Using an App to Pick Paint Colors Tutorials

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors

Before I get started with this post I would like to note that this is not a sponsored post, we just had a great experience using the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® App for one of our projects and thought we would share how using this app to pick paint colors came in handy when we were in a bit of a bind in case you ever find yourself in a similar predicament.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors

While working on our home gym makeover we decided we really wanted to do a brick accent wall. We felt like it would be a project that would take the room to the next level. In a dream world if money was no option we would have went with the thick brick veneers.

However, we have a limited budget for this room makeover so our best or only option for what we were willing to spend was to get three sheets of the embossed hardboard wall panel that looked like brick.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors

The downside to this was that it only came in the undesirable colors of dark red brick and black mortar. Yikes. But we are optimists and knew that with some hard work and the right paint colors we could transform this paneling to look like the authentic brick wall we were envisioning that would transform this space.

We had seen multiple tutorials of whitewashing over the red brick and black grout but we felt like that wasn’t the right direction for this wall. We wanted to paint the brick to have a better color palette. So we scoured the internet for examples and finally came across a brick wall that had nice shades of browns, grays and tans that would blend nicely with the paint color we already had on our other walls.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
1. We wanted paint the brick on our wall to look like the brick in our inspiration photo. The only problem was figuring out how to get those colors from the screen to the wall. Figuring out the right colors probably would have taken HOURS at the store sifting through hundreds of paint cards trying to hold them up to the screen.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
2. I remembered that I had downloaded the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap® App on my iPad awhile back and opened it up to see if there was a feature that could help with our paint color dilemma.

I clicked on the Explore Color tab at the top and was excited when I found the match a photo section. It was exactly the tool we were looking for to determine the colors in the brick.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
3. All we had to do was upload our inspiration photo of the brick and it populated little dots on the screen with paint colors names and numbers. We actually used a few that it pre-populated and then were able to drag the other dots around the screen to select the exact areas where we wanted to know the color.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
4. When we clicked on the dot it told us the SW number and name and then has a little plus that we could click on to save to our color palette. So we selected eight colors in the mortar and the brick and saved them to our color palette. Once we saved them it added a check mark on the dot on the photo.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
5. Then we took our iPad where our colors were saved in the ColorSnap® app to the Sherwin-Williams store and used it to look at the names and numbers to find the corresponding paint cards. We just wanted to double check that the color on the screen looked like the color on the card and it was still a color we wanted.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
6. All the colors were close enough to the ones on the screen and looked good so we bought sample sizes in those eight colors. It turned out to be a gorgeous paint palette and one I never would have imagined picking if we had to do it all on our own.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
7. We got to work painting the brick. We painted the mortar the color the app suggested it was in the photo and painted the brick the same way.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
The results were amazing! We were able to transform the ugly red brick and black mortar paneling into a realistic looking brick wall that matched the colors of our inspiration photo. Now our brick wall has much more dimension and character. It’s even hard to tell that it is not real brick but rather paneling.

Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors
The match a photo feature on the ColorSnap® app was a lifesaver for this project because it saved us a ton of time and took the guesswork out of having to choose what colors looked like the ones in the image. There are a million different paint color options out there and by using this app that literally translated a color on the screen into a color we could physically buy simplified the whole process for us.

We are very happy with the results of our wall and are so glad we found this neat little tool. If you ever are in need of figuring out how to bring a color from the screen in an inspiration photo to real life so you can transform your own project, you should definitely give it a try.

Check out our full tutorial on how to paint a faux brick wall!

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Using the ColorSnap® App to Pick Paint Colors

Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish Tutorials

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

In this DIY tutorial we are showing how to paint the perfect oil-rubbed bronze finish, the perfect technique for giving that toilet handle a makeover

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

Brent’s parents recently completed a bathroom makeover and shared with us that it turned out exactly how they wanted and everything went smoothly except for of all things, a pesky toilet lever. They bought a brand new toilet but it came with a silver handle.

