Bagster Dumpster in a Bag

This post is brought to you by Waste Management’s Bagster Dumpster in a Bag.


As carless urban DIY’ers, with strict limited city garbage pick-ups, getting rid of our renovation junk can we pretty darn problematic.

In fact, we just kinda stockpiled all of it until we could figure out how to get rid of it. I promise we’re not into hoarding territory yet, but dammit the junk is piling up. In the last year we have completed a kitchen mini-reno, a basement reno, decking re-vamp, general projects, and woodworking. All of this has created a lot of debris. We could just get a dumpster, but they’re expensive, and the biggest problem we have is access. We have no front yard or laneway, and our backyard access is blocked by our garage. When we had the house fixed my Mike Holmes, they actually put a dumpster in our neighbors yard (thanks best neighbors ever!), and took down our fence for access.

So I think you can see our issues. No place for a dumpster, and no way to get rid of our non-recyclable renovation junk. Enter Waste Management’s Bagster dumpster in a bag. It’s a fold out portable dumpster made with tarp like fabric. It can hold a crazy amount of stuff. 3300lbs or 20 garbage bags of renovation debris. Perfect. So we ordered our bag online, and got it shipped to our house. You can also pick them up at the Hardware Store. See for your closest retail locations. You don’t have to pay for the collection of the bag until you schedule the pick-up.

Bagster Dumpster in a Bag well really, it's a Bagster bag IN another bag ;)
Bagster Dumpster in a Bag well really, it’s a Bagster bag IN another bag 😉

Now, where do we put it up? We can set it up on the 4′ of concrete behind our garage that is technically our property between the garage and the alleyway. Except…. I called Waste Management, and you need to have 16′ of clearance above the pick-up site, and our garage has a roof overhang (of about 2′). This complicates things, as the arm from the pick-up vehicle won’t be able to reach the bag without hitting the roof overhang. Oops.

Time for plan B: Pushing back our front planter box, and placing the Bagster dumpster bag on the concrete in between the sidewalk and the Storefront. The problem here, is that the planter box is about oh… a thousand pounds. We can either dig up a bunch of the dirt/flowers to lighten the load to move it, or push it Worlds Strongest Man style.

Exterior of the Storefront & Planterbox
Large, HEAVY planter!

Guess which one we choose? OH THAT’S RIGHT, muscles baby!

El Granto and I heaved and hoed and pushed that planter out of the way!

Now we could assemble the Bagster bag. The bag came with assembly instructions. Basically you open it up, then fold the sides down so that it stays open. When you start to fill it up, you can lift the sides up and put more stuff in.

Bagster Dumpster in a Bag set up and ready to go
Bagster Dumpster in a Bag set up and ready to go

Let the junk cleaning begin! We stored our construction debris in large bins, boxes and bags, and we started carting out the junk and dumping it into the bag. A few hours work later, and the Bagster dumpster bag was really filling up.

Construction Debris be gone!
Construction Debris be gone!

These are some of the things we tossed in the Bagster bag:

Tile, whole & broken
Drywall, small and large pieces
Old laminate kitchen counters
Melamine molds that we used for our concrete countertops
Used buckets coated in concrete (unrecyclable)
Pressure treated deck railings
Paint & stain covered drop cloths
Wood offcuts
Old and Broken Bicycle and Snowboard Parts

WOWZA! That's a whole lotta junk in the dumpster bag!
WOWZA! That’s a whole lotta junk in the dumpster bag!


We were able to fit in way more than we anticipated, removing all the junk from our garage.

This used to be a storing ground for renovation debris. So nice to have the space back!
This used to be a storing ground for renovation debris. So nice to have the space back!

After we finished, we went online and scheduled a pick-up and made payment for our order. They will come and pickup within 3 days. Our pick-up actually came the next day, which was awesome.

