Monday, September 10, 2012

New England Shed Makover - Repairing Wood Rot & a New Roof

Nancy's Shed "Before"
My mother-in-law's shed was in disrepair, so she got a quote to refurbish it...for $3,000!  Granted, the shed had wood rot along the bottom where years of snow drifts had saturated the wood and it needed a new roof.  Enter Mr. and Mrs. ShabbyGlam!  We flew to Boston for Labor Day Weekend to give her shed a ShabbyGlam makeover!  Here's what it looked like when we arrived.

Our challenges:

  • Wood-rot around the bottom 
  • Wood rot in the fascia boards at the roof
  • Leaky Roof
  • Faded paint

Wood rot all along the bottom.

Shed "Before" front view
Mr. ShabbyGlam installs new boards
covering existing wood rot.
New boards cover old rot.
First, we gave it a good washing down to get any chipping paint and dirt off the shed. We cut pressure treated boards to fit around the bottom to cover the wood rot.  

We cut off the rotten wood from
from the bottom of the door.
Board replaces rotten wood on the door.

Next we removed the door to address the wood rot at the bottom and added a board to the bottom of it too.  We cut off the bad wood and replaced it with a board to match the boards installed on the shed.  We filled in any missing wood and cracks with wood putty.

We trimmed out the wood at the base of the door
to match the baseboards around the shed.
The fascia boards around the roof were in terrible shape and required replacing.  Mr. ShabbyGlam replaced all those boards with pressure treated wood.  Here's the before/after:
Rotten Fascia Boards and Leaky, Moss-covered Roof
Replaced Fascia Boards
Shingles being laid on the roof
Nancy painstakingly scraped off the moss that was growing over the roof.  After inspecting the roof and finding that the wood was solid and did not need replacing, Mr. ShabbyGlam shingled over the old roof.  Jon also added a drip edge (the white strip in the picture) to protect the new boards from rot.


New England Shed Renovation Complete!
Door knocker we found
antiquing in Essex, MA.
Now that we had addressed all of the repairs, we prepped and painted.  We filled all the holes and cracks with wood putty, then painted the shed door Behr Chianti Red, the Fascia and Trim Behr Linen White, and the walls Benjamin Moore Dartsmouth Green.

We took a break on Sunday from our labors and went antiquing in Essex, MA.  We found the perfect crowning jewel for our new shed door - an iron garden trowel door knocker!

Renovated Shed and Seating Area

Shed "After" through the gate.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rocking Chair Planter - Curbside Find!

Curbside Rocking Chair
After: Rocking Chair Planter
While walking the dogs a few weeks ago, Hubs found this dilapidated old rocking chair in the alley ready for trash pick-up.  I must admit, I was a little skeptical about the potential.  Seriously...this thing looked like the front rockers had been chewed on, it was ridiculously wobbly.  So as not to hurt his feelings, and in appreciation for his support of my ShabbyGlam projects I did not immediately throw it in the dumpster...instead I put it out of sight in our side yard.

But it called to me.  Every time I walked by on the way to get a tool or ShabbyGlam supplies, it spoke to me.  I did love the shape of the chair and finally I decided that I just had to make something special from it.  Here's how I turned this dumpster-destined rocker into a ShabbyGlam garden planter.
Rustoleum Ultra Cover
Summer Squash

Spray Painted
SPRAY PAINTING: I spray painted the chair with a soft Summer Squash satin paint (Painter's Touch Ultra Cover by Rustoleum) that Hubs picked out for me.

SANDING: Next, I sanded down the fronts of the rocker legs that looked like they had been chewed on.

Chewed up rocker legs
took some sanding.

Sanded the chewed up
rocker legs until smooth.

Formerly jagged rocker
legs after sanding.
WHITEWASHING: Next, I white-washed over the yellow color to give it a two-toned distressed look.  Here's how to whitewash: If you haven't tried whitewashing yet, it's super easy!  Just add water to white paint (or any color for a color wash) until the paint is about the consistency of milk.  Brush on with a paint brush and wipe off with a rag until you get the desired look.

I should let you know that this isn't a perfect science.  When I was done whitewashing, I decided it was too white and color-washed with a squash color over the top.  This turned out beautiful!

STENCILING:  I decided the back needed a little more character, so I decided to pull out an old stencil that I used a few years ago on a wall in my entryway.

Whitewashed Rocking Chair
- How to Whitewash Furniture.

Prepping for stencil.

Rocking chair after stenciling.

DISTRESSING:  Now I moved on to distressing the chair to make it look as old as it actually is.  This is the easy part - just sand it down until it looks old!  I also sanded over the stenciled section to make sure it looked like it had been there for years.

Sanding the edges for a worn look.

Distressing the rocker by sanding the edges.
After adding added some wood glue at the seams and a few screws to make the chair more stable and less wobbly, I added two coats of Rustoleum's Ultra Cover Clear Gloss to seal and protect the finish.  This is especially important because this will be outside in the sun and weather. This stuff also acts as a sunscreen for furniture because it includes UV protection!
Applied 2 coats of
Rustoleum Ultra Cover Clear Gloss.

PLANTING:  Hubs picked up the perfect sized planter, and I painted it to make it blend with the chair. I planted some spreading flowering plants so that eventually they'll grow over the sides of the rocker and cascade toward the ground.

FINISHING:  Finally, I dropped the planter inside the rocker, and placed it near my shed as a focal point in the back yard.

