Tag Archives: Paint

Adventures in Table Making – Part II


Here it is!  The table that I have been working on these past few weeks.   The table top, which I discussed in Part I, is now married to the base.  (Que Wedding March)

The Base

The base comes from these plans on http://www.ana-white com, the Narrow Farmhouse Table.

Except, her plans are for a table 96″ long and 30″ deep.  I loved the tapered legs in this plan, so I modified her plans down to 66″ long and 20″ deep in keeping with my intent and location.

Tapered Legs

The challenging part of this plan (click illustration above for Ana’s plan) was the tapered leg.  The goal, of course, was to have 8 uniformly tapered legs.

After a few failed attempts to make perfect cuts with a circular saw and a jig saw, I ran screaming to the internet looking for a better solution.  And I found this…..

Tablesaw Tapering Jig

Click the illustration above to get the directions for making this Jig for the tablesaw.  It was quick and easy to make with scraps I had on hand.

After making the jig, then I set up my saw for the 1×3 sized legs.  The fence was set to ensure that the saw blade entered the wood at the appropriate place and then I loosened the screw to get the angle that I wanted.

I was able to make 4 identical legs from the 1×3 boards.

Then I set up the jig for the 1×4 board by making the same adjustments to the fence and the screw to ensure I was getting the exact angle cut that I needed.

Once I got the hang of  it, and I did have to make adjustments to the screw a few times to get exactly the angle that I wanted, it was quick work to make the 4 identical legs from the 1×4 boards.

After all the cuts were made, I clamped the boards together to sand them to ensure they remained identical.

Then I glued and nailed the 1×4/1×3 combo’s together to get 4 distinct leg sections.

Be sure to follow Ana’s Leg diagram in Step 3 to ensure you are creating the correct combinations.

Framing the Base

I made some changes to the base from the original plans.  First, I removed the leg braces.  Since the table is not as deep as the original, it didn’t require the additional bracing.  Also,  I did not want to detract from the beautiful legs.

I did add the bracing and instantly regretted it.  I removed both of them with a swift whack of the hammer (while bracing the legs).

Second, I replaced the 1×6 apron with a 1×4 apron.  Again, the smaller table did not need that type of super structure and the 1×4 allowed more leg clearance when using a chair with a standard seat base height of 18″.

Using clamps, glue and a nail gun, I attached the apron to the legs.

Prepping the Base for the Table Top

The original plan for adding a table top to the base was to attach individual 1×8 boards screwed through the top.  Instead, I had created a single piece table top that I wanted to attach through the bottom.

So, rather than adding the 2×2 table supports as shown in Step 6:

I added corner brackets and a single 2×2 support in the middle which I glued and nailed into place.  The corner brackets are there to screw down the table top from the underside.


I used a color board to decide on a paint color for the base.  I matched this color board up with the stained top to get an understanding of how the colors would work together.  Plus, I can take the color board into the target room to see how the colors work in the lighting it will live in.

I did attempt to use just a clear lacquer finish to bring out the beauty of the select pine, but I’m afraid my cheap nail gun made too many blemishes that needed corrections and the lacquer would only accentuate the wood putty.  So, I decide a painted base was in order.

I applied three thin coats of white primer.

Followed by three thin coats of Satin Ivory Silk

Followed by two thin coats of Clear Matte.  After allowing the base to dry for 24 hours, I was ready to attach the table top.

Attaching the Table Top

I carefully laid the table top upside down onto some towels and then placed the inverted base on top.  I carefully measure and remeasure the overhang and made some reference marks.  In the case that the base is not perfectly square, the reference marks will allow it to be squared up as it is screwed down.

The Scary Part

I cannot count how many times I have ruined a beautiful finish by accidentally choosing the wrong screw size.   Since I was attaching the top to the base from the underside, there was the risk that I would end up piercing the finished topside if I was not careful.  Nightmarish stuff.

First, I made absolutely positive that I had the correct screw size (1 ¼”) for all 4 screws by stacking two 1×3 scrapes and ensuring the screw would not protrude, even if slightly countersunk.

Second, I knew I needed to make pilot holes to ensure that the wood would not split and I was concerned that I would drill through the finished topside.  To prevent this, there are two methods.

1) Use a piece of tape to mark on the drill bit the depth to which you want to drill.

2) Countersink your drill bit into the chuck to the desired depth.  Measure your depth with the 1 ¼ screw.

Next, I made pilot holes and then sunk the screws working in opposite corners to allow for squaring up as I went.

