Category Archives: Refinishing

Frost Yourself

Before I get to today’s post, I want to make a little plug. Tomorrow I am guest blogging on Wayfair’s My Way Home blog about something that recently occurred in our little house and some tips on when you need to bring in a professional for your DIY job. VERY exciting things happening at Operation Restoration! Now, on to today’s post.

A while back (I’m talking at least 8 months ago) Adam and I went to the ReStore in Roslindale to scope out what this store had to offer. It was a relatively new location so we went to look around and see what treasures we could find. And we found some goodies!

It’s safe to assume that we now have a full fledged door obsession. Almost every antique/thrift store or fair, we’re looking for doors to replace our plywood hollow core doors with period piece solid wood ones. We’ve had luck at the ReStore in Portland and you can’t beat the prices there. So when we came across not one but THREE gorgeous doors, we couldn’t walk away from them. Two of them were previous porch doors and one was half of a French door. Why were we interested in only half of a French door? Well, the section that had the gorgeous glass door knob fit our bathroom door frame. Is it weird that I wanted a glass paned door our bathroom door? Sure, it would make for awkward moments, but I had a solution.

I wanted a door that would allow light to pass through it because that part of the house is so dark and the bathroom window gets great light. The French door was a perfect solution, and the perfect price of $25! So, how do you make it so people can’t see you do your business without having the pay a lot of money for frosted replacement glass? Frosted glass spray paint!

The door itself needed a little TLC before I addressed the glass so I took off the hardware and got to bust out my trusty sander and went to town.


After a quick sanding and dusting, I was ready for some paint. I wanted to keep it white to go with the rest of the bathroom and brighten up the dark hallway so I used Behr’s semi-gloss enamel in Behr Premium Plus Enamel Zero VOC in Ultra Bright White that we picked up from the Home Depot. After three coats and the proper drying time (about 2-3 hours) it was good to go.

On to the frosting!

While we were at Home Depot we purchased RustOleum specialty frosted glass spray. Since we had no idea how this stuff would turn out, we did a dry run on one of the other doors we purchased that has glass panes. As a back up we purchased plain contact paper, but I really didn’t want to go that route as I was looking for a more permanent solution. We tested and perfected our process on one pane and after a couple of passes; it started to “frost up”! Let’s do this for reals.

We first had to give the glass a good cleaning and make sure that they were extremely dry before we could even begin spraying. Once we cleaned up the glass, we were ready to spray. Starting at the top, we went frame by frame, with nice even lines so it was more consistent. We read on the can that it worked best if you applied multiple coats while it was still wet. Sounds pretty good! We probably did about 10 coats. That might seem a little excessive, but I’d rather have a lot of coats on there versus not, just in case you could still through it. We left the door outside for 48 hours so it could properly gas-off, brought it back in and hung it up. I absolutely love it and am so happy that we went this route. It still lets the light shine through but you still have your privacy. Sorry for the night shots. They’re the best I could get!

Am I absolutely crazy for putting in glass as a bathroom door? Would you have a glass bathroom door? Fill me in!

***I am entering my DIY frosted bathroom door into the Creating With the Stars blog contest for a chance to compete in a four week, DIY contest.  I will most likely be soliciting votes from you in the near future. So, consider this your warning. 😉 ***

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Green with Envy

I’m going to start off by saying YAY! It’s March! But saying booo to the disgusting snowstorm we had last week. Boston didn’t see much (maybe 1-2 inches which is now gone) but I do know someone who enjoyed the snow on our morning walk:


So, what am I green with envy about? Look what I started last weekend:


Yup. I couldn’t wait to slap some paint on that beauty, but before I did, I had to do some clean up work.

If you remember from my last post I mentioned that I had used Dap wood filler to help fill in the holes from what I believe to be a caned seat. The filler worked great. I just took some general purpose sand paper and made it flush with the wood, and viola! Good as new. I did notice that the filler wasn’t flush in a couple of the holes, so I just used a small spatula and put some more in there. While that was curing, I decided to tackle the seat. It was looking very sad.

