feel free to purchase whatever kind of wood you would like, but I would highly recommend Cedar.

Part One: Table Top
Part Two: Table Legs
Part Three: Benches
Part Four: Sand and Stain

See you next time!

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Linked to Remodealholic, SNAP and Tatertots and Jello.

Build A Backyard Fire Pit

In a week or two Fall will be in full swing. Our mornings are a bit crisper and the sun is setting earlier each day. We have been slowly working on our backyard and knew that one thing we could not miss out on was a fire pit. With the cooling temperatures, one of our favorite things to do as a family is sit around a warm fire, roasting hot dogs and making s’mores so we knew we had to build a backyard fire pit.

We have loved having it in our backyard and have used it so much already! It has been an awesome addition and we get so many compliments from our friends about it.

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We decided to do it above ground for a few reasons – but mostly to keep our children safe from falling into an open pit. The bricks that we choose are also thick enough that the outside stays nice and cool so you can brush up again the brick and not have to worry about it being too hot or burning your skin. I love the bricks – I think they are beautiful… as far as rock is concerned! We bought the bricks in the Garden section at Home Depot and we love them!

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Have we convinced you to build your own? Here! We will show you how!

Build a Backyard Fire Pit

First we need a base for the fire pit so we are going to pour a cement pad. Our pad is 34”x34”. Using 2×4’s and stakes, we built a wooden form for our pad. We then mixed our cement, poured it into the wooden form and smoothed it out. For cement/concrete tips you can go here.

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  • Let your concrete set for at least 24 hours, then remove the wooden form.

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  • Using a large sponge – wet the entire surface of your cement pad.

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  • Spread on a thin layer of mortar, about a 1/4” thick.

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  • Use your sponge and wet the bottom of each brick you place.

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  • Lay your bricks.
    With two bricks the long way and one turned sideways the outside will measure 29”. This also helps with stacking the brick. We centered our bricks on the pad, with a 2.5” cement border.

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  • Lay the first row and wet the top of those bricks.

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  • Spread another layer of mortar.
  • Wet the bottom of the bricks you are placing.
  • Place the bricks on top of the first row so the joints do NOT match.

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  • Use your sponge and clean up the extra mortar that falls off the side.

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  • Keep building your rows until you get your desired height. Our fire pit is 5 rows high.

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  • After your brick is placed and the outside is clean – use the rest of your mortar and float the inside of the fire pit.

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  • Using a tile float – cover the entire inside of your fire pit with mortar. Use the mortar from your bucket and float it evenly on each side.

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  • Use your sponge to even and smooth out the mortar.

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Let the mortar cure for about 48 hours and then check it. You might find little cracks in the mortar like these:

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Mix up a small batch of mortar and patch it up a bit.

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After your mortar sets add some sand into the pit. This brings your fire up a bit and lets any water that might get inside drain down and out.

  

Wait 48 hours for all the mortar to set and dry and then strike up a fire and bust out some marshmallows!

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I know that waiting those 48 hours for everything to dry… twice… is hard. Trust me though and wait! Your fire pit will look so much better if you do. Have a fun gathering with your family around a nice warm fire and making some new, awesome memories!

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Gray and Yellow Bathroom Makeover

You guys! I am so excited to share my bathroom progress with you today! I am loving how the gray, white and yellow are all tying in but it still looks so fresh and clean and tidy! It is amazing what a few inexpensive changes can make! I showed you how I painted gray and white stripes and how to frame a bathroom mirror and now it’s time to throw in the décor! For the full effect – here is the before picture:

Awesome right?! As much as I was digging the umm… errr… wooden toilet seat {giggle!} The Contractor and I knew it HAD to go! So — here is our new gray and yellow bathroom!

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SOOOOOO much better right!! I am loving this bathroom and even though we have a couple others – and even though one might be closer to me – I keep choosing to use this one! I love how it turned out!

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I love the shower curtain! I love the fun flowers and the ombre effect. I was a little nervous mixing patterns here in such a small space, but I feel it turned out wonderful!

