CONCRETE FLOOR COATING WITH RUST-OLEUM ROCKSOLID Flooring

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

The floor in our garage was a disaster when we purchased our house but with Rust-Oleum’s RockSolid products, we were able to repair and apply a beautiful garage floor coating.

Make your garage floors beautiful and easy to clean with this comprehensive tutorial with video showing how to repair a concrete slap and apply the Rust-Oleum RockSolid Garage Floor Coating.

Where is the last place you would want to prance around barefoot in your home? Probably the garage, right? If your garage floor is anything like ours was, it’s just plain gross. It was dirty and there was sawdust everywhere because of all woodworking projects.

It was a beast to clean because we had these huge craters in the middle of the garage due to past foundation work on our home. The large holes collected debris and threatened a sprained ankle. It was a mess.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

We spend quite a bit of time in our garage using it as a shop for our DIY projects so we really want to transform the space into a place that is inviting and inspiring and a snazzy garage floor coating was just what we needed to revive our old nasty concrete floor.

Rust-Oleum was nice enough to send over their RockSolid garage floor coating kit for us to try out. After repairing the concrete floor (see ya later crater) and applying the concrete floor coating, we were impressed and happy with the results! If your floor is as bad as ours, it will be time consuming and require labor but the products make the process easy and uncomplicated.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

The metallic finish is mesmerizing and worth the work because not only does the garage floor coating make the garage look beautiful it makes it ridiculously easy to keep clean. Now I feel 100% comfortable dancing around on this beautiful floor barefoot.

How We Applied Our Garage Floor Coating

SUPPLIES

FYI: This post contains a few affiliate links to products we used to make this project. Gray House Studio does receive commissions for sales from these links but at no extra cost to you. We appreciate you supporting this site. Read our privacy and disclosure policy. You can also easily shop our recommended products here.

DIRECTIONS WATCH

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DIRECTIONS READ

I’ll hand it over to Brent now to explain the floor coating process because I got out of all the work on this project. I had my own labor intensive project – taking care of a newborn! Since it was a two person job my dad was nice enough to sub in for me and give Brent a helping hand. Yes, the other person in the video is my dad, not me. Pregnancy changed my body but not THAT much.

Part 1: Repairing the Concrete Slab

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

1. Before applying any of the garage floor coating products there were a few large craters that needed to be filled with concrete. We used a mallet and masonry chisel to square the edges of the craters to be 1/2″ deep. This allowed the edges of the concrete patch to be applied thick and avoid chipping.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

2. We followed the instructions on the concrete patcher product. To mix it up we added water to the powder mix. The concrete mixed to a thicker consistency than I expected.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

3. Using a spray bottle, we wet each crater so the concrete patcher would adhere to it. After filling each hole, we used a finishing trowel to smooth the surface.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

4. To level the slab, we rented a concrete grinder from a home improvement store. We started grinding down all the high spots. This also revealed the cracks around the foundation repair that needed to be patched before applying the concrete floor coating.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

5. After leveling the entire floor surface, we sealed the floor with Rust-Oleum’s RockSolid Moisture Stop. The moisture stop product created a barrier within the concrete by filling the pours within the slab.

Once the entire slab was saturated, I misted the surface with water to keep it wet for 45 minutes. After the floor dried, I rinsed it with water and scrubbed it to remove any efflorescence from the surface.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

6. The floor took about two days to dry out before we repaired any of the cracks and small divots with Rust-Oleum’s Fast Patch product. We mixed equal parts A and B of the fast patch mix and spread it over the surface with a puddy knife. The divots deeper than 1/2″ took 2 applications.

Part 2: Applying Rust-Oleum RockSolid Floor Coating

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

Almost everything comes in the box to apply the RockSolid floor coating. The only additional supplies needed was the drill, paddle mixer, bucket, paint bush and roller.

Garage Floor 
Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

7. After setting out all the bags of coating we checked that that there were no clumps and then started by mixing one bag. The two part product mixed in the bag by rolling side B into side A breaking the seam in the middle. We really like this feature because it allows the product to mix without introducing air. This allowed for a slightly longer working time.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

8. We shook/mixed the product in the bag for three minutes before cutting it open and pouring it into a bucket. Then, we used a paddle mixer and drill to mix the metallic tint into the clear coating.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

9. We used a paintbrush to apply the coating along the wall and rolled everything else. The application is definitely a two person job. Luckily, Courtney’s dad came over to help since Courtney was tied up with our two week old son. After spreading the product evenly using a M and W roll pattern, I came back with the roller and swirled the coating. We continued across the garage floor section by section mixing each kit as needed.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

10. Grinding the floor did open some large pin holes in the floor that created a few bubbles during the application process. We took a gamble and popped the bubbles. Luckily, all of the bubbles we popped leveled out and dried smooth.

Garage Floor Coating with Rust-Oleum ROCKSOLID

I am really impressed with the work Brent and my dad did on the garage floor. Once it had all dried and the garage was empty, I happily danced around barefoot to show my approval of a job well done. I know it isn’t safe to work in the garage without shoes, but at least I could if I wanted to now and not end up with layers of dirt stuck to my feet.

Thanks to the new garage floor coating and the dust collector Brent modified, our garage floor has never looked and felt so nice. You wouldn’t even know we create tons of messes in this space because now it is a breeze to clean and we actually want to keep it clean.

HARBOR FREIGHT DUST COLLECTOR Tutorials

Harbor Freight Dust Collector Mod

In this tutorial Brent walks through how he upgraded a Harbor Freight Dust Collector with the Super Dust Deputy XL from Oneida Air Systems.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

Hey! Brent here to share a project I have been working on the past few weeks in the garage. My latest undertaking helped our garage look and function more like a woodworking shop.

There comes a time when you work on enough DIY woodworking projects that a shop vacuum just won’t cut it anymore. I was finding it was inconvenient because I was constantly having to unhook it from my table saw and then wheel it across the room to hook it up to my miter saw and then unhook it from my miter saw and wheel it back across the garage to the table saw.

It was also fairly ineffective because quite often the filter on the shop vacuum got clogged because the bin filled up so fast. Well, that might be on me because I never cleaned it out, but when you are in the middle of a project, who wants to stop the fun part to clean out a vacuum after every few cuts? Obviously not me. So much sawdust would end up on the ground that Courtney joked she could make sawdust angels.

I would procrastinate cleaning the floor until I started a new project which meant if I ran out into the garage to get something, I most likely definitely tracked in a good amount of sawdust on my socks.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

It became clear to me that I needed to build a dust collector so I finally built one for the Gray House Studio shop by taking a Harbor Freight dust collector and upgrading it to a 2 stage cyclone dust collector. I did this with the Super Dust Deputy XL Cyclone Separator. Oneida Air Systems was kind enough to send us one to use and it made a huge impact.

My goal for my dust collector was to have it service multiple tools at the same time. Since the tools are separated by 10 to 20 feet I needed more power than the Harbor Freight dust collector could provide. It just wasn’t cutting it so I modified it with a larger impeller so that I could use a six inch duct.

Also, the filter bag that came with the Harbor Freight dust collector didn’t filter out the tiniest particles. What I really like about the Super Dust Deputy XL Cyclone Separator is it separates the wood chips and the dust so only air and very fine particles pass through the blower to the filter. This prevents any microscopic particles from entering back into the air in the shop.