They purchased a new lever to match the other new oil-rubbed bronze hardware in their bathroom but once it was installed they soon learned that it stuck out too far and prevented the seat from staying up. And I think we can all agree that as homeowners one thing we do not want is that shocking and potentially dangerous surprise of the seat slamming back down on our unaware guests.

Then they bought a new slow closing toilet seat but the handle still stuck out too far. They thought they were going to have to put the original lever back on and live with the silver when Brent suggested we could paint it with an oil-rubbed bronze finish ourselves. So when they came to visit this past weekend we gave it a try and it turned out great!

That got us thinking that toilet handles are often one of the last pieces of hardware that get upgraded in the bathroom. We are working on converting all of our hardware throughout the house from a silver finish to an oil-rubbed bronze finish and we hadn’t even thought about switching out the toilet lever.

Once we realized how easy it was to remove the handle and paint the perfect oil-rubbed bronze finish to match our other bathroom hardware, we knocked out both toilet handles in one afternoon and had an instant upgrade! By doing it ourselves and using the existing handles we didn’t have to worry about any handle and toilet seat conflict.

Today we are sharing our process of painting a perfect oil-rubbed bronze finish.

How we Painted a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

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

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

1. The first step is to remove the lever from the toilet.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

2. Use a piece of sandpaper to rough up the surface of the handle so the spray paint can grab on to it.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

3. Tape off any areas of the handle with painters tape that you don’t want exposed like the threaded piece.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

4. Spray paint an even layer of Krylon ColorMaster™ Primer Spray Paint in Black and let it dry for the recommended amount of time.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

5. Then spray paint the copper layer with the Krylon Copper Metallic Spray Paint and let it dry for the recommended amount of time.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

6. After the copper layer has dried, put on a coat of the Rust-Oleum Metallic Satin Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint and let it dry for the recommended amount of time.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish
Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

7. After it is nice and dry take a piece of sandpaper and gently scratch some of the oil-rubbed bronze paint away to reveal streaks of the copper paint layer underneath. This process recreates the highlights that can be found on most manufactured oil-rubbed bronze hardware.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

8. Finally, you can install the handle back on the toilet. It is that easy!

One piece of advice, it is important to let each layer of paint dry for the full recommended time, overestimate just to be safe. We learned the hard way what can happen if you try and sand too soon.

On our first attempt we didn’t let it sit long enough or use a primer so when we went to scratch the oil-rubbed bronze paint layer away, it peeled off all the paint and exposed the original silver layer, which is not what we wanted.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

They do sell oil-rubbed bronze spray paint so you may be wondering what the purpose of the copper spray paint layer is. We found that most of our hardware throughout the house that we purchased had areas of bronze exposed around the edges that perfectly matched the color of the metallic copper spray paint.

It is a subtle effect but really takes the look to another level and can’t be achieved with just one can of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.

Painting a Perfect Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish
Our toilet got a facelift for only the cost of spray paint. It might not be the most glamorous project but it really makes a difference when updating a bathroom to have all the hardware in the room match.

DIY Gutter Installation Tutorials

DIY Gutter Installation

Follow along as we share how to DIY gutter installation. We decided to add gutters to the back of our house to keep the water off our back patio.

DIY Gutter Installation

Today I (Brent) am sharing our latest unexpected project. Well, I don’t know if you can call it unexpected because it has been long over due but it was one of those boring home maintenance projects that is necessary but not the most fun way to spend a Saturday. The project I am talking about is DIY gutter installation.

The saying goes when it rains, it pours and that literally couldn’t be more true about the weather the past few weeks in Houston and all over Texas. This year it was as if April showers brought lots and lots of May… showers. It felt like it would never stop raining. It is hard to imagine that such large areas of our city experienced major flooding.

Although the water on our street was at one point up over our curb, we count ourselves extremely fortunate that we didn’t experience any major damage. Our problem was insignificant compared to what many others faced and we are so thankful for that.

