Con-TRAY-ry to Popular Belief

Contrary to popular belief, we still have a blog.To prove that, here’s a little something we whipped up as part of our living room redesign.

After over 6 years, we got ourselves a new couch. Along with that new couch, we moved our coffee table, and replaced it with an ottoman. Still following? Well, I hate to admit it, but we like to eat meals in the living room fairly often, and an ottoman just isn’t a sturdy table to eat off of. So, we decided to get ourselves a serving tray for drinks and plates. We didn’t see anything we totally loved, so we made one. We started with a basic wooden tray that we picked up at a craft store and painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I’ve made things with milk paint before, and working with chalk paint is similar.

Tray with Plywood

While preparing this tray I quickly realized that it needed something extra to support the weight of drinks and plates so I reinforced it with two pieces of plywood on the top and bottom.

Scored Plywood

The tray is about 12″ x 12″, so I bought a piece of 24″ x 12″ plywood and scored and split it.

First coat of chalk paint

Chalk Paint is really easy to work with and doesn’t require priming. You could probably get away with 1 coat, but I did two. I painted the sides and handles but left the bottom and top unpainted because that’s where the plywood will be going.

Annie Sloan English YellowWe decided to go with Annie Sloan’s English Yellow, which we figured would provide a nice contrast to the marine color of the ottoman, and the gray palette of the couch.

Tray Partial Paint

I used wood glue to attach the plywood insert and let it sit overnight with some weight on it.

Tray with Weights

While the glue was drying, I painted the insert for the other side.

Clear Wax

 

That right there is clear wax. To seal the chalk paint a regular poly won’t really work, it needs two coats of clear wax.

Tray with Clear WaxThe wax can be applied with a cloth, but also needs to set and then be buffed. I did one coat, buffed it out, let it sit overnight, and then did it all again. This should provide a watertight seal.

DIY Chalk Paint Above

There’s the final product. I think it looks pretty good with our other decor and it fit pretty well on the ottoman.

Final DIY Painted Tray

I’ve seen a lot of info online about how chalk paint is difficult to work with, but I found it really easy to handle. We bought a relatively small amount of it and it went a long way. I’d like to try it on some other projects in the future, it seems like a good alternative to traditional paint and finishes.

Carpets: Neither Car nor Pets

We can both confirm, there’s nothing more satisfying than knocking down a wall, or breaking up an old piece of wood, or ripping up some old carpet. We don’t regularly do all of those things, but I did spend a day ripping up the carpet in our upstairs bedrooms. Oh, and I also ripped it off of all of our stairs. And I didn’t even fall on a nail or step on a single staple! Pretty impressive, I’d say.

I used a Kobalt 28-piece multi blade utility knife to cut and remove the bulk of the carpet. The straight blade was good for the big pieces and the blade with the hook was good for the stapled in bits on the stairs.

Kobalt Utility Knife SetThe carpets weren’t in terrible shape when we moved in, but the previous owners had pets and we were worried about what might be hiding underneath. Luckily after they were all up, the floor underneath was in good shape and relatively stain free. We didn’t have the same good fortune that we did last time I ripped up carpet, but a clean sub floor is fine with me.

Ripping up carpets

Check out some before and after shots of the freshly carpeted upstairs and our freshly painted stairwell and landing (and ceiling). That’s Hotel St Francis Clay Angel, the same color we used in our living room.

Stairs New Carpet Before After

Upstairs Before No Carpet Upstairs New CarpetRipped up CarpetNew Carpet on Stairs

 

Guess Who’s Back?

…and we’re back!Fresh Nest Blog is Back

 Welcome back, readers, whoever you are, wherever you are. We’ve been laying low for awhile and the blog has been inactive. We sold our house a few months ago, and have been living with my (Andrew) parents since then. We’ve also found a new house, and are waiting to close. There will be some work to do, but (hopefully) not nearly as much as last time.

We will be posting about all of the work and projects so check back real soon!