Friday, April 29, 2011

I Can't Believe I Built That!

In my ongoing mission to "go for it", I decided to build our headboard instead of continuing my fruitless Craigslist search.  Many in the blog world know or have heard of Ana White.  She is one talented lady and generously posts plans on her site for free.  That's right, no moula needed for instructions.  Just a little gumption and you can build your own furniture...well, tools help.

After looking at  a bunch of different beds, I decided that the Reclaimed Wood Look Headboard was doable for a complete novice with only basic tools and math skills.  Armed with my zeal and her shopping list I descended upon Orange-and wondered around aimlessly looking for 1 by lumber.  It wasn't even in the area of all the other wood.  An employee finally noticed that I had been up and down those aisles multiple times and showed me where all the OTHER wood was.  He was trapped, I was also able to wrangle him and another to do the cutting on most of my boards.  I followed Ana's advice and left the trim pieces for later.

So there I was with nails and screws and glue and wood and my pages of directions, watching my toddler and trying to piece this thing together.  Thankfully, there were lots of pictures and arrows so it wasn't really that difficult.  Turned out you only need nails OR screws.  I couldn't find my drill bits to pre-drill so I used the nails.  I glued and nailed for a few hours over two days (it was hot and could only take so much).  I couldn't believe it when I was done.  It actually looked good!  I took all manner of tools to that thing for a distressed look.  My hand-held belt sander really came in handy on this project.  Took those corners down quick.  Then I just picked up random tools and banged away until it looked properly beat up.  My favorite was the saw.  Love the rakes it left in the planks!

I wanted a gray wash on it, but hubby preferred a stain so I was back at the computer to try and figure out how to make it look like a piece of old, pine furniture from the 1800s.  Turns out, making new wood look convincingly aged is not easy.  But I came across the recommendation to use a product called Zar in honey oak.  That gave me the yellow glow I wanted along with the dark distressed marks.  Loved this stuff because I didn't have to condition the pine.  I used a foam brush to apply it, getting into all of the dings, and then wiped it off with a rag.  Two coats of that plus a coat of clear wax for some luster and I was done. 

I used bolts to attach it to a basic frame and we were ready for bed.

I love it and what a sense of accomplishment!  I'm hooked.

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