DIY Gutter Installation

Every day we checked the weather app on our phone it said the same thing. Monday: rain, Tuesday: more rain, Wednesday: lots of rain, Thursday: rain all day, Friday: 100% chance that is will most definitely rain.

Our issue was we had no gutters on the back of the house and the concrete back patio was proof that this was not an ideal situation to be in with all this rain. The inadequate drainage had spelled disaster for the slabs. Let’s just say the concrete has turned all kind of unnatural colors. Heavy rain also caused the run off from the roof to splash off the concrete and hit the back of our house causing problems with the siding.

DIY Gutter Installation

A few weeks ago Courtney’s dad came over to help us do a little spring cleaning in the backyard and pressure washed the entire concrete patio. We were amazed at the results. Honestly, we forgot what color concrete is supposed to be. The patio looked brand new and we even ate dinner out there twice the following week because it felt so clean. However, that only lasted for about two weeks and then it rained and rained and our patio was quickly returning to its previous state.

It became clear that we were going to need to take preventative measures and fast because more rain was on the way. We had to bite the bullet and install gutters to help avoid any excess water from pooling on the concrete and causing mold and mildew to grow.

DIY Gutter Installation

DIY Gutter Installation
1. The span of the roof over the patio is 16 feet wide and since the gutters that can be purchased from our local hardware store only come in 12 foot lengths we had to cut the second section of gutter to the correct length.

DIY Gutter Installation
2. Before hanging the gutters on the eave of the roof we installed the end caps on each side of the gutters. We will eventually be painting the gutters to match the eave so we used a black paintable caulk to seal the joint between the gutter and the end cap. We were able to use a pair of vise grip pliers to crimp the cap to the gutters.

DIY Gutter Installation
3. There are several different types of hangers to secure the gutters to the eave of the house. We chose to use a type that slides into the gutter and can’t be seen from the ground when the gutter is installed. Each screw is anchored through the siding into a roof rafter.

DIY Gutter Installation
4. To make certain that the maximum amount of water enters the gutter and stays in the gutter, we installed flashing under the shingles and over the back edge of the gutter. This prevents water from getting underneath the shingles and on the roof sheathing. For the seam where the two pieces of gutters connect, we wrapped a piece of metal over that seam and caulked it to prevent leaking.

DIY Gutter Installation
5. To allow the gutter to drain effectively, the gutter was installed at a slight angle and on the low side we installed a downspout. To install the downspout, we marked a hole the size of the downspout connector. Then we drilled a hole next to each place where we marked to make it easier to cut open the hole for the connector with snips.

DIY Gutter Installation
6. The downspout connector was installed with rivets to avoid having the sharp point of a screw being exposed through the bottom of the gutter. After we installed the connector we caulked all the seams inside the gutter.

DIY Gutter Installation
7. The downspout pipe is held to the siding of the house with clips.

DIY Gutter Installation
8. One foot off the ground we turned the downspout away from the house to allow the pipe to have a gradual slope. Once past the house the downspout was finished off with a plastic flexible pipe.

As we finished the last several steps, we started hearing thunder in the distance. Which was not a bit surprising. It wasn’t long before we were running around frantically trying to get the tools inside before the next downpour. On the bright side we got to put the gutters through the ringer within minutes of installation and so far so good.

DIY Gutter Installation

The backyard still has a long way to go and I promise the projects to come in the backyard will be much more exciting. Now that we have solved the water drainage problem, we are hoping to start working on a deck. Stay tuned and let us know if you have had any rainfall nightmares at your house.

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DIY Gutter Installation

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Tutorials

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors

In this tutorial we are showing how to frame bathroom mirrors. We will also show how to build the frames and how to hang them on the wall.

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors

Remember back in January when we showed how we cut our large bathroom mirror into two pieces? Today we are sharing the second half of the project which includes how to frame bathroom mirrors and hang them back up on the wall. We have found that a simple and inexpensive way to freshen up a bathroom’s appearance is to take down the large unframed mirror and replace it with two narrow mirrors over each sink.