The one thing we had to deal with for pick-up was that parking is allowed in front of our house. If cars were parked there, they wouldn’t be able to access the Bagster Bag. I called and spoke with a Waste Management Bagster rep, and they said they could call me an hour before pick-up, so that I could ensure no cars were in the way. After I got the call, I ran out and placed some temporary pylons in the way, so that the truck could easily collect. Within the hour they had picked it up, and even sent me a confirmation email saying everything went as planned.

The Bagster Dumpster in a Bag seems like it would be perfect for a small bathroom or kitchen reno, flooring project, spring cleanup or if mother nature strikes and you need to clean up after a flood. We are tackling our bathroom renovation next, and this will be perfect for carting away the old tiles & subfloor. If you were doing a whole house renovation, a traditional dumpster will still be the way to go, but for small renovations and cleanup projects this works perfectly.

The Bagster Dumpster in a Bag
The Bagster Dumpster in a Bag

Have you ever used a Waste Management Bagster Dumpster in a Bag? How did you like it?

Disclosure: This project was brought to you by Waste Management Bagster Dumpster in a Bag, but all opinions and junk are our own.

Basement Step 1

We finally got started on our laundry room project, but before a paintbrush was lifted, we did a lot of research and prep. Basements are notorious for having problems with water (especially ones that are over 100 years-old). As the ad for Dricore told me at Home Depot, 98% of homes have basement water issues.

Basement before shot. Notice the evidence of the water that once entered the basement (from a blocked drain.)
Basement before shot. Notice the evidence of the water that once entered the basement (from a blocked drain.) and the dirt that came in with it.

Whether it’s a bit of condensation, dampness, or a basement floor that weeps when it rains, you probably have some sort of water hanging out in your basement. Before we could do anything with the basement we needed to get our water under control. We knew the water issue that occurred previously was from a blocked drain in the backyard. That has since been fixed, and the only water we’ve had in the basement since was a little puddle from the giant downpour we had this summer (remember the one with the flooded GO train and the abandoned Ferrari?) Even then the water puddled right beside the drain, and if our floor was sloped properly, it would have made it to the drain on it’s own. (We will be fixing the  floor slope as well.)

So our brick foundation is without active leaks, cracks and is generally in good repair. We have a working outdoor drain and two basement floor drains. We have a back flow valve that was installed in the basement floor, and all our broken clay pipes were replaced with PVC.

How else could water possibly get in? Dampness can come up through our cement floor, or in through our unsealed painted bricks.

So we needed to tackle both of these items. After much deliberation we opted to do a waterproofing paint on the walls and a Dricore subfloor on the floor.

Why did we opt to just waterproof paint the walls? Several reasons: we didn’t have active water, and the bricks had been painted in the past. To do an interior waterproofing system we would need to strip all the bricks (possibly causing damage) and then add an interior waterproofing membrane and French drain. Lots lots lots of work, and $.

So option B, waterproofing paint. There are several of these on the market, but only one that I could find which you could paint over existing (in good condition) paint; Behr Basement & Masonry Waterproofer. We are big fans of Behr paint (we’ve painted most of the house in it). So we feel confident in using the Behr product. While our work wouldn’t be warrantied (Behr only warranties it on unpainted brick). We felt confident that if we did proper prep and application we would be good to go!

Now it was time to prep. A paint job (especially of the waterproofing variety) is only as good as your prep work. So we moved everything away from the walls and got to work. We wire brushed the walls from top to bottom, removing any loose paint, and checking the mortar and brick for any problem areas.

Basement prep tools.
Basement prep tools.

We were happy with the state of our foundation (no cracks, or problem areas! YAY!) So we moved on to cleaning the bricks. We mixed up a solution of TSP and scrubbed the walls with TSP and a scrub brush, then washed off with clean water, and left everything to dry overnight.

Basement walls wire brushed, and washed with TSP
Basement walls wire brushed, and washed with TSP
Wall after wire brushing
Wall after wire brushing
Look how impressed (and sexy!) I look after wire brushing the basement.
Look how impressed (and sexy!) I look after wire brushing the basement.