Alright, enough talk, here is how I upgraded my Harbor Freight Dust Collector.

How We Upgraded a Harbor Freight Dust Collector

SUPPLIES

FYI: This post contains a few affiliate links to products we used to make this project. Gray House Studio does receive commissions for sales from these links but at no extra cost to you. We appreciate you supporting this site. Read our privacy and disclosure policy. You can also easily shop our recommended products here.

DIRECTIONS WATCH

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Harbor Freight Dust Collector

1. The dust collector build started with a stock 2hp single phase Harbor Freight dust collector. To seamlessly connect to the Super Dust Deputy XL I’m going to upgrade the impeller. The stock blower can’t push enough air to support a 6″ opening. I removed the impeller using a puller tool.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

2. The stock harbor freight blower has a 10″ impeller so the new 12″ impeller should boost performance significantly. Plus, the stock Harbor Freight impeller as a forward-inclined fans whereas the larger Rikon impeller has a backward inclined. Forward inclines provide more flow but lose power when pressure increases. The backward incline provides more consistent performance as the pressure increases.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

3. Using a jigsaw and sheet metal blade the intake port was widened from 5″ to 6″. A 6″ duct collor was then attached to the intake faceplate with rivets.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

4. To hold the blower to the wall we made a mounting bracket with 2x4s anchored to the wall studs.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

5. After mounting the blower on the 2×4 bracket the outlet port was converted to a 6″ outlet by attaching a duct transition with 1/2″ screws and caulk.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

6. Before mounting the filter to the blower I used a jigsaw to open the closed side of the filter. Then, cut a donut shaped mounting plate out of sheet metal to mount the 6″ collar and secured the mounting plate to the filter with 1/2″ screws.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector
7. I made a U bracket out of 2x4s to hold the filter in place against the wall. The filter attached to the bracket with screws from the top.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

8. The Super Dust Deputy XL cyclone is designed to mount directly to the lid of the barrel. The opening at the bottom of the cyclone is roughly 6″, so I cut out another 6″ hole with a jigsaw in the top of the barrel lid. The cyclone comes with hardware to mount the cyclone and a gasket. Since I misplaced the hardware I used construction adhesive and large rivets.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

9. Once connected to the barrel lid the cyclone was attached to the inlet of the blower with 1/2″ screws.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

10. To seal the bottom of the filter I attached two latches to the filter allowing me to secure and remove a plywood donut and plastic bag.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

11. The bag will catch any particles that makes it though the blower to the filter. Once particles accumulate they can be easily cleaned by emptying the bag.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

12. Before turning on the dust collector I taped all the joints with foil duct tape.

I tested it out and it was nice to have it work just how I wanted and not be near as loud as my old shop vacuum. I am looking forward to the connivence and having a cleaner shop. The Cyclone Separator made a huge difference in taking my dust collector to the next level and making it more powerful and effective.

I can’t wait to work on my first woodworking project with my new upgraded dust collector.

Tutorials

Electrical Outlet Install: Tool Charging Drawer

In this electrical outlet install tutorial, we demonstrate how we added an additional outlet in our garage and installed an electrical outlet inside a drawer to charge tool batteries.

Electric Outlet Install

This week we are excited to bring you our first project to kick off our garage makeover, adding electrical outlets. An electrical outlet install might seem like a small project, but having only one outlet in the entire garage/shop is inconvenient.

Currently, our solution for only having one outlet is to run an extension cord from inside the house which allows us to plug in one 15amp tool and a vacuum for dust collection. This is far from an ideal situation so an electrical outlet install was on the top of our to-do list for the garage.

The outlets in this tutorial are ran from the existing outlet but soon we will also be adding outlets from new breakers. Plus, while we are at it, we decided to add an outlet inside a drawer of one of our new cabinets to charge tool batteries so it keeps the counter clutter free.

Important: Use caution when working with exposed wires! Exposed wires can shock you. All tips below are based on our experience and if you use any of the techniques shown below, you are doing so at your own risk.

VIDEO TUTORIAL

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ELECTRICAL OUTLET INSTALL: TOOL CHARGING DRAWER

Add new wire to existing outlet

Electrical Outlet Install
1. Before starting a project involving electrical outlets, I turn off the breaker that supplies power to the outlet. I double checked the power was off by using a voltage detector. The voltage detector beeps and turns on a light when it senses electrical current.

Electrical Outlet Install
2. I used a stud finder to locate the wall stud and marked where to cut the hole in the wall with a pencil. I used a jab saw to cut the hole for the new outlet.

Electrical Outlet Install
3. After removing the face plate, I double checked one more time that the power was off and removed the plug by unscrewing the top and bottom screws. Using a flat head screw driver and a mallet, I popped out the bottom tab in the existing electrical outlet.

Electrical Outlet Install
4. To run the new romex cable for the bottom plug, I pushed a fish tape down through the hole in the bottom of the existing electrical box.

Once the end was pulled out of the hole cut in step 2, I taped the romex wire to the end of the fish tape and pulled the wire up through the top electrical box.

Electrical Outlet Install
5. To strip the wire it is only necessary to cut the end of the cable 1/2″. The white plastic tears away from the inside wires. To remove all of the wires inserted in the back of the plug, I used a small flat head screwdriver and released the wire by pressing a tab next to each wire.

Electrical Outlet Install
There are only two places to connect wires to the electrical outlet. The existing outlet already had two sets of wires connected so we couldn’t connect the third wire.

Electrical Outlet Install
The diagram above illustrated how we used push connectors to combine the wires.

Electrical Outlet Install
6. Using a wire push connector, I combined the two existing sets of wires making room for the new wire.

Install new electrical outlet

Electrical Outlet Install
7. Before installing the bottom outlet, I cut the romex about a foot from the wall and fed it through the back of the box. The box attaches to the wall with tabs that clamp the drywall between the tab and box when each screw is tightened.

Electrical Outlet Install
8. The bottom plug was installed by stripping each of the wires 1/2″ on the end, inserting the white and black wire into the back of the outlet, and securing the bare wire under the ground screw.

I turned the breaker back on and tested each plug with a light.

Install drawer electrical outlet

Electrical Outlet Install
9. To allow us to charge our tools in a drawer and keep the work surfaces clutter free, we removed a drawer and marked where the outlet would go by tracing the outline of an electrical box.

Electrical Outlet Install
10. I cut a hole for the electrical box by drilling holes in each corner and then cut the straight lines with a jigsaw.

Electrical Outlet Install
11. Unlike the electrical box in the previous steps, this electrical box screwed through the front. The cable I used is recycled from an old computer. Since the wires are stranded I hooked up the outlet using the screws located on the side of the plug.

Electrical Outlet Install

12. To prevent the cable from pulling away from the back of the electrical box, I used a plastic cable clamp to keep the cable in place.

Electrical Outlet Install
13. Finally, I plugged in the drawer outlet. Now I could plug my battery chargers in the drawer and they are hidden out of the way.

Installing electrical outlets is oddly satisfying. It is a messy process but once all the faceplates are screwed back on, the results are really nice.

Let us know if you have any questions about our process.