In both our master bathroom and now our guest bathroom we cut the large builder grade mirror that came with the house into two pieces, built frames for each one out of wood and then stained the wood to match the bathroom. By cutting the mirrors and building the frames ourselves, we saved money and had complete control over the size and appearance of our mirrors.

We really like the look of tall narrow mirrors but finding that style without the high price tag was a difficult task. Building the frames ourselves was a great solution for us.

SUPPLIES

MATERIALS

  • (2) 1″ x 6″ boards of select pine (1 for each frame)
  • Wood Glue
  • Rust-Oleum Wood Stain, Kona
  • All Purpose Adhesive Caulk
  • Brown Acrylic Latex Sealant
  • D-Ring Hangers
TOOLS

  • Table Saw
  • Clamps
  • Screwdriver

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

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors
1. To save money we bought a 1″x6″ board that we cut down the middle to be the width of one side of the frame. Cutting the board in half gave us both the left and right side of the frame.

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors
2. We cut all the boards to our desired width for the mirrors. Then we made two cuts using the table saw to create a recessed area in the board where the mirror would sit.

The first cut, which is shown in the photo above, determined how far the mirror will sit inside the frame. We chose to make the lip on the inside of the frame 1/4 of an inch.

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors
3. Next we raised the blade to meet up with the line of the previous cut and ran the boards through the table saw.

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors
The two cuts we made removed the piece of the wood on the left. The piece of wood on the right is what we used for the frame.

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors
4. After measuring the length of each side of the frame so we could mark where the cut needed to be, we cut the left and right side pieces of the frame at the same time and the top and bottom pieces at the same time to guarantee that there would be no variations between the matching sides of the frame and that the four pieces would make a rectangle.

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors
5. Finally, we made two cuts on each side of the top and bottom board of the frame. This cut removed a piece of the wood allowing the side boards of the frame to be glued on top of the top and bottom board. This type of joint is called a rabbet joint.

How to Frame Bathroom Mirrors
6. This is what the top and bottom boards of the frame looked like after the previous step once the pieces of wood on each side were removed.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
7. By cutting the pieces of wood out, each piece of the frame fit perfectly over the other piece of the frame. This process makes for a very strong joint and prevents the need to nail or screw the frame together.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
8. We then applied glue to each board and clamped the frame together. After several projects we finally remembered to put a scrap board between the wood and the clamp. When we forget to put a scrap piece in between the board and the clamp, a lot of times the surface of the project will get indentations from the clamp.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
9. To match all the other stain in our bathroom, we decided to stain the frame with a Kona stain. We learned from staining our first set of mirrors that it is important to stain the back as well as the front of the frame.

The mirror reflects the backside of the frame. If only the front side is stained, once the mirror is glued in place, you will be able to see the non stained wood in the reflection.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
10. We placed the mirror in the frame and lined it up so it was centered. Then we traced the mirror outline on the back of the frame so we would know where to apply the adhesive. To secure the mirror to the frame, we used an all purpose adhesive caulk.

We could only find it in white which caused a little bit of an issue because the mirror will reflect the underside of the frame and the white caulk would be very noticeable. Our solution was to run a bead of brown acrylic latex sealant on the side of the white caulk that is closer to the inside of the frame.

The brown sealant is not a great adhesive but it does a good job concealing the white caulk that is actually holding the mirror and frame together.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
11. After the adhesive dried, we screwed a D-Ring hanger in each side of the back of the frame for easy hanging.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
12. The final step was to put two picture hanger nails in the wall to hang the frames on.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
Now we have two (like) brand new mirrors for only the cost of the two boards since we already had most of the supplies left over from our previous framing project. It is nice to have mirrors back in the guest bathroom again and just in time for our guests coming in a few weeks.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
We have a few more projects we will be working on this weekend for the guest bathroom. It is fun seeing our ideas start to become a reality in this room. I did some preliminary decor shopping last week and picked up some guest bathroom items along with a few tropical elements that I can’t wait to incorporate into the room.