The next day we came back and started applying our Behr Basement & Masonry Waterproofer in un-tinted white . We opted to use a long bristle brush to apply. This would end up being tedious, but ensured that we got the paint into every nook and cranny. We went over all the brick, one brick at a time ensuring we got good coverage with our waterproofing paint.

Painting the brick
Painting the brick
One coat of Behr Basement & Masonry Waterproofer painted
One coat of Behr Basement & Masonry Waterproofer applied

6 hours later and we completed one coat on about 3/4 of the walls in the laundry room. A lot of work, but the results are looking great so far!

I can’t wait to get back down there and finish painting. We have to move the washer & dryer to get to the rest of the basement. Hopefully we’ll have more progress to show you next week.

Tin Ceiling Part 1

**This is Part 1, as this is a lengthy (and wordy) project, so we’ve split it up to avoid you falling asleep in your coffee **

We’ve been a bit quiet on the DIY front as of late, don’t worry, we have been working albeit slowly on project for the last three weeks. If you remember we were brainstorming inspiration for our vintage reclaimed tin ceiling tiles. After much deliberation we decided to leave the tiles as they were in all their rusted peeling paint glory.

One of the tiles in better shape
One of the tiles in better shape

Why you ask? They are over 120 years old sporting their original paint. These tiles were reclaimed from a store in London Ontario. It seemed a shame to strip or paint over all their history just to have them look like brand new tin tiles. Our Storefront had been stripped of every single original detail when we bought it, and we drool with envy when we look at other homes with original details still in place (like the houses over at Old Town Home and Victoria Elizabeth Barnes Victorian house blog) in our hearts we knew we needed to leave the tiles as is.

We were also going to put the tiles on our master bedroom ceiling, then we thought it a shame as no one but us would ever see them (we’re not the type to have guests hanging out in our bed looking up at the ceiling…) So we decided to have the tiles grace our living room ceiling where they would be there for all to see.

Ceiling looking towards our backyard
Living room ceiling looking towards our backyard
Ceiling looking towards our staircase
Living room ceiling looking towards our staircase

We have 20 tiles which means we can cover an 8×10 foot area. We decided to do a kind of panel inset in the center of the living room, centering around our lighting fixture. Now that we had it planned out (phew that was tiring!) we needed a plan of execution…

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am a PLANNER (aka anal retentive). I always want to do something to the best of my ability, do it the easiest way, and for the least amount of money. So I research, and plan. I may not SHARE my plan with my husband, but I do always have one up in my noggin.  So for this project I contacted a tin ceiling expert, and picked his brain. What I learned was that you can put tiles up two ways; glue or nails (or both!) Glue is easiest, but does the most damage to both the tiles and the ceiling if you ever want to remove. Nails require more work, but do much less damage to the tiles, and your ceiling can always be patched. We decided to go with the nails.

Now we needed something to nail to…You cant just nail into your drywall, its just not strong enough. You need some wood for the nails to bite into.  Next up, we needed to decide if we were going to strap the ceiling or sheet it (run strips of wood in a grid to nail to, or just cover the area of the ceiling in plywood.) Both will work, its just whichever you prefer. We decided to go with the sheeting, as then we could nail anywhere we wanted without a problem. Another decision done!!

We sourced some 3/8″ chipboard from HD as our sheeting material. We got three 4×8 sheets of chipboard, and got one of them cut down into 2×4′ pieces at the hardware store (still waiting on that table saw Santa). We decided to do a 2×8 piece of wood in the middle of the ceiling around the light, then a full 4×8 sheet on either side. We also cut the 2×8 in half so that it would be easier to cut and put up around the light fixture.