Shorten Christmas Lights Tutorials

Shorten String Christmas Lights

In this tutorial we will show how to shorten string Christmas lights.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

Have you ever found yourself in a situation while decorating for Christmas where you need a shorter string of Christmas lights? Maybe you need to finish a small section on your roof or you would like to add lights to your fireplace mantle but don’t need 30 feet to get the job done.

Today we are sharing how to shorten string Christmas lights to the exact length you need. Follow the simple steps and the second diagram below and you will be able to shorten string Christmas lights in no time.

Important: Use caution when working with exposed wires! Exposed wires can shock you. Don’t plug in the lights until you have all the exposed wires covered with wire connectors and always use outdoor/waterproof wire connectors if your lights will be outdoors. All tips below are based on our experience and if you use any of the techniques shown below, you are doing so at your own risk.

How to Shorten String Christmas Lights

SUPPLIES

FYI: This post contains affiliate links. Gray House Studio does receive commissions for sales from these links but at no extra cost to you. We appreciate you supporting this site. Read our privacy and disclosure policy. You can also easily shop our recommended products here.

DIRECTIONS WATCH

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DIRECTIONS READ

Shorten String Christmas Lights

One way to determine how the lights are wired is to completely remove one of the bulbs. If all or a section of lights turns off than the lights are wired in series. If all the lights remain on then most likely the strand is wired in parallel.

Lights Wired in Series

Shorten String Christmas Lights: Wired in Series

Most mini christmas lights and LED christmas lights are wired as multiple sections of wired in series. Start by locating both sides of each series section of lights that turn off when a bulb is removed. You should see that the christmas lights change from having 3 wires to 2 wires then changes back to 3 wires.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

The best way to shorten lights wired in series is to remove an entire series section of lights by cutting lights apart where there are only has two wires, with the lights unplugged. Then, simply cap each of the two cut wires with a wire nut. If the lights go outdoors be sure to use outdoor/waterproof wire nuts.

Risk of removing individual lights from lights wired in series

If your goal is to remove one or two lights off a strand wired in series it is possible but not ideal. Christmas lights wired in series spread 120 volts coming out of the plug across all the lights. Each light that is removed increases the voltage to all the remaining bulbs.

As you can see, removing a few bulbs isn’t a huge deal but remove too many and risk burning out all the lights.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

Notice as the bulbs are removed and the volts/light increase the lights get brighter

120 volt / 40 bulbs in series = 3 volts/bulb
120 volt / 35 bulbs in series = 3.4 volts/bulb
120 volt / 10 bulbs in series = 12 volts/bulb

How to remove individual lights from lights wired in series

Shorten String Christmas Lights

1. With the lights unplugged, cut the two wires that enter the last light in the series strand.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

2. Use wire cutters to strip the ends of the two wires cut in the previous step. Twist the two bare wire ends together.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

3. After twisting the wires together secure with a wires nut. Then, cut the third wire to match the length of the other two wires and cap it with a wire nut.

Wire diagram for series Christmas lights

Shorten String Christmas Lights

This diagram shows how Christmas lights wired in series are wired. There are three different wires. Each colored line represents a different wire. The blue line connects all the lights together in series and supplies power to the light bulbs. The yellow and red wires are both connected to the blue line on either side of the light bulbs.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

The diagram above shows the CORRECT way to connect the spliced wires. By connecting the wires this way, the lights will turn on when you plug it in. As you can see the blue wire (the wire connecting the lights) must always be connected to one of the loose wires.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

The diagram above shows another possible way to connect the wires. If you connect the wires this way the light bulbs are only connected to one side of the power and they will not turn on. As you can see in the diagram, the red wire is not connected at all. You must switch the wire coming from the light bulb to connect to the other loose wire.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

This diagram shows that if you connect the wires this way it will short circuit and throw the breaker for the outlet. Don’t attach the two loose wires together. Only one loose wire and the wire coming from the light bulbs should be connected together.

Shortening Christmas lights wired in parallel

The lights are designed so each bulb receives all 120 volts and each bulb has a direct route to power, meaning they can be cut to any length without overpowering and burning out bulbs.

Shorten String Christmas Lights

With the lights unplugged cut wires between the bulbs and cap each end with wire nuts.

We hope this helps you adjust the length of your Christmas lights so you can now you hang up you custom length string Christmas lights! Now that you know how to shorten string Christmas lights, you can fill in any small gaps of lights on your roof or create custom length string lights to decorate with in your home.

INSTALL A SMART WIRELESS DOOR LOCK Tutorials

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock

A simple tutorial showing how to install a smart wireless door lock. Plus, we are sharing a few thoughts about getting our Security by Reliant smart home security system installed and an offer code for our readers. This post is sponsored by Reliant but as always all opinions and content are 100% our own.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock

A few posts back we shared what life was like without a smart home security system. Sure, most of our issues were first world problems but they drove us crazy nonetheless. That is why the day the Security by Reliant installation team showed up to our home it was like Christmas morning.

We were so excited to finally integrate several of their innovative products into our home to not only make life easier but to finally have the peace of mind that our home is now fully protected and monitored.

One perk of choosing Reliant to install all of your smart home products is that you don’t have to worry about setting up any of the equipment. The only piece of the puzzle we were in charge of was to install a smart wireless door lock.

To avoid having to pay a locksmith, we installed the wireless door lock ourselves. It is actually really easy. Follow along below as we show you how to install a smart wireless door lock yourself in just a few simple steps.

In this DIY tutorial we are using a Kwikset SmartCode touchpad electronic deadbolt lock (which comes in the advanced Security by Reliant package or can be added to the premium package). Before we installed the deadbolt lock, the security installer pre-paired it with our Security by Reliant system.

How to Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock

DIY Tutorial Video: Wireless Door Lock Install

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Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
Before we could install a smart wireless door lock, we needed to take off the old lock by removing the two screws next to the deadbolt and the two screws next to the thumbturn.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
To rekey a Kwikset lock, first we inserted the key that came with the lock and turned it 90 degrees clockwise. Then we inserted the smart key tool into the hole above the key and removed the key.

Next, we inserted our new key and turned the key half a turn counterclockwise. We pulled the key out and tested the original key to double check it no longer works.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
With the lock re-keyed the first thing we needed to install was the deadbolt. The cam slot should be in the center of the hole in the door.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
If it isn’t, you can adjust the length of the deadbolt by twisting it to make it longer or shorter.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
Then we attached the screws to either side of the deadbolt.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
Once installed, we tested the deadbolt by twisting the cam slot with a screwdriver.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
After inserting the cylinder into the keypad, we fed the wire through the housing ring. To do this we slid the wire under the deadbolt and passed the metal bar through the cam slot.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
Next, we slid the cable through the hole in the mounting plate and pushed the cable down the small hole in the mounting plate.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
Once the cable was in the small hole, we attached the plate with the two screws. Finally, we pluged the wire into the back of the thumbturn box and attached the mounting plate with two tiny screws.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
Before we inserted the batteries, we held down the lock button and kept it pressed while we inserted the batteries until the lock finished calibrating.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock
The best part about this smart lock is it connects with our smart home security system and can be controlled by the Reliant Connect App.

Smart Home Security System Installation Day

Installation day was exciting and a breeze. Whether you love technology or are a little on the hesitant side, the installation team does a great job of making you feel comfortable implementing a smart home security system into your home.