Framing Bathroom Mirrors Gray House Studio
Stay tuned for more guest bathroom posts and progress photos coming soon.

Check out how to cut a large bathroom mirror into two smaller pieces.

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Frame Bathroom Mirrors

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner Tutorials

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

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

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

Hey! Brent here. Today I am sharing how to use a biscuit joiner to join two pieces of wood together. This is a cool woodworking tool that comes in handy for projects like building a coffee table where you need to put multiple boards together to create the table’s surface which is exactly what I am working on right now.

A current trend is using multiple pieces of reclaimed wood for the tops of tables. I have found when I would just glue or nail the boards together, the joint was not as strong and the boards had the potential to come apart in places.

Gray House Studio How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

A biscuit joiner uses a circular saw blade to cut a hole in each piece of board. By applying glue to the hole, adding the wooden biscuit in the slot and clamping the two boards together, you get a much tighter bond and makes it the perfect solution for a nice and sturdy table.

As I build the top of our coffee table, I am going to walk through my process of using the biscuit joiner.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

First, I think it is important to highlight the tool settings I use. Most biscuit joiners have three settings you have to consider.

three settings to consider

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

1. Select the Biscuit Size

First, I need to set the dial on the biscuit joiner to match the size of the biscuit I intend to use. As you can see in the image on the left, for this project the size of biscuit I am using is 20.

So I made sure to set the dial to 20. The picture below shows a biscuit I am using which will have the size printed on it. The photo on the right above shows the circular blade that will make the cut.

The larger the number on the dial, the further the tool allows the blade to cut into the wood which creates a deeper slot for the biscuit.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

2. Adjust the Surface Angle

The next setting I need to set on the tool is to adjust the front guard to match the angle of the surface I want to join together. When cutting into the side of a board to join two boards side by side, use the 90 degree setting. This is what I used for this project.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

3. Center the Biscuit

On thin surfaces, like a table top, it is important to center the biscuit on the board to create the strongest joint. On the biscuit joiner you can adjust the front guard up and down with the knob on the side of the tool. In the above photo on the right, notice the red line. This line identifies where the cut will be made.

Using a Biscuit Joiner

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
1. Now that we have the tool set up like we need it, it is time to prep the boards to be cut. First, I arranged the boards in the order I want to join them. An important step is to mark the boards in a way that will make it easy to reassemble them after you have taken them apart to cut the groves for the biscuits.

I have found that once you start gluing the boards together you don’t have a lot of time to sort through them and figure out the original order of the boards.

My favorite way to mark the boards is to draw a large “v” across the face of all the boards. This gives two points of reference on each board making it easier to assemble them in the correct position. After I draw a “v”, I add a dash everywhere I plan to join the boards with a biscuit.

Two to three biscuits per board is usually good enough. I am using three per board for this project.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
2. It can be hard to handle the biscuit joiner and hold the board you are cutting steady. So I have found that it is best to clamp a piece of scrap wood to my work space. I push the board I am cutting up against the scrap wood to keep it in place.

Before I begin cutting, I make sure to align the mark I made in the previous step with that red center line on the biscuit joiner.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
3. Then I make the cut. The photo above shows what the finished cut looks like in the side of the board. As you can see the biscuit fits perfectly in the slot that was cut out.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
4. With all the boards cut, it’s time to apply glue to each board. It is important to get glue in each biscuit slot. I don’t worry about being a perfectionist with the glue because when gluing five to ten boards together, time is of the essence.

Any excess glue can easily be cleaned up with a damp rag after the boards have been clamped together.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
5. After the glue has been applied to each board, I insert a biscuit into each slot and line the boards up so the “v” I drew earlier lines up correctly. The biscuits help compensate for any slight warping the boards may have to create an even surface from one board to the next.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
6. Once the boards are aligned, I place clamps around the boards and tighten the clamps until the gaps between the boards close and glue squeezes out of the seams.