Speaking of the light fixture. We traced a spare electrical box onto the ends of the 2×4 sheets and cut it out with a jig saw. This would make it so that we could easily fit around the light fixture (which we would deal with later.)

boxtraced (2)boxtraced (1)boxholecut

Now came the fun part…putting up the sheeting. Here’s what you need:

  • Two ladders
  • Drill & screws
  • Swear Words
  • Stud Finder
  • Chalk Line
  • Divorce Papers
  • Borrowed work lights from the neighbours (have I mentioned how awesome our neighbours are?! I need to bake them some cookies)
  • Tears

Mark your studs on your ceiling using masking tape. Mark them OUTSIDE the area you’re sheeting. If the ceiling joists in your 100 year old home magically change direction, you are not crazy, cause apparently that can happen, and defy all logic…

Now turn off the power and take down the ceiling light. Swear at wife for having insisted on re-installing repainted light fixture before it was completely dry. (Who would have thought that it would stick together?) oops

Put up the first pieces of sheeting, and make sure they’re straight (or straight-ish if you live in a crooked-ass-house.) Screw into the studs using at least 2″ wood screws

First Piece Getting Screwed into Studs
First Piece Getting Screwed into Studs
Second Piece Installed (my husband has long ass girly hair, but he drives a motorcycle and lives in a hipster neighbourhood so its all good)
Second Piece Installed. Yes my husband has long ass girly hair, but he drives a motorcycle and lives in a hipster neighbourhood so its sexy and not at all white trash

For the next sheets, both you and your spouse will need to simultaneously stand on ladders, holding a 4×8 sheet of plywood over your heads and screw it into your 10 foot tall ceiling making sure its straight and perfect. Name calling and/or tears are optional. If you eff it up, you MUST take it down and fix it. (that totally didnt happen to us… wait yes it did… shh)

Once you have a couple screws in place around the edges, you can then chalk line between your screws to give yourself a guide where the studs are for easily screwing in more screws to make sure its super oober dooperly attached to the ceiling.

Weird angle showing the chalk lines marking the studs

After you are finished, drink several beers and try to forget the urge to kill your spouse.

Ceiling Sheeting Installed (by now its dark, and you have no light in your room, and you give up and eat chicken wings and drink liquor)
Ceiling Sheeting Installed (by now its dark, and you have no light in your room, and you give up and eat chicken wings and drink liquor)
This better be correct, cause I am never sheeting a ceiling ever again...
This better be correct, cause I am never sheeting a ceiling ever again…

If you’ve managed to make it through this entire post, I’m proud of you, perhaps a gold star is in order. Now come back next week while I bore you with more words, but actually put some tin tiles up (I know how dare I call this post Tin Ceiling Part 1 and there is in fact NO TIN CEILING.) I’m a jerk.

2013 DIY Goals

I am not a new years resolution kinda person. I know I will never stick to a diet, or exercise more. I will most likely fail on any person goals in about the first month. However, the house goals are much more attainable. Why is that? Perhaps cause improving the house is fun, whereas jogging is not. So in 2013 will I be giving up sugar? Not bloody likely, but we will hopefully check off a few of these projects this year. So here’s the list!

2013 DIY Goals

The Coffee Bar – Installing a set of 12″ deep cabinets & some open storage onto the big wall in the dining room. It will be used as a coffee bar/buffet and hold a lot of our less used dinnerware and serving dishes as well as all our coffee related paraphernalia. (i.e. the espresso machine, milk frother, drip coffee maker, grinder, kettle, bodum etc. ) And yes, each of those items gets used SEVERAL times a week. We like our coffee, mmkay.

This is where the new coffee bar will go. Our poor liquor bar (on the right) was ousted from his living place when we made the new dining table. He’ll be relegated to the office and our new 7′ long coffee bar will dominate this blank canvas of a wall.

DIY’n new countertops for the kitchen & (hopefully completed) coffee bar – This one hinges on us getting a new sink first, then taking on this big project. I will be ever so happy to cross this one off the list, especially after my laminate countertops started de-laminating when I used the self clean cycle on my oven…eep.