They took as much time as we needed to walk us through the features of each product, explain how they all connect and demonstrate using the Reliant Connect App and security panel to properly control all the equipment.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock

We had the following products installed in our home:

  • Security system (window and door sensor, motion detector, control panel)
  • Garage door opener
  • Smart plug
  • Smart bulb
  • 2 Indoor cameras
  • 1 Outdoor camera
  • Wireless door locks with keypad
  • Doorbell with camera

We are DIYers by nature and will do as much as we can ourselves around the house but sometimes it is nice to sit back and let the experts do their thing, especially when it comes to security. The friendly, hardworking and knowledgeable team that came to our home made getting our security system set up extremely easy on us.

Install a Smart Wireless Door Lock

We have been using our smart home security system for about a month now and LOVE it. Being able to turn on lights, open your front door, shut your garage door all from one app on your phone is as amazing as it sounds. Brent and I now compete to see who can log into the Reliant Connect App first and turn on the light or check the door bell camera.

Stay tuned because in the next few weeks we will share how we have integrated the system into our daily routine and what life is like now with a smart home security system. Spoiler Alert: life is much easier and our home is safer.

GOOD NEWS FOR YOU!
If you are interested in signing up for your own Security by Reliant package, use the offer code “STUDIO” and get your first month of service FREE!

How to Install a Barn Door Tutorials

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

In this DIY tutorial we will show you how to install a barn door using interior sliding door hardware. This post was sponsored by National Hardware but all opinions and content are 100% our own.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

The very first DIY Gray House Studio project we completed in our house over two years ago was to build and hang a wood barn door in our master bedroom. We built the barn door from scratch as well as pieced together the track system.

It was only two years ago but looking back on our barn door project it feels like we were such newbies when it came to deciding on our design style. As we have completed more projects in our home and really nailed down the aesthetic we want our house to have, we decided we needed to revisit this barn door and give it a revamp.

The first part of our barn door refresh was to update all of the hardware and add a door handle to make sliding the door easier. While we are really proud of how we built our barn door and how we were able to create our own sliding door track system, there were a few mirror issues we had with the appearance of the track.

First, the wood spacers had to go. Because they had to be in the studs, they were off center and not spaced evenly which was a bit distracting. Secondly, we wanted to say goodbye to stainless steel hardware and hello to oil-rubbed bronze that would better suits the industrial/rustic vibe we having going on in the rest of the house.

This time around we wanted this to be a quick and easy update that didn’t take all day so we choose to use a decorative interior sliding door hardware kit from National Hardware. We were happy to discover that the hardware is high quality and having all the pieces you need packaged together makes installing a barn door a breeze.

Today we are going to walk you through how to install a barn door using interior sliding door hardware. Note: If you need to build a barn door first, be sure to check out our barn door post and free barn door plans.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR<

SUPPLIES

FYI: This post contains a few affiliate links to products we used to make this project. Gray House Studio does receive commissions for sales from these links but at no extra cost to you. We appreciate you supporting this site. Read our privacy and disclosure policy. You can also easily shop our recommended products here.

DIRECTIONS

1. INSTALL HEADER BOARD

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

1. It is advised NOT to install the track directly into the drywall so we first needed to install a header board above our door opening. The hardware kit does not come with the supplies you will need to install a header board so you will have to get the piece of wood and interior screws separately.

We had a 1×4 that was 8ft. long laying around in our garage so we decided to use that for our header board. The track is 72″ so we needed to make our header board the same length.

We used a tape measure and pencil to measure and mark 72″ on our board and then used our miter saw to cut the board down to 72″, it was as easy as that.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

2. As a design preference, we wanted our header board to blend in with the wall and to not be noticeable so we painted it the same color as our wall.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

3. To install the header board above the door we used a stud finder to mark where the studs were in the wall.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

4. We determined where we needed to place the header board above our door frame so it would appropriately cover the door opening and then using a level, to make sure the board stayed straight, we drilled interior screws into the wall studs to securely attach our header board to the wall.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

We like the fact that our header board blends seamlessly into the wall.

2. INSTALL TRACK

FOR THIS STEP YOU WILL NEED: Track, Spacers, Track Fasteners, Level, Drill, Wrench + Socket Set
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

5. We held the track up to the header board and marked in the large hole at the end of the track where we needed to drill. Then we drilled a hole and installed the fasteners and spacer.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

6. Next, we marked and drilled the hole at the other end of the track. We set a level on the track to make sure the track stayed straight while we installed the next spacer and fastener. Finally, we marked, drilled and installed the spacers and fasteners in the center holes which secured the track to the header board.

3. INSTALL HANGERS

FOR THIS STEP YOU WILL NEED: Hangers, Hanger Fasteners, Marking Tool, Drill

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

7. We used the supplied template to determine where we needed the holes in the door for the hangers.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

8. Then we used a marking tool to mark the holes on both ends of the door and then drilled the holes.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
9. We removed the pre-installed fasteners from the hangers. Our door is thin so we used the shorter hanger fasteners to attach the hangers to the door.

4. INSTALL BAR PULL

FOR THIS STEP YOU WILL NEED: Bar Pull, Marking Tool, Screwdriver

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

10. To install the handle, we lined up the bar pull where we wanted it on the door and then used a marking tool to mark where the two holes in the handle are. Then we secured the handle to the door using the screws that came with the bar pull.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

5. INSTALL ANTI-JUMP DISCS

FOR THIS STEP YOU WILL NEED: Anti-jump Discs, Screwdriver

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

11. To install the anti-jump discs we placed a disc on the top edge of the door on the inside edge of the hanger making sure the hole is facing the front of the door.

6. PLACE DOOR ON TRACK

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

12. After we installed everything on the door, we placed the door on the track and tested to make sure it slid across the track smoothly.

7. INSTALL DOOR STOPS

FOR THIS STEP YOU WILL NEED: Door Stops
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
13. Next, we installed the door stops on each side of the track and secured them by tightening the set screws.

8. INSTALL HOLE CAPS

FOR THIS STEP YOU WILL NEED: Track Hole Caps

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR
HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

14. Since we did not need to connect multiple tracks we inserted the hole caps into the small holes at both ends of the tracks.

HOW TO INSTALL A BARN DOOR

And that’s it! We hope you found this how to install a barn door tutorial helpful. If you are looking for a simple and nice-looking hardware solution to hang you barn door, we are really pleased with how the oil-rubbed bronze hardware from National Hardware looks and functions.

Our master bedroom still has mostly black furniture which is why we initially stained the barn door black. Working on our master bedroom is at the bottom of our list when it comes to room makeovers but once we get around to it, I’m sure we will update our barn door to be stained Kona. For now, updating the hardware to oil-rubbed bronze has already made a huge difference.

Check out how we built our wood barn door and download free wood barn door plans to build your own.

How to Replace a Thermostat Tutorials

How to Replace a Thermostat

Learn how to replace a thermostat and test the air conditioner to make sure the thermostat is broken.

How to Replace a Thermostat

OUR SUPPLIES TO REPLACE A THERMOSTAT

screwdriver
wire strippers
18 gauge wire
wire nut
Honeywell RTH6580WF Wi-Fi Thermostat

*This post contains an affiliate link. You can read our disclosure policy here.