Finished Rocking Chair Planter in my backyard.  Next project is a back yard firepit among the rocks!

Can't you just picture the fire pit I'm going to create among the rocks! There will be smores this winter...You betcha!  Please comment below and let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

CD Rack Trellis

Spray paint
A few months ago, I found a CD Rack at a yard sale.  It was marked $4.00, but I was able to talk my way to $2.00 for this gem.  As soon as I saw the rack, I knew it would someday be either a topiary or a trellis for a blooming vine of some sort.  That day is today, and here is my up-cycled CD Rack-turned-trellis.
Green Apple spray paint
by Rustoleum
$2.00 CD Rack
from a yard sale.
SPRAY PAINT: I painted it satin green apple (Rustoleum Ultra Cover Spray Paint).

Whimsical dots added with the handle end
of the craft paint brush.
CRAFT PAINT: I painted every other rung on the front with outdoor craft paint.  Next, I added dots to create a whimsical look. These dots are really easy to create.  Just dip the handle end of a craft brush in the paint, then dot it onto the item.  It creates great little dots every time.  To make bigger dots, use a bigger brush.

MOUNTING and PLANTING:  I mounted my new trellis on the fence next to my shed and planted a pink blooming Allamanda vine underneath it.

Mounted CD Rack Trellis on the fence
above a pink blooming Allamanda vine.

Mounted CD Rack Trellis next to the shed.
Won't it be beautiful as the vines grow through it?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Perfect DIY Laundry Detergent: Smells Wonderful, Works Better, and it's Cheaper!

My Fab DIY Laundry Detergent!
I'll admit it. I love great smelling laundry.  My laundry must be clean, but it also needs to smell wonderful. When I stumbled across Jen's recipe for DIY laundry detergent, she completely hooked me when she said it not only cleaned great, but smelled awesome!  I was still skeptical, but I thought it would be worth a try.'s the clincher:  $28.00 per year!  I was paying around $75/year for my other detergent.  This stuff smells wonderful, works better, and is cheaper!  Props to Jen, who guest posted at  Thanks for sharing, Jen!

Here's the how-to:

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax - Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda - Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean - Found in the detergent aisle. 
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap - Found in the detergent aisle (I used pink because it smells fab! Jen says you can also use Fels Naptha)
2 (2 lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda - Found in the cooking aisle (or one 4 lb box)
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle ( I used 2 bottles This is optional, but makes it smell fabulous!)
Ingredients for DIY Laundry Detergent
(Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda not shown)
I began by shredding the Zote soap with a cheese shredder. Don't worry, since it is soap it disolves in hot water and easily comes off of your cheese shredder.  I cheated and used my food processor shredding attachment.  Worked like a charm.  Jen at shredded it by hand.  She said it was time consuming to do by hand, so I used the food processor, which was quick and painless!
I cut the soap into pieces that fit into the food processor.

Feeding the soap through the food processor.

Shredded cheese soap.
Because there were so many ingredients, I decided to mix two batches of ingredients.  I blended the shredded soap, the Borax, and the Baking Soda together first.  This Captain America movie popcorn tub worked great for this first batch.  Some of the baking soda and borax was clumpy, so I pushed it through a strainer to make sure it would blend nicely.

I pushed the borax and baking soda
through a strainer to remove clumps.
Next, I layered the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring before adding each layer.  Then, I layered the first batch with the second batch in a leftover kitty litter bucket.  For convenience, I poured a batch into each of the Purex Crystals containers.  It takes 2 tablespoons per load, and the cap to the Purex Crystals container works as a great measuring scoop.

You really must try this - it's easy to make, and it is SO MUCH BETTER than store-bought detergent!  If you make some, please post a comment.  I'd love to hear how you like it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

DIY Vase Fountain

Hubs and I have always enjoyed the sound of trickling water, so we decided it was time to add a gurgling water feature to our entryway next to our front deck.  It turned out fabulous, so I want to share with you the steps we took to make it.
Finished DIY Vase Fountain

Great vase - from a local nursery.
We bought this beautiful vase from a local nursery.  Hubs drilled the hole in the bottom of the vase for the hose connecting to the pump.

Hubs drilled this hole in the vase,
and we fed the pump tube through.

Here's the pump tube on the inside of the vase.
Next, we cut an old trashcan down to around 1 1/2 feet tall to use as the water reservoir.  We burried the trash can so that the rim was ground level and added cement blocks up to the rim.  We attached the pump to the vase, then placed the pump in the reservoir.

Burried a trash can, then added cement blocks up to the rim.

Product info on the pump. (purchased at Home Depot)

Connected pump to the vase
Added a sheet of mesh netting over the cement blocks.

Mesh netting over cement blocks.
We added a sheet of mesh netting over the cement blocks, then placed the vase on top.  We ran the pump hose through the mesh netting, added water, and plugged it in!  We covered the edge of the netting with a ring of flagstones and added black Mexican river pebbles to cover the netting.

The pump hose runs through the mesh netting

Added water to the fountain and plugged it in!
Added decorative flagstones to cover
the edge of the mesh netting.

Added black Mexican river rocks to cover the mesh netting.
Here's our finished gurgling Vase Fountain!
Watch the video, and turn up the sound to hear the beautiful bubbling water!  All there is left to do is mulch!

We now enjoy the peaceful gurgling of our new vase fountain as we sip Iced Tea on our front deck.