The pressure of the clamps can sometimes create indentions in the boards. I have found a solution to this is to use a scrap piece of wood between the clamp and the board you are gluing together.

How to Use a Biscuit Joiner
7. I always make sure to give the glue more than enough time to dry based on the wood glue guidelines. You can see how these multiple boards now look like one solid surface.

I will erase or sand off the pencil marks. Now all these boards should have a really strong bond and make for a great table top for our new coffee table.

Step one of the coffee table is complete! As you can see I am using the coffee table below as inspiration for the one I am building for our library. Notice in the detail shot on the right that the top of the table has several individual boards next to each other, that is the look we are going for. I’ll be back soon to share the next step in the process of building our coffee table.

Gray House Studio How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

^ coffee table inspiration from West Elm

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How to Use a Biscuit Joiner

CHOOSING THE RIGHT DRILL BIT Tutorials

Choosing the Right Drill Bit

In this tool tip tutorial we are explaining why choosing the right drill bit for the project is important.

Choosing the Right Drill Bit for a DIY Project

One thing we have learned so far while working on home renovation projects is that having the right tools for the job is key to a successful outcome. Today we are talking specifically about choosing the right drill bit. If you asked me a year ago I would have told you a drill bit is just a drill bit.

They are all the same, right? But the past few projects (and Brent) have taught me that is not true at all. Not all drill bits are the same and they do not all produce the same results.

Below we are highlighting three drill bits that we have used for our latest projects.

Choosing the Right Drill Bit

Choosing the Right Drill Bit
Below we are highlighting three drill bits that we have used for our latest projects.

Choosing the Right Drill Bit - Paddle Bit

1. Paddle Bit

What it looks like: This bit has a long point in the middle to keep the blade from walking as it spins. The flat parts next to the tip bore a hole the size labeled on the bit.

When to use this bit: This bit is great for drilling large holes all the way through a material especially if the hole needs to be deeper than one or two inches.

Pros: The main reason to use a paddle bit over other types of bits is the price point. You can get a set of these bits for the price of one of the other bits.

Cons: They are not great for boring holes partially through a board. Another downside with this type of drill bit has to do with safety. If the drill is not kept level while drilling a hole and the bit digs into the wood unevenly or hits a knot, it can catch the work piece and whip the drill from your hand.

Real Project Use: We used a paddle bit when drilling the hole in the ceiling to run the wire for the light fixture in the reading nook. It was the only bit that could make a 6 inch deep cut. Read more about how we built our reading nook.

 Choosing the Right Drill Bit - Forstner Bit

2. Forstner Bit

What it looks like: The forstner bit has a small point in the middle just long enough to help center the bit and two blades that span the radius. The outside of the bit has teeth to clean up the outside of the cut.

When to use this bit: This bit is great for drilling holes that need to be a specific depth.

Pros: With two blades running along the radius of the cutting surface, the bit shaves off small layers of wood at a time and allows for a very precise cut.

Cons: These bits are more on the expensive side.

Real Project Use: We used a forstner bit to drill out a hole for the hinge on our bathroom cabinet door. Read more about how we added shelves to our bathroom cabinets.

Choosing the Right Drill Bit - Hole Saw

3. Hole Cutter / Hole Saw

What it looks like:The hole saw has a central drill bit that attaches to the drill and extends through the middle of a circular saw.

When to use this bit: The most common use for this bit is for cutting holes for door knobs. The quality of the cut does not usually matter because the plate behind the knob completely covers the hole.

Pros: The saw can be removed from the central bit allowing you to have multiple saw diameters with only one bit that connects to the drill.

Cons: There is a limit on the thickness of material that this bit can cut. The drill bit can only cut as deep as the cup of the saw.

Real Project Use: We used the hole cutter to make six holes for the wood light fixture in our master bathroom. Read more about how we built our wood light fixture.