When you live somewhere for several years your home becomes the setting of many stories and memories. If you are like us, sometimes a house even gets a few stories of its own. There are many running jokes between Courtney and I referring to peculiar things about our home.

First there is Walter the friendly ghost who receives AARP magazines and is always leaving the garage door open and the toilet seat up. Then there was Henry, the friendly red bird that peacefully eats bird food outside while telepathically communicating with our cat Jake. And, we must not forget the monster that lives in our laundry room that eats socks. It is still up in the air if the sock monster prefers clean or dirty socks.

We are well aware that each of the previously mentioned stories are mostly fictional but one thing we are sure of is that inevitably the hamsters that turn the big wheel in the air-conditioner always go on strike when the weather turns hot.

Last year, the first week the weather got above 90 degrees we caved and called the repair man when the inside of our house finally reach 85 degrees. After spending a small fortune to replace all the A/C components in the attic, we slept easy all summer in our cool house. But, wouldn’t you know the first weekend it heated up this year the temperature slowly climbed in our house but our A/C would not kick on.

Determined to not spend a fortune again this year, I set out to figure out how to fix it myself. (spoiler alert) After a late night we were able to fix the A/C problem ourselves because luckily it was due to the thermostat and not the air conditioner itself. Below is how we tested our thermostat and compressor to determine which one was causing the air conditioning system to fail.

How to Replace a Thermostat Video

In the video below I will show how to test to see if it is in fact the thermostat that is not working and then the steps to replacing a thermostat.

To see a new DIY tutorial video every Thursday, subscribe to our channel ⇾

We chose to replace our thermostat with a Honeywell WiFi thermostat because this will allow us to control the thermostat from anywhere and eventually incorporate it into a smart home system. Plus, this is the least expensive smart thermostat costing only $87.99.

1. Test the Thermostat

How to Replace a Thermostat
The first thing we did was change the batteries to double check that the batteries weren’t the issue. After changing the batteries we turned the temperature down to see if the compressor would turn on but nothing happened.

Once we tried the cool mode, we flipped the switch on the thermostat to heat and turned the temperature up. Once on heat mode, the heat kicked on. Because the thermostat was able to turn on the heat, we couldn’t be confident that the thermostat was broken. There was a chance that something was wrong with the compressor.

The next step was to check if the A/C could be hardwired on, bypassing the thermostat. If hard-wiring the A/C on worked we would know the thermostat needs to be replaced.

2. Test the Compressor

How to Replace a Thermostat
Once the thermostat is removed from the wall there should be several colored wires exposed.

Red Wire: Power (24 volt)
White Wire: Heater
Yellow Wire: Compressor
Green Wire: Fan

How to Replace a Thermostat

By using a wire to connect the red wire to the yellow wire the compressor should turn on. If the compressor does not turn on than the problem is the compressor not the thermostat. In our case the compressor did turn on, indicating that the thermostat was not working.

(The red wire should only be 24 volts but it can still create a small shock)

3. Turn Off Breaker

How to Replace a Thermostat

Although the 24 volt power line doesn’t pose any huge safety concerns, it is good practice to always turn the breaker off before disconnecting any wires. The two breakers to turn off are labeled A/C and furnace in our house.

4. Check the Wires

How to Replace a Thermostat

After installing the new thermostat back plate we realized the new Honeywell WiFi thermostat needs a 5th wire, the “C” wire. In hindsight this is a good thing to check when purchasing a new thermostat although it is getting harder to find thermostats that don’t need a “C” wire.

How to Replace a Thermostat

Luckily, we were able to locate the 5th wire. It was snipped off because it was not needed for the old thermostat. We were able to pull the the wire out from inside the wall and strip the wire making it usable.

5. Hook Up the Thermostat

How to Replace a Thermostat

Each color wire connects to the screw terminal with the matching initial.
Green Wire to G
White wire to W
Red Wire to R
Yellow Wire to Y

With all the wires connected, we popped on the front of the thermostat and turned the breakers back on. The nice thing about replacing the thermostat with a “C” wire thermostat is there are no batteries required.

We have our fingers crossed that this is the extent of our Spring air conditioner problems. At least next year the troubleshooting will be easier because there is only one component left in our air conditioning system that has not been replaced.

how to build a drawer Tutorials

How to Build a Drawer

In this tutorial we are sharing the easiest way to build a drawer and how to install a drawer.

How to Build a Drawer

If you follow along with us on Instagram, I am sure you have been seeing our progress on the cabinets we are building for our new home office. This project has been a a large one and is taking a little longer than we would like, dang life and work, getting in the way of our DIY projects.

We are closing in on the end of the project and are really proud of how the cabinets are coming together. We can’t wait to share the finished cabinets and completed office for that matter but first we thought we would talk about the drawers.

Our cabinets are made up of four doors and five drawers. That means the past weekend Brent has been busy building lots of drawers! He got his drawer building technique down to be as efficient and quick as possible so we thought we would create a tutorial on the easiest way he found to build drawers and install them.

We are building long and large drawers for our cabinets but this tutorial can also apply if you want to build a drawer for nightstands or dressers. The measurements and amount of supplies will vary depending on the type and size of the project.

Like this video? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see more DIY videos!

How to Build a Drawer

TOOLS

*This post contains a few affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here.

STEPS

Before building the drawer, we needed to determine the measurements. We used 16 inch drawer sliders so our drawer needed to be 16 inches deep. Based on the opening in our cabinets, the drawer needed to be 4 1/2 inches tall. To figure out how wide to make the drawer, we took the width of the opening in the cabinet minus how wide the drawer sliders are.

The drawer sliders will come with instructions that will explain how much space to compensate for the sliders. For our sliders it was exactly 1 inch. The opening for the drawer is 37 inches wide so we needed to make our drawer 36 inches wide.

The dimensions for our drawer are: 16″ deep x 4 1/2″ tall x 36″ wide. *Your measurements and amount of supplies will vary depending on the type and size of your project.

How to Build a Drawer
How to Build a Drawer

1. We began by cutting our large piece of plywood down. First, we focused on cutting the boards to the correct height (4 1/2″) using the table saw. To do this we made sure the factory edge of the board lined up with the fence of the table saw.

Since the drawer was going to be 4 1/2 inches tall, we made the fence 4 1/2 inches away from the blade and it was ready to cut to size.

How to Build a Drawer

2. We cut the plywood down into three pieces.

How to Build a Drawer

3. Once all the boards were cut to the correct height, we now needed to create the walls of the drawers and cut them to the correct lengths using the miter saw. We used a miter saw for this because it gives the perfect 90 degrees square angle that creates a nice square box.

We cut two boards at a time so that the front and back pieces of the drawers matched up exactly and the two side pieces would be the exact same.

How to Build a Drawer

Here are the four pieces that made up the walls of our drawers. The long pieces are the front and back pieces (36 inches) and the shorter pieces are the sides (16 inches).

How to Build a Drawer

4. Next, we moved back over to table saw to cut slits in the bottom of all four of the boards. We needed to cut a slit for the piece of masonite to slide into that would form the bottom of the drawer. We made the slot in the bottom of the drawer a 1/2 inch from the bottom so we moved the fence on the table saw so it was a 1/2 inch from the blade. Then we lowered the blade on the table saw so it would only cut about half way through the board.