Initially I was planning on just taking off this old, dusty fabric and using the existing base and just putting my new foam and fabric on it. But once I took it off, I knew I had to create a new one.

Thankfully, we had a good sized piece of thick plywood to use so I didn’t have to run out to Home Depot. I just used the old one to make a template and started cutting away with the jigsaw.

Now, this took me about 20 minutes to do. Don’t judge. It’s not that I couldn’t follow the template, but I’m about 99.9% sure that I was using a dull blade and I didn’t want to run out and get a new one. I cut above the line to give myself some wiggle room when it came to fitting in the seat. I’d rather have it be too big then too small, so I always have the option to sand/trim it down so it would fit. Which is what I ended up doing for the next half hour.


But once that was done, it fit like a good pair of skinny jeans on a fat day.

Now that was taken care of, I was finally able to get my paint on. I went with BEHR Ultra Lemon Grass in semi gloss that I picked up at Home Depot a while back. I really wanted something that had a nice pop of color and something out of my norm. I tend to always steer towards the blue/turquoise/teal families, and with this, I wanted to have a little fun. But don’t worry, the fabric I chose still has those elements with it.

I went with a paint that also had primer in it to save some time. I didn’t know what kind of coverage I’d be getting and I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone. The first coat went on and I realized that it would definitely need more then just one as you can see the wood right through it. Second coat coming up this weekend or maybe even during the week…if I feel like it. Hopefully the next post, you’ll see some progress!

Have you ever worked on refinishing a piece of furniture? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received for painting furniture? I know I could use some advice…painting the spindles has been a challenge and right now I’m using a brush to apply the paint, but am thinking of using a small roller to do the second. Any suggestions?

Projects are a happenin’

First off, I just want to start by saying I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve updated the blog. I could say that it’s because life got in the way (which is kind of true) but honestly, it’s hard working/staring/being creative on a monitor all day and then come home and write witty happenings of what we’ve been up to. Adam’s been on my case to update (and *cough, cough* he’s right) and I had a stranger who read my blog tell me that I’m one hell of a writer. Talk about motivation! So, what have we been up to recently? A bunch of things.

The project I’m going to focus on for this post is a first for me. In December Adam found one hell of a chair on Craigslist for a bargain ($50!) and we drove down to the South Shore to check it out. It’s from the ’50s, solid wood and has a great MIT engineering emblem on the back. Absolutely perfect for our future office. We met with John and he took us to this amazing barn that had so many good items in it, I could hardly contain my excitement! I don’t know if I’ve been watching way too many American Pickers episodes but while I was listening to John tell us the story behind the chair, my eyes kept wandering to all the goodies that were hidden within this barn! I happened to spot something Adam and I had been coveting for awhile, a drafting table! We’ve been on the search for one to use as our office desk, but they’ve been in the $500+ range. Out of our budget. I also spotted a couple of other things, one of them being a great, rustic chair. I asked if John was willing to bundle the three items and he agreed to sell all three items (the drafting table and the 2 chairs) for $150! Solid. Deal.

So, we packed up the honda and trekked back up to Boston. After taking my lovely chair out into the light of day, it kind of looked like this:
It needs some serious lovin’.
Told ya.

So I busted out my new orbital sander (thanks Uncle Rick and Aunt Mary!) and sanded her down, because I know deep down, she’s a beaut.
And after about 30 minutes of sanding, this is what it looked like:
Nice backside.

I then brought the chair inside, because I had a lot of holes to fill. I think it had so many holes because it used to be a caned chair which at some point got replaced by a cushion and fabric. All I used to fill the holes was some DAP plastic wood filler. This stuff is amazing, but seriously smells, so make sure if you use it, to do it in a well ventilated area, and wear a mask because it’s really potent. With this kind of filler, I’ll be able to sand it, stain it and paint it. So, I just took a putty knife and started filling a lot of holes.
I’ve got to let this dry out (and find some time!) to sand down the filler and pray that it helps out this poor, poor chair. I’ve picked out an amazing paint color and a great fabric to go with it. I can’t wait to see it done! I just hope the chair holds up so people can actually sit in it!

Have you ever tackled a restoration project? This is my first, so any tips I will gladly take!