Hopefully this kitchen will be more functional and look better with new concrete countertops!

Reno the laundry room –  This is a big project, that will cost us a bit of $. Hopefully we can fit it into the budget this year, as it would be sooo nice not to do laundry in such a damp dreary space. The bonus is that I will have a nice workshop in there as well! We have to lay down a dricore subfloor, flooring, walls, storage and a ton of other things. Wish me luck on this one…

Finishing the upstairs hallway – This one seems fairly straight forward, so hopefully we can check it off our list soon!

The hallway still needs some paint, art, plants for the nook and maybe a carpet runner.

Building a patio for the backyard & some landscaping – Its a small space, but this project will require a load of muscles. Anyone wanna come shovel? I pay in beer and pizza…

We hope to build a reclaimed brick patio and new walkway, as well as a flower bed near the fence. We also hope to build a modular sectional sofa to reside on the new patio.

Re-configuring our living space, and finally purchasing/building some grown up furniture for the livingroom –  A smaller project, but it will involve some carpentry, some techy things, and hopefully a new sofa purchase.

So what are your house goals for 2013? Got any big DIY or BIY (Buy it yourself) projects on the go?



Guest Room Board & Batten How To

It was time to add some charm to our guest bedroom in the form of board & batten on the walls & some new (not yellow) paint. The room is big in the scope of our house at 12’x12′. It has a lovely bay window, double closet and original 100 year old ash floors. It also has amazing baseboards & trim (as does most of our house). When starting the board & batten the last thing I wanted to do was change, futz or in anyway do anything to the trim work. I wanted it to stay where it was, and do the board & batten up to it. Problem is, the baseboards are sloped and hit the wall with only 1/4″ space from the wall. This means that the material for my battens could only be 1/4″ thick, or else I’d have an unsightly overhang.Eeep…that doesn’t leave a lot of options.


These were the possibilities that I could find:

  • 1/4″ x 4 foot long poplar lattice at almost $5 each…hurmph
  • 1/4″ x 8 foot vynal trim pieces at almost $6 each…ack
  • 1/4″ thick 4×8 sheet of hardboard for $17

The hardboard was looking to be the best option, but we don’t have a table saw yet (it’s still on my wish list). So we’d have to get the Home Depot guys to cut it down for us at $1 a cut, then somehow get it home. It could work, but it also wasn’t the best case scenario…I needed to think this one out.

I then called my local lumber yard Downtown Lumber. They’re always really helpful and I thought they may have some ideas. Turns out Downtown Lumber carries 1/4″ MDF in 4×8 sheets for $15, and they make custom cuts for 50 cents each. I like using mdf much better than hardboard (as it doesn’t have that glossy surface), and the lumber store is waaay closer to our house, and easier to walk home with big lumber.
So better + cheaper + less work = happy Kristen.

So I did my math, settled on 2.5″ battens, and placed the order to have 2 mdf sheets cut into 2.5″ strips. We headed over after work to pick it up and lugged it all home along with some trim. The getting it home was an epic fail (I’m talking all of it almost falling off a dolly, practically killing a cyclist and an epic argument) dammit we should just get a car already…

So after we got the wood home, and had a few drinks to forget the ordeal, I set out sanding the edges of the mdf for a nice smooth finish, and putting a coat of Behr Premium Plus Ultra in pure white on the edges. I didn’t paint the flat part of the battens for one main reason; I was going to have to fill & touch them up anyways, and to get a smooth finish I would really need to re-paint them entirely. Rather than make myself more work. I decided to paint them once they were on the wall with a small foam roller.

I did however paint the bottom of the wall so it would save me trying to paint in between the battens (yuck). Deciding where the paint would stop (where the top rail would go) was the hardest part. The storefront is not the least bit straight or level, and when I drew a level line on the wall it looked like I had done it drunk. So we fudged it, and made it kinda sorta parallel to the ceiling and floors. We used a chalk line to line it up, then used tape to mark the line, and to keep me from painting willy nilly everywhere.