How to Build a Drawer

5. Because the piece of masonite we used is a little wider than the blade, we ended up having to make two passes for each piece with the table saw. To do this we slid the fence over a little and cut the slot just wider than the board is thick.

How to Build a Drawer
How to Build a Drawer

6. Our last piece to cut was the masonite that would be the bottom of our drawer. To determine the measurements of this piece we took the outside measurements of our drawer, which is 16 inches deep and 36 inches wide and since the boards are a 1/2 inch wide and we cut a little over half way through them with the slot, we needed to cut the bottom piece to be a 1/2 inch smaller.

How to Build a Drawer

So the measurements of our bottom piece are 15 1/2 inches deep by 35 1/2 inches wide.

How to Build a Drawer

7. Once we started piecing the drawer together we noticed that the boards looked bowed. This is because we used a thinner plywood and 1/2 inch plywood does that sometimes when it is cut down.

This isn’t a huge problem because we straightened it out once we assembled it. The important thing to remember is to face the side that bows towards the inside of the drawer.

How to Build a Drawer

8. To begin assembling the drawer we took the two smaller pieces of the wall and put clamps on the bottom to hold them upright.

How to Build a Drawer

9. Then we put a dab of wood glue on the sides facing upwards of both of our side pieces.

How to Build a Drawer

10. Next, we took one of longer pieces and attached it to both of the side piece with 1 1/4 inch finishing nails using a nail gun.

How to Build a Drawer

11. We removed the clamps and flipped the drawer over and slid in our bottom piece into the slots we cut.

How to Build a Drawer

12. Then we put a dab of wood glue on both of the side pieces facing upwards.

How to Build a Drawer

13. Finally, we nailed the remaining board to the side pieces. Remember to place the board so the bowed side faces inward. The bottom board will keep the piece that is bowed straight once it is attached with the finishing nails.

How to Build a Drawer

14. When we cut our boards on the table saw, it caused the edges to splinter a bit. To clean up the edges and prevent further splintering, we used a router to round over the edges, sandpaper or an electric sander would work as well.

How to Install a Drawer

How to Build a Drawer

15. To install that drawer we first needed to attach the sliders to the inside of the cabinet, easier said than done! Making sure the sliders are in the correct position and straight can be a bit tricky but we found a solution that worked really well.

First we clamped a piece of scrap board inside the cabinet, made sure it was level and measured to make sure it was the correct distance from the top.

How to Build a Drawer

16. Then all we had to do was rest the sider on the clamped board.

How to Build a Drawer

17. We then used a drill and 1/2″ panhead screws to attach the slider to our cabinet.

How to Build a Drawer
How to Build a Drawer

18. We used a t-square and pencil to draw a line the same height as the crossbar on the cabinets and then clamped another scrap board where that line was.

How to Build a Drawer

19. The clamp brace sits flush with the drawer opening so we used a ¼ inch scrap piece of wood as a spacer to prop the drawer up on to allow for a little room for it to slide over the base of the drawer opening.

How to Build a Drawer

20. Next, we slid in the the drawer and had it sit on the scrap board while we attached it to the sliders.

How to Build a Drawer

21. While the drawer was in the cabinet, we attached two screws in the front half of the slider to the drawer.

How to Build a Drawer

22. Once the front half of the sider was attached, we needed to attach the back half of the slider so we needed to remove the drawer to access this part of the slider.

How to Build a Drawer

23. To remove the drawer with part of the slider, we slid the drawer all the way out and pressed the plastic trigger on each side.

How to Build a Drawer

24. Then we were able to attach the back half of the slider to the drawer.

How to Build a Drawer

25. Finally, we slid the drawer back into place. Once the drawer is installed it sat flush with the front of the cabinet so that allowed us to make a drawer face that overhangs the cabinet that finished off the look and made it nice and clean.

How to Build a Drawer

Once we paint the drawer faces we will attach them to the drawer using double sided foam tape. We will put a couple of pieces on the back of the drawer face, line up the drawer face, stick it into place and then come back through the back with screws and secure the drawer face to the drawer.

Now that all the drawers are built and installed, next on the agenda is to get the drawer faces (and doors) painted and then attach them to the cabinets! Then, we can add out drawer pulls to finish them off.

We hope this how to build a drawer tutorial comes in handy if you ever find yourself in need of building some custom sized drawers. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or shoot us an email and we will try out best to help!

See how our finished office cabinets turned out!

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How to Build a Drawer

How to Build a TV Wall Mount Tutorials

How To Build A TV Wall Mount

How to Build A TV Wall Mount

It seems as though every year TVs are getting lighter and less expensive so when we were working on our guest bedroom makeover we decided to say goodbye to my 10 year old monster of a 32″ silver TV from college that was sitting in that room and replace it with a new much sleeker, slimmer and lighter model that I am sure cost way less than my parents paid for my TV 10 years ago.

We didn’t have enough space for a TV console in the bedroom so we knew we were going to have to mount the TV on the wall and now that TVs are thinner and lighter, it actually makes it easier and less stressful to get them up on the wall. We learned from purchasing a TV mount for our home gym that some TV mounts can be almost as expensive as some small TVs. Yikes! And I did not want to waste some of my decorating budget for the guest bedroom on a TV mount. Sure it contributes to the overall layout of the room, but it’s not the most interesting or fun piece to spend money on.

But after thinking about it, what goes into a TV mount isn’t that complicated, so we decided to make our own out of wood for way cheaper and are sharing how to build a TV wall mount. In this tutorial Brent shows how to make one for a 32″ TV since that is the size of the TV we were mounting. If you decide to build you own, you might have to adjust the sizes of the pieces you cut, accordingly.

How to Build a TV Wall Mount Video

In the video below Brent will show how to build a TV wall mount out of wood to hang a TV on the wall.

To see a new DIY tutorial video every Thursday, subscribe to our channel ⇾

How to Build a TV Wall Mount

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
1 Our TV came with screws in the mounting holes so the first thing we did was to remove the screws.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
How to Build A TV Wall Mount
2 We used a piece of paper and pen to poke holes in the paper to make a template for transferring the mounting holes to a block of wood.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
3 Once the holes were poked in the paper for each mounting hole, we marked the hole positions on a piece of plywood. We used a piece of 3/4 inch plywood.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
How to Build A TV Wall Mount
4 The mounting bracket has two hinges comprised of four identical semicircular pieces with a hole in the center. We made this template and then traced these pieces on another piece of plywood like the one we used in the previous step. Our hinge template is available to download here.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
5 Next, using a 1/8 inch drill bit, we drilled four holes in the board that mounts to the TV. This is the board we marked on in the third step.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
How to Build A TV Wall Mount
6 Using a 1/4 inch drill bit we drilled holes in the center of the hinge mounting brackets. These are the pieces we traced in the fourth step.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
7 To cut the four hinge pieces out we used a jigsaw with a scroll cut blade.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
How to Build A TV Wall Mount
8 We used a 2 inch long carriage bolt to hold each of the two hinges together. But as you can see in the second picture, the square neck prevents the head of the bolt from sitting flush with the surface of the hinge.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
9 To fix that issue, we used a 1/4 inch chisel to square off each hole on the side of the hinge with the head of the bolt.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
How to Build A TV Wall Mount
10 Next, we mounted the two hinge pieces located on the head side of the bolt to the mounting plate with the four holes in it. We added glue and clamped both pieces centered between the holes.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
11 First, we drilled pilot holes for each screw.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
12 Then we secured the hinge pieces with the screws.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
13 To help align the other side of the hinges, we slid the other pieces over the carriage bolts and tightened them with wing nuts.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
14 Then we marked the center point of each side of the hinges on the wide mounting board that we were going to screw into the wall.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
15 We used those marks to drill pilot holes for the mounting screws.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
How to Build A TV Wall Mount
16 We added wood glue to the hinges and clamped them to the large board.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
16 Then we secured it with 1 1/2 inch screws.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
17 We removed the two carriage bolts and separated the two sides of the mount. We then attached the mount to the TV using 1 1/2 inch screws. Our TV uses M8 screws.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
18 Before mounting the TV, we located the studs.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
18 Then we anchored the mount to at least two studs with 2 1/2 inch screws. We used a level to make sure our mount was straight.