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The Details:

  • The White Paint is called Antique White by Glidden – but we used Behr paint and primer in one and Home Depot matched it for us.
  • The Gray Paint is called Woodsmoke by Glidden – but we used Behr paint and primer in one and Home Depot matched it for us.
  • The rug and towels are part of the Threshold Line from Target.
  • The Shower Curtain is also part of the Threshold Line from Target – you can find it here.
  • The Bow Holder tutorial can be found here and I sprayed it Rustoleum Warm Yellow.
  • You can find info on the missing cabinets here!

Are you loving this new look as much as I am!!

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Frame A Bathroom Mirror

Hey All! This week we have been working on sprucing up our plain and boring family bathroom. Last time we showed you how we painted stripes on the walls and today we are going to show you the mirror we framed up and give you some simple steps to frame your own mirror using decorative base boards.

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First off, how in the world do you guys take photos of mirrors?? This was really challenging for me – bad lighting, reflection, me in gruby clothes… gah!!

I love the personality this simple little change made to the whole look of the bathroom and fun aspect it brought to the mirror – and the whole thing cost me ZERO dollars because I had everything on hand. If I didn’t have everything on hand it still would not be too bad on the pocketbook!

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Frame your Mirror Using Baseboard or Casing

  • Pick the wood/base/casing you would like to use. (I wanted mine to be a bit more decorative but any base or casing or wood would work.)
  • Measure your mirror. (Mine is 5 feet x 3 feet.)
  • Use your Miter Box to cut the mitered corners at 45 degrees.
  • Place the wood on your miter box face UP and cut each piece with a left 45 and a right 45 miter. From OUTSIDE corner to corner is your measurement (5ft and 3ft). When you cut your pieces make sure you cut each one the same way. Don’t Flip Your Wood to Make the Second Cut!! Simply scoot it down.

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  • Paint/Stain the inside edge of your wood on the backside. Since we are putting this on a mirror you will be able to see the reflection of the wood. If you do not paint it, you will see the unfinished wood in the reflection. Raw wood on back and white paint on front – not so pretty… Here you can see white in the reflection. You can also see my pretty mitered corners!

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  • Use an adhesive and glue those babies right to the mirror! I used Liquid Nails. They are not going anywhere! I started with the top piece and put the adhesive on the back and pressed it up to the mirror. I used a small level to make sure it was even and then really just held it in place for a few minutes until it dried a little. I then used packaging tape to hold it in place overnight.
  • Do the same thing with the sides and the bottom – make sure you use your level to make them even.
  • When the adhesive is dry, caulk around the entire mirror on the outside and on your seems. Remember to use paintable caulking.
  • When the caulk is dry – paint!

Note: If you are going to use stained wood, I would stain it first before gluing it to the mirror. When your adhesive is dry you would be done!

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We love it, love it, love it! Pick a mirror in a bathroom and spruce it up a bit! You will love it too! We are almost finished – next up — decorating!!

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How to Use a Miter Box

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If you were/are a newbie to the DIY building world and asked me what tool you should buy first…. this is the one I would tell you … a Miter Box!

The Miter Box is one of our very favorite tools to use – mostly because we do use it for almost every single project that we build and because it is so easy to use! I know you are shaking your head and looking at the big blade and your tiny fingers and are thinking “no way!” but once you get the hang of the Miter Box– you will love it and wonder why you ever did without!

When we moved into our house six years ago, we completely remodeled the entire thing! It is still a work in progress as most houses are – but anyhoo! I HAD to learn how to cut with the Miter Box. Spencer would give me a list of sizes of wood he needed and it was my job to deliver! At first I admit, I was intimidated but after a few cuts — it is cake!

We made a video to show you how easy it is to cut a straight line!

And just in case you cannot see the video – here is a little tutorial for you!

How To Use A Miter Box

  • Set your main angle and your compound angle to 0 degrees.
  • Hold your piece of wood tight to the fence.
  • Bring your wood to the spot where you have measured to cut.
  • Make sure your hands are out of the way of the blade!
  • Bring the blade down to make sure the blade will cut where you want it too.

  • Lift the blade up and slowly start the motor by pushing it with your fingers.
  • Move the blade through the wood at a nice even pace.

  • Bring the blade back up and hold onto your wood until the blade/motor stops.

And you will have a nice straight line at the end of your piece of wood!

See! A total piece of cake!! Next up – we will show you how to cut mitered ends.

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