Bottom of Wall Painted White

After the paint had dried (the next day) we installed the top rail out of the 2.5″ mdf battens on the nice line we’d made with the tape the day before.

Top Rail Installed

Then the vertical battens got added. We had to custom cut each and every one, as they were all different heights. I would measure a few, and head out to the garage to do the cutting, then lug them all back upstairs, over a baby gate (that was keeping the dog from free roaming and destroying the house) and then back into the guestroom. I made countless trips up and down those stairs.

Vertical Stiles Installed

We went with 12″ of space between battens, cause, well it looked good. The front wall under the bay window the spacing is fudged so that battens framed the windows (technically they should have not two battens touching eachother, but it looks correct once its all painted).

Under the Bay Window the Spacing is “Fudged”

We did have one instance where hitting an electrical outlet was unavoidable. It was on a small wall that had 2 switches, an outlet and an a/v outlet. The battens were almost the same size as the outlets, so we placed one batten directly centered on the outlet, so we could make flush cuts against it. We then measured out our 12″ on either side. The wall is not perfectly symmetrical, but you wouldn’t second guess it.

Where we couldn’t avoid hitting an electrical outlet, we changed the spacing so that a batten would hit it square so that our cuts would be easier

To make the spacing easier, we made a spacing jig out of some old lumber, and spaced & leveled then brad nailed each batten.

Our Spacing Guide (sorry for the out of focus shot, I was trying to shoot and hold)

It went very quick, the most time consuming part being the measuring and cutting (especially if I’d measured wrong, and had to go re-cut). We labeled each batten corresponding to what wall the were working on (Left, Right, Front, Back) and gave them a letter (i.e. Left-A was the first board on the left side, whereas Right-I was the last board on the right). This made it so much easier as you couldn’t loose track of what board went where.

After we fished installing all the vertical battens, we also decided to add some horizontal battens about a foot from the top to add a bit more visual appeal, and it matches the shaker paneling on the front of the storefront. We had lots of off cuts from the vertical battens, so we cut down a bunch of 12″ battens and brad nailed them in place. (and of course custom cut ones for the odd places.)

All the Rails & Stiles Installed

Next up was to fill all the damn holes from the brad nails. I filled the nail holes with spackle, and the cracks and seams with paintable caulking. I used the spackle this time so that we could easily sand to get a perfect finish on the flat battens.


We then added some cove moulding on top of the top rail. I was going to add a small plate rail above that as well, but that proved to be too difficult with our wonky walls. Our walls just bowed and dipped so much that there were huge gaps at points. So we decided to call it done with the cove moulding.

After all that filling, sanding and caulking, I got to painting. I cut in the edges of the battens where they met the wall. I had given one coat of paint to the battens before I had installed them, but this second coat covered all the caulking and finished the sides beautiful. I painted the flat part of  the battens using a small foam roller. I made sure not to use too much paint so that it didn’t overflow into the “board” part, and it went quite quickly. I was running extremely low on paint (had only bought one gallon) and decided to brush on my second coat. The foam roller gives a beautiful finish, but it was looking like it was going to take three coats (which I did not have enough paint for) So I switched it up and painted the entire second coat with a brush. The trick to painting a flat surface with a brush without leaving brush marks is a light touch. You want to evenly distribute the paint without pulling any back up. I paint the whole piece, and then go back over it quickly with a light brush. When the paint dries this should leave you with a nice smooth finish.

Board & Batten Painted (wall still yellow)

After it dried for a day, I went back and painted the rest of the wall with a nice medium grey, which really made the board & batten pop!