How to Build A TV Wall Mount
19 Finally, we mounted the TV by lining up the holes in the hinge and securing them with the carriage bolts and wing nuts.

We are really happy with how our mount turned out and how it securely holds the TV to the wall. Plus, you can hardly tell the mount is even there. I love how little this project cost us so I could use the money on more important things for our guest bedroom makeover, like lamps and a new chair.

If you have any questions on how to build a TV wall mount, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot Tutorials

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot

Today we have a super quick and easy tutorial that can come in handy for a variety of DIY projects. We are showing how to drill a hole in a ceramic pot.

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot

Have you ever found a really cool ceramic pot you wanted to use to house your live plant but it doesn’t have a hole in the bottom for drainage? Nothing is worse than killing a plant due to root rot. I am speaking from experience. I have killed plants in every way possible.

Just because a pot doesn’t already have a hole in the bottom, doesn’t mean you should pass up the chance to use it. You can easily turn any ceramic pot into the perfect planter with adequate drainage by drilling a hole in the bottom of the pot with a glass and tile drill bit.

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot
With this skill and drill bit you can pretty much turn anything into a planter including mugs or even cute dishes like we did with our succulent display using a Tasting Party set from Pier 1 with these little ceramic cups sitting on a wood tray. The sky’s the limit with what you can create.

VIDEO TUTORIAL

In the video below we will demonstrate how to drill a hole in a ceramic pot to make it more functional for live plants as well as show a DIY project you can create by drilling a large hole in the bottom of the pot.

To see new DIY videos on Thursdays, be sure to subscribe to our channel ⇾


SUPPLIES

MATERIALS

  • Ceramic pot (or any other ceramic piece)
TOOLS

  • Drill
  • 5/16 inch glass and tile drill bit

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot
1. Before drilling, put on your eye protection and earmuffs.

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot
2. Make sure you have a firm grasp on the pot to hold it in place with the hand that is not holding the drill.

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot
3. When drilling a hole into a ceramic pot, start with a firm amount of pressure pushing the drill down on the pot until the drill bit digs into the surface, then ease up on the pressure as the bit makes its way through the pot.

Use a consistent medium speed and avoid using a high speed and spinning the bit too fast.

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot
In just one easy step, we now have a nice size hole for water to drain out of the pot.

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot
4. Once you have a hole drilled in the bottom of the ceramic pot, you can add the plant and water it without worrying about the water building up in the pot leading to root rot. Of course if it is an indoor plant, you will want to water it over a sink or set it on a tray or dish to catch the access water that comes out.

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot
Another cool thing we like to do with ceramic pots is to turn them into shades for modern light fixtures. Check out the video above as we show you how this can be done with a larger diamond coated, 1 5/8″ wide hole saw.

We found that a ceramic drill bit is an essential tool to have in your collection. By drilling a hole in the bottom of a ceramic pot you can make the pot more functional for live plants or you can create unique lighting pieces.

Want to see a DIY project you can make using this tutorial? Check out how to make a DIY Industrial Table Lamp or our DIY Wooden Wall Sconces!

PIN THIS TUTORIAL

How to Drill a Hole in a Ceramic Pot

How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall Tutorials

How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall

How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall

Today we are going to share how to paint a faux brick wall. We posted a teaser about our technique a few weeks back but now we are going to break it all down on how we made our industrial loft style brick accent wall for our home gym that we love.

An important lesson we have learned during our home renovation process is you don’t necessarily have to have a huge budget to pull off your dream room. You just need inspiration, creativity, perseverance, and in my case, trust.

Trust that when your husband says that he thinks we should use EIGHT different paint colors to paint the wall panels that you know to just let him do his thing because it will turn out great. I’ll admit I had no clue where he was going with it but he is the one with art degree and I should know by now that I always love what he comes up with.

But I am getting a little ahead of myself so let’s start at the beginning. As I’m sure you know by now we are in the process of transforming our spare bedroom into a home gym. We both liked the idea of having a brick accent wall somewhere in our home so when we decided to create an industrial loft styled home gym, we knew this was the perfect room for it.

When we are brainstorming projects for our home we always start out, “Well, if we were rich, we would do this…” in this case our “if money were no option” choice would have been to have someone else come and install brick or brick veneers.

But we are of course renovating our home ourselves on a budget so our only option for what we were willing to spend was to buy three sheets of embossed hardboard wall panel that looked like brick. Well, kind of looked like brick.

How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall

It turned out the only paneling we could find came in the unattractive combination of red brick and black mortar. We knew we were going to have to put some work into it to get it to the style we wanted but Brent assured me that if we painted the wall with an entirely new color palette first rather than just painting all the paneling white, that is would drastically change the space into the old industrial loft look we desired.

Today we are going to show you how we transformed faux brick embossed hardboard paneling into a realistic looking brick accent wall by painting it with a new color palette. It turned out to be a lot easier than we anticipated and only cost us around $130 for the entire wall.

How To Paint a Faux Brick Wall

Watch the video below for a quick tutorial on how to paint a faux brick wall.

To see more of our DIY project & tutorial videos, subscribe to our channel ⇾

MATERIALS

(3) brick embossed hardboard paneling
Large piece of cardboard
Various colors of sample paint

TOOLS

Foam roller
Paintbrush


How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall
Our starting point for this project was to search for inspiration photos that gave us a good idea of the color of brick and pattern on the wall we wanted.

After we had determined what we wanted our wall to look like, we needed to pick out the paint colors that would be in our new color palette. To do this we used the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap app to pull the colors from the screen in our inspiration photo and translate them into actual paint colors we could purchase to use to paint our brick wall.

How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall
Once we had the colors available to us on the app, we had to narrow them down to the ones that would form the best color combination for our faux brick. There are a lot of options so our formula consisted of choosing two mid-tone colors, two highlight colors and two to three accent colors. We also selected a new lighter color for the mortar.