We chose to highlight these three drill bits because they all do the same thing but with slightly different outcomes making each one better suited for certain tasks and certain projects.

If you have any questions about choosing the right drill bit for your next project, feel free to leave them below.

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Choosing the Right Drill Bit for a DIY Project

How to Cut a Mirror Tutorials

Cut a Bathroom Mirror Tutorial Video

In this video tutorial we will show you a simple way to cut a bathroom mirror

Cut a Bathroom Mirror

Today we are talking mirrors. Do you have a large unframed mirror in your bathroom that you find is an eyesore? We did. We had two. Our solution was to take our large unframed mirror that spanned the whole vanity and we recycled it by cutting it in half to create two separate more narrow mirrors that we framed and hung over each sink.

We took down the large mirror and initially went on the hunt for two tall and narrow mirrors that we could hang over each sink. After lots of window shopping we kept coming up short on finding affordable, tall and thin mirrors that would be the exact dimensions we desired. Then it clicked. If you can’t find what you need, you might as well make it! We decided we would cut our existing bathroom mirror down to the two identical sizes we wanted. This was a great solution for us because it was already the height we needed and of course it saved us money because we are using what we already had. Plus, we got to thinking about how hard it actually is to dispose of or donate those large mirrors. Many of our neighbors are still storing their unused large bathroom mirrors in their garages.

SO WE TOOK THIS:
Cut a Bathroom Mirror

AND TURNED IT INTO THIS:
Cut a Bathroom Mirror

If you think this approach might be a solution for you and your bathroom mirror dilemma, follow along and watch the video below as we show you how we cut a bathroom mirror down to the size or sizes needed.

How to Cut a Bathroom Mirror Video

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How to Cut a Bathroom Mirror

Cut a Bathroom Mirror

For this projects we used:

  • Sharpie
  • Large Ruler
  • Clamp
  • Straight Edge (we used a board)
  • All Purpose Oil
  • Glass Cutter
  • Heavy Object to hold straight edge down (we used a paint can)

Cut a Bathroom Mirror
^^^ The glass cutter is key to cutting the mirror. We got this one at a local hardware store.

To begin we set the mirror on a large flat surface. We took the ruler and marked with a sharpie the measurements of the new mirror where we would need to make our cut. Then we took a board which acts a straight edge for scoring the mirror and lined it up with the marks we made with the Sharpie. Next we clamped the board and the mirror to the table to make sure that it didn’t move once we started to make our cut. On the side of the board that could not be clamped, we used a paint can as a weight to hold the board down.

Once everything was in place we squirted a few drops of all purpose oil on the mirror where the cut would begin. We grabbed the glass cutter and prepared to make our cut. When starting the cut it is important to apply a good amount of pressure to force the blade down to score the glass. Once you begin scoring, continue all the way across the mirror with out stopping. It is imperative to make one continuous score. Any overlap in scores will result in an uneven cut.

After we made our cut, we lifted the mirror up slightly and then took the other side of the glass cutter (the end with the heavy metal ball) and tapped directly under the beginning of the score. Once you start a crack the weight of the mirror will force the crack to run the entire length of the score. The result is the mirror breaks in two pieces.

After the mirror is cut, be careful handling the side that was scored. It will be sharp. We used fine grit sandpaper to smooth the edge making it safer to handle when we started framing it. Once we cut the mirror into two pieces, the sizes we needed, we framed them, stained the frames and hung them back up in our bathroom.

Voila! Our one large mirror is now like two brand new mirrors! And that is how we cut a bathroom mirror.

Have any questions? Let us know in the comments section.

Picking the Right Gray Paint Colors Tutorials

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Choosing gray paint colors can be a tricky task. He is how we went about picking a neutral gray.

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Today we just finished painting the sixth room in our home gray. As I was up on the ladder practically doing a back bend to paint the top of the arches in what will soon be our library, I couldn’t help but think how pleased I am with our gray paint colors that we have chosen so far for our house.