Board & Batten Complete!
Board & Batten
Odin Likes the Board & Batten


2 – 1/4″ 4×8 sheets of mdf cut into 2.5″ strips: Downtown Lumber
1/2″ cove moulding: Downtown Lumber
DAP Spackle : Home Hardware
DAP Alex Plus Paintable Caulking: Home Depot
Paint (Board & Batten)- Behr Premium Plus Ultra Pure White in Satin: Home Depot
Paint (Wall) – Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Anonymous in Eggshell: Home Depot

Tools Used:
Mitre saw, measuring tape, level, chalk line, math, paint tray & rollers, brushes, sandpaper

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

Three out of five

(the hardest part was determining the spacing)

Total Cost: $100 ($50 for the mdf & cove moulding, and $50 for the white paint. We already had the grey paint)

Guest Room Board & Batten Reveal

After measuring and planning, and cutting and nailing, and caulking and painting, its finally done. Our guest room now has a board & batten wall treatment (althou I think its more shaker paneling…but tomato tomato)

Without further adieu, here is our completed Board & Batten treatment in our Guest Room.

Whatcha think?

(Come back tomorrow for a how to!)

*UPDATE* Check out the how to here:

Guest Room Board & Batten How To


DIY Custom Mailbox

We currently have a white plastic mailbox. It came with the house, there’s no way we would have installed such a monstrosity. The only reason it’s lasted so long was that we were trying to find something great to replace it. Problem is, it’s been a year since we updated the exterior of the storefront and we haven’t found anything yet. We wanted a vertical mailbox, that would be tucked in nicely in our entryway nook. We have searched without avail, and decided to take matters in our own hands.

White plastic mailbox

We purchased a basic black vertical mailbox from Rona for $14. We brought it home, and got to customizing it.

We took the mailbox out to the garage and gave it two coats of BIN primer (lightly sanding in between).

After the primer had dried overnight, we gave it two coats of the same paint as our front door.

You remember the “728” from the mural in the backyard? Well that 728 has become a sort of logo for the storefront if you will. We also have a vinyl sticker on the front window with our complete address. We also decided to bring our “logo” to our mailbox. So I broke out my Silhouette SD, and cut out a smaller version of the 728 onto some scrap vinyl.

I pulled away the excess pieces (called weeding), used adhesive transfer paper to pull away the stickers from the backing(you can also use masking tape), and then using a steady hand stuck it onto the mailbox. I then used a creditcard to smooth out any bubbles.

Ta-Da! New custom mailbox!


Pouch Mailbox: Rona
Zinnser BIN Primer (spray can): Canadian Tire
Behr Premium Plus Ultra, Semi-Gloss in Bijou Red: Home Depot
Adhesive Vynal & Transfer Paper:

Tools Used:
Silhouette SD, paint tray & small foam roller, xacto knife for working with the vinyl

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

Two out of five

Total Cost: $15 (already owned the primer, paint & vinyl)

Guest Bedroom Progress Report

It’s day four of Project Guestroom and although lots of work has went on, there’s still a ton to do. Here’s an update in pictures:

The weekend got started by prepping for our big project; board & batten. Well truthfully its not really board and batten, its more like shaker style paneling.

We got 1/4″ mdf custom cut at our awesome local lumber yard Downtown Lumber and attempted to walk it all the way home on a dolly that didnt want to cooperate. But after an hour and a half of El Granto and I yelling at the lumber, each other, and strangers passing by, we got it all home.