Our New Color Palette

Cavern Clay SW 7701 (midtone)
Moroccan Brown SW 6060 (midtone)
Fiery Brown SW 6055 (accent)
Baguette SW 6123 (accent)
Urbane Bronze SW 7048 (accent)
Rare Gray SW 6199 (highlight)
Dovetail SW 7017 (mortar)
Kestrel White SW 7516 (whitewash)

We bought sample sizes of the paint because we only needed to use a small amount of each color. It was plenty to get the job done and have some of each color left over for future projects.

How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall
How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall
We installed our wall panels before we started painting. We needed three hardboard panels to cover our wall. We did this step first so we could paint across all three boards at one time making the paint job look cohesive.

How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall
Our goal was to make the wall seamless so you could not tell it was three separate pieces of paneling. We did our best to line up the bricks as close as possible and then used gray caulk to cover the lines where the boards came together. We used a color similar to the paint we got to paint the mortar.

How to Paint a Faux Brick Wall
We started with our two mid-tone colors, Cavern Clay and Moroccan Brown. We poured the two paint colors on a large piece of cardboard. We chose to use a piece of cardboard because it allowed us plenty of space to roll the paint together and let it mix naturally. We chose to use a foam roller because we liked the authentic texture it gave the paint when it was rolled across the embossed surface.

Painting a Faux Brick Accent Wall
We completely covered the wall with a light coat of both mid-tone colors and then moved on to our accent colors. For the accent colors we did not cover the entire wall but instead concentrated them to certain areas. We chose to use a bright yellow (Baguette), dark brown (Fiery Brown) and dark gray (Urbane Bronze) for our accent colors. For this step we got a new foam roller so the lighter color did not get muddied down and poured our paint on a clean-ish section of our cardboard.

Next, we applied our highlight color. We applied it to the wall liberally but if it looked too overpowering in areas, we went back and rolled in more of our mid-tones to tone it back down. We didn’t want any particular section to stand out. For our highlight color, we used Rare Gray.

Painting a Faux Brick Accent Wall
We started the whole process by painting the black mortar a gray color, Dovetail. But we didn’t mention this as the first step because this actually created double work for us because once we rolled in the other colors, stray paint got into this area. So we had to come back and touch up the mortar again.

If we were to do this again we would wait until the very end to paint over the black mortar. Then we could just take the paintbrush and cover this area once. But once we touched up the mortar, it really changed and cleaned up the look of the brick paneling.

Painting a Faux Brick Accent Wall
But we didn’t stop there because we wanted to replicate an old industrial loft wall. Our vision was to have it appear as if the entire wall was painted white but time has passed and now the paint is wearing off. To achieve this look we whitewashed sections of our brick wall with various shades of white paint.

To begin this process we significantly watered down our Kestel White paint. We used a paintbrush to lightly brush on the paint in a pattern similar to our inspiration photo. With the white paint being very light we could see our entire pattern and then come back with more opaque paint to fill it in. We left some areas untouched on purpose so that these areas would look like the really worn and exposed brick.

Painting a Faux Brick Accent Wall
Next, we used our paintbrush and less diluted white paint to cover the parts of the pattern that had more paint and less exposed brick showing through.

Painting a Faux Brick Accent Wall
We are extremely pleased with how easily we were able to transform our wall with our new color palette. The new colors made a huge difference. Check out this before and after of the same wall.

Painting a Faux Brick Accent Wall
Here is what our faux brick wall looks like once we finished the whitewashed pattern. We are pretty much ecstatic we were able to pull off this brick accent wall for only $130. It is an essential feature in our industrial loft gym. From a distance it passes for real brick much more easily then it did when we first hung the hardboard paneling on the wall.

It just makes me so happy every time I walk into the room to see this wall. For some reason it makes running on that treadmill so much more fun. And that is what I love about creating unique spaces in our home. I feel encouraged and inspired with each new project that we complete to see our overall vision come to life. We pour our time, heart and creativity into these projects and it is definitely worth it when we get to enjoy spending time in these rooms.

How to Use a Jigsaw Tutorials

How to Use a Jigsaw

In this tool tip tutorial we are showing you how to use a jigsaw.

How to Use a Jigsaw

Hey! It’s Brent here today talking about how to use a jigsaw. The jigsaw is a fun tool that can really come in handy to allow you to create fun projects like our yoga mat rack we built last weekend.

It is a fairly easy tool to use but as with any tool it is helpful the more you understand about how a tool functions and the best way to use it.

This is the jigsaw we use:

Watch the video below or scroll down to see eight of my tips for getting started using a jigsaw.

VIDEO TUTORIAL

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HOW TO Use A Jigsaw Tips

How to Use a Jigsaw

1. Safety Glasses and Ear Protection

It might seem self-explanatory but it is easy to forget to wear safety glasses, especially if you don’t normally wear glasses.

Believe me when I say the jigsaw is not a tool you want to risk it. Put on some safety glasses and eye protection before starting to cut.

How to Use a Jigsaw

2. Secure the Foot Plate

Grab your jigsaw and look for the screw or mechanism that locks the foot plate in place and double check that it is as tight as possible.

Most foot plates are designed to rotate allowing users to cut angles but rarely is that the desired application.

Usually if I ignore this step the screw will shake loose as I use the jigsaw and the plate will slowly rotate messing up my cut.

How to Use a Jigsaw

3. Choose the Correct Blade

All jigsaw blades are not created equally. Each jigsaw blade has a specific application and it is important to select a blade based on your material and cut design.

Left: Most blades are labeled by what type of material they cut and the type of cut. (i.e. wood/clean cut) The top two blades in the picture are for cutting wood and the bottom one is for cutting metal. Wide blades make it easier to cut straight lines while skinnier blades make it easier to cut curves.

Right: Be sure the cutting surface of the blade is at least one inch longer than the material is thick. As the jigsaw moves the blade up and down the blade can bend or break if it is too short and jams into the wood.

How to Use a Jigsaw

4. Clamp Your Project Down

Before starting to cut with a jigsaw always clamp the material to a solid work surface. It is difficult to hold the material steady and unsafe to grip the material being cut.

With the piece clamped down you can focus on the saw and where you are cutting without worrying about the work piece moving.

How to Use a Jigsaw

5. Keep Track of the Cord

It is easy to get in the zone when using a jigsaw. Often times the cord can get caught or pulled tight around the table or work piece and come dangerously close to the blade when doing curvy cuts.

Before turning the jigsaw double check that the cord is safely behind the saw and not under the piece being cut.

How to Use a Jigsaw

6. Cut from Outside to Inside

Start by cutting away the material that surrounds the outside of the object. Leaving the inside until the end helps keep the work piece strong and prevent breakage.

How to Use a Jigsaw

7. Drill Holes for Internal Cutting

To cut out internal shapes without cutting through the outside of an object drill a hole larger than the width of the jigsaw blade.

With holes drilled the jigsaw blade can move freely through the material and begin cuts anywhere.

How to Use a Jigsaw

8. Make Multiple Cuts

Even when you use the skinniest blade for curvy cuts there are times when the jigsaw just can’t turn quick enough.

The trick cutting out small objects with tons of curves is to make multiple cuts in the same location from different angles.

I hope these tips help you get started using a jigsaw. If you have any specific questions about how to use a jigsaw, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I would be happy to answer them.

Feel free to check out our additional tool tips about choosing the right drill bit and how to use a biscuit joiner.

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How to Use a Jigsaw