No longer are gray walls viewed as drab, dull and dreary but now in my opinion a stylish neutral that is cozy and modern.

My love for gray walls began several years ago. I was in college and out window-shopping in an upscale shopping mall that included stores with merchandise that was infinitely out of my price range then (and now). I walked into one store that was designed to have the look of walking into an expensive home. It had dark wood floors, white trim and gorgeous gray walls. I was mesmerized by how cozy it felt.

I never thought about gray walls in a home before. I was a green walls type of girl. But I just couldn’t get over how inviting that combination felt. I don’t remember anything they actually sold there; I just adored the interior design of the store. I do remember I had to eventually be shook from fantasizing, dragged out of the store and reminded I did not actually live there.

From that moment I wanted my own gray house, on a much smaller scale of course. Hey, I may have dreams but I am a realist too.

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

When the time to came to actually pick gray paint colors for our home I realized that gray paint is not just gray paint there are so many brands, shades and variations out there.

Choosing gray paint colors became a tricky and overwhelming task. How do you go about selecting the right gray color for your wall? While there is no magical color that works for everyone’s home, here is what we learned about choosing the right gray paint colors for our walls.

For the majority of our home we ended up choosing Mindful Gray from Sherwin-Williams. After comparing all of our gray paint options we found that this shade was the most neutral gray which is what we wanted.

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Since we knew we wanted the most neutral gray color as possible, the challenge was that we did not end up selecting a color that made the room look even a little purple, blue or green. When we looked at each swatch individually, it appeared the color was neutral but the key we found was to compare numerous gray swatches to each other in the room we would be painting under the exact lighting.

By doing this we were able to see the spectrum of grays available and pick the one that was most neutral in relation to all of the other grays. The gray shades can appear very close so we looked at the darkest and lightest shades on the swatch to see a more dramatic difference.

The gray colors we chose are below. We selected colors for the rooms that were on the same swatch or one swatch over to keep a cohesive and neutral look throughout the house.

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

Choosing Gray Paint Colors

How to create a weathered wood Tutorials

Create Weathered Wood Video

A video tutorial to create weathered wood from brand new wood.

create weathered wood

Hey guys! Today we are going to show you how to create weathered wood using new wood that can be used in a wood wall liked we made for the back of our reading nook.

MATERIALS

Spruce-Pine-Fir Furring Strips (various widths)
Rust-Oleum Wood Stain, Kona

TOOLS

Hammer
Nails
Clamps
Drill
Wire Brush Drill Attachment
Table Saw

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How to Create Weathered Wood Video

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When we started making our wood wall we tried to use old weathered wood from left over pallets but we quickly learned that wood pulled off pallets tended to be gross and broke apart really easy. So instead we bought new Spruce-Pine-Fir Furring Strip in various widths and decided to create the weathered look ourselves so that we could control the color and appearance of each board so that when we put the wood on the wall we could create a pattern that appears random yet balanced. That makes sense, right?

First we hammered two nails into the ends of the boards and then pulled the nails back out to give the appearance that the board had been ripped off of a pallet. After that we use a metal brush attached to a drill to remove the soft wood from in between the grain lines. This is the approach that we found give the most significant and realistic weathered appearance. This also evenly roughs up the surface so the stain soaks in more easily creating a darker more even finish.

The last thing we did was run the surface of the board along the edge of the table saw blade to give it the circular blade marks. When cheaper wood is milled, the surface is not finished smooth. The new wood we used was smooth so we needed to add these marks back on to give it an authentic appearance.

The final step is to stain the boards. We used an oil based stain. Even though it is messier than water based stain we have had better luck achieving a darker finish with the oil based stain. The boards that haven’t been roughed up will be lighter and the ones with the marks will be darker.

Once the stain is dry to the touch, you can start putting it up on the wall! Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out how to install weathered wood boards on a wall like we did in our reading nook.