We then laid out our paneling, which required math, engineering and thought. It took a long time and my head hurt. The end result was a line of tape on the wall…

Tape Line Up (Will Be the Top of the Paneling)

Then we painted and stuff, and then it looked like this:

Wall Painted White

Then we started paneling

Top Rail Installed
Vertical Stiles Installed
All the Rails & Stiles Installed

Then we sanded, spackled, spackled and more spackled and then cried some, cause spackling sucks

OMG look at all the stupid spackling

Next up, caulking, cause as if spackling didn’t suck enough…

(yes yes there will be a full board & batten post and a how-to after I complete it all, so hold your horses)

Backyard Mural – Ghost Sign Reveal

My backyard ghost sign mural is finally done. (there will be a how-to tomorrow, so check back if you want to know how we did it)

So here is some background. We had a boring beige cinderblock wall at the back of our yard. It was boring to look at, and well BEIGE. I cant leave anything beige in my wake, so I set out to ramp it up some. After we found a $9 ‘Oops’ can of paint at Home Depot, and my Mom picked up some chalk paint for us, we set out to create a faux Ghost Sign. What’s a ghost sign? Those old faded sign’s and ads on the sides of buildings! We live in an old storefront, so we wanted something that looked old and cool. What design did we end up going with? Inspired by this image of bold graphic beautiful type, we decided to do a typographic approach to our house number.

So here it is. The before and afters!


Beige cinder block wall


Base colour of dark grey on the wall
Tracing the design onto the wall
The chalk outline
Paint on, ready for distressing


I would like it more distressed but my arms hurt…



Base Paint – Behr Premium Plus Ultra: Home Depot
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Bright White: Diamonds & Toads

Tools Used:
Paint brush, tray, roller, tape, rag, sponge, muscles

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

Three out of five

Total Cost: $50

DIY Coat Rack

For those who follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed a lot of front hall coat storage solutions being pinned to my “Organization” board lately.

Our front entryway is well…a mess. Our front door opens to a square tiled area with no closet and a blank wall. No place to put your keys, coat, shoes or, well… anything.

Slowly we have introduced a few good things to the front entryway. A Ikea Pax wardrobe for storage, a handcrafted bench from a local artisan and a giant mirror that came with our last apartment. The black sheep of the entryway however is an ugly, broken $15 Ikea RIGG coat rack that we’ve had since college.

Ikea RIGG Coat Rack

In fact, I believe its been broken since college. Held together by duct tape and zip ties (really!) The thing fell down every time you put a winter coat on it, and generally looked like a giant blob of coats taking up a massive amount of space in our entryway. We wanted to change it for a long time…we just never actually did.

So finally we got off our butts and decided to make a wall mounted coat rack to streamline the entryway some. Our lovely reclaimed wood bench was our inspiration. We wanted something that looked like it belonged with our bench. Like a brother from another mother. We picked up a piece of 1x12x10 rough pine (also used in the bath table DIY) from Home Depot. We measured our space, and decided for a 12×33″ wide rack with a 4×36″ mini shelf on top (to hold some art etc.)

Cutting the boards to size

We cut down the pieces of wood, sanded the roughest bits out and got to distressing.


We hammered, nailed, sawed, chiseled, and generally beat the crap out of our wood. My favourite part is some rusty nails (that I salvaged from my pallets) that we bashed into the wood, leaving nail heads and in one case the whole nail showing. It really does make it look like its been around 100 years.

Distressed Wood

As we wanted to match the bench, I headed out to pick up the darkest brown stain I could find. I came back with Varathane “Chocolate” and put on a coat. It looked great at first, but as it dried, it was still too light. So I put on a second coat of stain, then followed it up with a coat of Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane.

After 2 coats of Chocolate stain

After it dried, I sanded lightly with a fine sandpaper, then gave it a second coat. Once it was completely dry we attached some nice cast iron coat hooks, and attached it to the wall (into the studs) with some nice 2 1/2″ long black screws.

So here is the before and after:

Before: Coat Monster
After: YAY!



1×12 wood: Home Depot
Varathane Chocolate Stain: Home Depot
Minwax Water Based Oil-Modified Polyurethane: Home Hardware
Cast Iron Coat Hooks: Home Depot

Tools Used:
Circular saw, miter saw, measuring tape, level, stud finder, drill, small foam paint brush, rag, misc. tools to distress

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

Two out of five

Total Cost: $40 ($16 of that is the for the hooks)