I made sure the Base was flush with the table top and did not overtighten.

So, I have gone from this:

Desk Mock Up

To this:

Narrow Farmhouse Table

Lots more to share with you regarding the final wood/color choices, costs, project time and some building tips.  I will save this for tomorrow while I savor my finished table.  Sometimes I walk into my bedroom several times a day just to look at it.

I will also be linking this on www.ana-white.com as a brag post.

A Bird In Hand….


Yesterday, there was a spoiler alert in this post here. It was the next step in my Home Office Makeover…. the shelves. My original plan was to build some shelves for over the printer, but I decided to upcycle some Pottery Barn shelves that I had lying around. I also had some ledger shelves in a drawer that needed some love, so I threw them into the mix.


The hard part was deciding on the paint. The first coat of paint I put on them was bright glossy white. Don’t you just love glossy white shelves? After two coats, I decide the bright white was just going to introduce another color into the scheme (yes, white is a color) and compete with the brighter colors already on my mood board.

I love that I can change color in the middle of it all. So, I switched to the Ivory Satin that I was using on the Lost Sock project from yesterday.

And while I was at it, I painted some of the items that I purchased for this room. As you remember from a previous post, I do not like Gold Trim on anything, so bring on the paint….

Glossy Sunny Yellow

and this “Dream” needed to lighten up with some Glossy Sunny Yellow, too.

I love how dreamy the “Dream” is looking.

and wait, even more paint…..

This was an interesting shape, but the color didn’t work, so here come the Glossy Key Lime…… Yum!

Now “Dreamy” has some “Yummy” to go with it.

So let’s talk about the painting. Each items gets a minimum of two coats of primer to cover the old color and to allow the new paint to adhere better. Thin coats work best. The thin coats of paint won’t run and it dries fast so I can do multiple coats in a shorter time period.

Then the color coat is done the same, but I do 3-4 thin coats to get the coverage I want. I take my time and allow the paint to cure about 24 hours after finishing the last coat. This makes sure the paint surface won’t mar when you handle it.

Since the shelves were going to have items with weight sitting on them, I let them cure for about 48 hours before attempting to install them.


While waiting for paint to dry, which is as agonizing for me as watching paint dry, I had to make some decision about placement. I used Painters Tape to mark where I wanted to place each shelf.

These shots are from each side of the desk. I hadn’t planned on putting shelves on both sides, but once I stumbled across the massive abundance of shelves that I had stockpiled, it made sense for balance.

Let me say right now that I hate hanging shelves and this time was no picnic. I did manage to get all the screws into the wall. I used Hollow Wall Anchors for the larger shelves as I didn’t have the good fortune to find studs in the wall where I needed them. The ones I like have pointed tips so I just hammer them into the wall and then tighten the screw to expand the anchor, which provides a more secure grip against the wall.

I used a nice big level and marked a straight line onto the Painters Tape that I had put on the wall. Then I measure between the hardware pieces on the back of the shelf and make my markings directly onto the tape on the level line. Then I hammer in my anchors, tighten the screw to expand the anchor. Then I unscrew the screw a fraction of an inch so the shelf hardware can slide right onto the head of the screw. Sounds easy, right?!?!

So, without further frustration and with great pleasure, here are my Home Office Shelves.

At first glance, I am glad I chose a softer shelf color that blends into the wall. That allows my decorative items to showcase better.

Shall we take a closer look?

The Bumble Bee picture looks much better with a Yellow Frame and a sexy beast green ceramic bird to admire it.

A picture of my Dad surrounded by an awesome butterfly pot and a bird vase with some garden gloves tucked inside.

The Power of 3 (to signify me and my kids) and an old picture of me and my siblings from days gone by…..

My dreamy Dream has a little bird friend with a fun color bird portrait.

A picture of my Mom from her school days with a white ceramic bird to tell her secrets.

The blue bird of happiness depicted in art and in ceramic.

I hadn’t planned on a “bird” theme here, but when I found them 50% off at Michael’s, I couldn’t resist getting one in every color. One even landed on my hall table.

Here is another lookie-see at the finished effort.

Project Cost:

Shelves $0

Paint $12 (Primer, Ivory, Yellow)

Total Cost: $12

Total Time after painting: About 1 hour to hang shelves and arrange items.

I’m loving how my Home Office is coming along. What do you have planned this weekend? I plan on some much needed fun and maybe work on some projects that will help my desk look a bit tidier and incorporate some of the new colors I am working with. I might even be able to swing some wall art. Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend!