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RE: painting cabinets myself HELP (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tntw on 10.20.2009 at 03:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

this is detailed instructions for above.
What steps were involved in painting and "antiquing"
your kitchen cabinets?
A The first step was to clean the cabinets thoroughly with a
spray on degreaser. I sprayed my cabinets and let sit for a
bit before wiping off and repeated this step a couple of times.
I was amazed at how much dirt and grease dripped from my
cabinetry! It's important that as much of this grime as
possible is removed so that the paint can stick well.

After cleaning, I sanded thoroughly and then wiped my
cabinetry down so that no sanding dust remained.

A note about painting:
All the paint that I used was Latex (water based).

I used a good quality brush for all
of my painting. If hand brushing isn't your thing, you may
want to look into a a good quality sprayer. I've never used
one and hear that some people love them and some hate

Also, it is very, very, VERY important that you let each coat of
paint dry and cure thoroughly between recoats. If you don't,
the fresh layer of paint could reactivate the last layer,
resulting in an awful, paint peeling and bubbling nightmare. I
painted my cabinets in the heat and humidity of summer and
sometimes had to let nearly a week pass between coats
because the paint was taking forever to dry and then cure. It
was well worth the wait time, though.

Next, a couple of coats of a good quality primer, inside and
out. You'll want to use a good "bonding" primer.

Then I added an off-white basecoat, inside and out.
(American Tradition: Homestead Resort Parlor Taupe, Satin

After the basecoat, I applied four or 5 coats of red (Waverly:
Cherry, satin finish) The interior was left off white, though
the shelves were painted red for interest.

I distressed the edges by sanding lightly down to the off
white basecoat.

Next I brushed on a dark brown glaze ("Raw Umber"
translucent color glaze from Lowes) then wiped it off, allowing
the glaze to settle into crevices.

The next step was to very gently and sparingly drybrush on
a couple of colors here and there. I chose a bluish shade and
sage green. This gives a "layered paint" effect.

Note- the next step is NOT recommended and was
experimental on my part- proceed at your own risk:) The
result was fine but it was frustrating to try and achieve just
the right sheen - and with LOTS of elbow grease. I would
instead ask a professional about the right kind of protective
finish to use, if any. I do happen to know that the Minwax
brand clearcoat Satin finish produces a HIGH gloss shine, so
unless you are going for that look, avoid!

-Lastly, for added protection, I added a thin coat of Johnson's
wax paste, let it set, then buffed it all out leaving a soft
sheen. This step will need to be repeated every few months
or so.

A year later and the paint finish is holding up great! No
chipping or peeling to speak of!
After getting a quote for $7500 to reface, I'm digging through my 'how to paint yourself' files that I saved!

Good luck!



clipped on: 11.07.2009 at 01:40 am    last updated on: 11.07.2009 at 01:40 am

twg7590's kitchen (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: msrose on 10.10.2009 at 06:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

I couldn't find twg7590 on the finished kitchen forum, but I saved some of her picture. She also did a makeover on her existing cabinets. She added beadbord and corbels to the island which adds alot.


twg7590's kitchen



clipped on: 10.30.2009 at 10:24 am    last updated on: 10.30.2009 at 10:24 am

Just washed my Silhouette blinds: how I saved $700.

posted by: dgmarie on 07.05.2008 at 04:36 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Can you tell I'm proud? I wanted to share:

I have a bunch of Hunter Douglas Silhouette mini blinds and boy were they dirty. Dusty and little bugs inside of them. So I called a Hunter Douglas authorized cleaning service. He wanted SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS to clean 15 blinds. I was like OH OKAY and my husband wondered aloud how much NEW ones would cost. So I said what the heck, let's clean them ourselves. I got out the mini Bissel carpet cleaner (the kind with suction hose and two tanks and on-board heater) and just wet them and vaccumed out the water. We took them down and layed them on some thick towels in the kitchen to clean them. You should have seen the dirty water; it was BLACK. I mean, these were white blinds and they looked dusty but apparently they were filthy. And then since they are 100% polyester they dried in minutes and voila. Clean blinds. No water stains or marks or anything. I think I could have taken them outside in the sun and srpayed off the dust with the garden hose and it would have worked, too.


clipped on: 05.21.2009 at 08:27 pm    last updated on: 05.21.2009 at 08:27 pm

RE: Painted oak - grain showing? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 04.07.2009 at 04:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

Girlwithaspirin was one who did an amazing job painting her oak cabinets. There is a link below to her before and after photos.

Here are her instructions and comments:

painting my cabinets dark... the process!

posted by: girlwithaspirin on 10.06.2008 at 11:45 pm in Kitchens Forum
Hey kids. Long time, no type. :) I hope all's well with all my old pals here.

In the last few weeks, I've gotten at least 15 emails asking how I painted my cabinets. Such a nice surprise, considering how long it's been since I posted! I wish I could remember who I initially gleaned all this info from. You guys were an immense help, so now I'm just paying it forward.

Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo Alkyd in Bittersweet Chocolate
Purdy angled brushes
Thick plastic dropcloths
Mineral spirits and rags for clean-up as you go

-Remove doors.
-Clean and lightly sand everything.
-Remove dust with a tack cloth.
-Rest each door on its bottom edge. Do not paint that edge -- you’ll do it once the doors are re-hung.
-Paint the backs first with a thin coat of Satin Impervo. Thin coats give more of a handrubbed look and also avoid drips. If you do see some drips, try to catch them early -- once the paint starts to dry, you’ll make a mess trying to smooth them out. Let dry at least overnight, preferably a few nights to avoid smudges when you flip the doors around.
-Paint the fronts in the same way.
-Let cure for as long as you can stand it. A week would be ideal.
-In the meantime, paint the cabinet boxes. I didn’t paint the insides, and I’ve never regretted it.
-After a week’s gone by, re-hang the doors. Paint the bottom edge of each. Do any touch-up.
-Depending on your wood, the paint may keep absorbing in certain places. I kept the paint can in my kitchen for a month, doing quick touch-ups wherever necessary.

If you have oak, keep in mind, you will see grain through the paint. If you'd rather not, you'll have to use some kind of putty to fill the grain, then prime, then paint. I just didn't have the energy for it, and it turns out, I love the look -- people mistake it for a handrubbed stain all the time.

I'm so happy with how the cabinets have stood up over time. Not a single chip or scratch! To be honest, I cut so many corners in the prep (by choosing not to prime), I thought for sure I'd be dealing with the aftermath now. I credit the paint and patience for 100% of the success. Seriously, this paint is the real deal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beautifully painted Oak cabs


clipped on: 05.21.2009 at 08:19 pm    last updated on: 05.21.2009 at 08:19 pm

RE: accessorizing bed with quilt (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: bbstx on 04.04.2009 at 08:23 pm in Home Decorating Forum

How about some pillow like these:
brown bedroom 1

Do 3 euroshams in the same cream as the front of the quilt and trim them with green in the same shade as the toile. Then make two smaller pillows the same and monogram them in the dark green. Perhaps a neckroll pillow in the toile. Do you have a bench in the room that could be recovered in the toile? A chair that could have a toile lumbar pillow? Tailored toile bedskirt?

btw, this is NOT my home. But that it were! It is an inspiration photo.


clipped on: 04.05.2009 at 10:28 am    last updated on: 04.05.2009 at 10:28 am

RE: What design elements do you think gave the most pop? (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: crazyhouse6 on 03.04.2009 at 12:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

Love all the gorgeous kitchen on GW!

For our kitchen, I think it's the floors (5" wide hickory) and the large island. I tried to make the other items blend in nicely with each other, rather than compete with the floors.




clipped on: 03.07.2009 at 12:49 pm    last updated on: 03.07.2009 at 12:49 pm

I want to share my GREAT experience buying knobs and pulls

posted by: catheemivelaz on 02.17.2009 at 11:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi, I looked at so many pulls and knobs for what seemed like forever for our new cabs, but couldn't find any I liked. They were either way too expensive or just not the style I was looking for. So a few weeks ago, I went online to a website called Your Home Supply that was suggested by another poster asking if anyone had had any luck with this company, and I found ORB pulls with matching knobs in a style called "country cabinet." My decor isn't "country," but they were so pretty that I fell in love with them. I agonized over buying them for weeks because they were SO inexpensive (2 bucks and some change a piece) that I figured they'd be light in weight and nothing like they looked like online. I decided to order them figuring the worst that would happen is I'd have to send the back, and they came today, and I just LOVE them! They are heavy and beautiful exactly like they look on the website! Just what I wanted. And SO cheap!!!! Anyway, I wanted to pass this on because why spend tons of $$$ on hardware when there are great deals out there. I just wanted to pass this on to anyone who is still looking for their pulls.
P.S. They look and feel just like ones I ordered years ago on for $20 a piece. Now, they are zinc and not brass...but who cares???


clipped on: 02.18.2009 at 09:03 am    last updated on: 02.18.2009 at 09:03 am

White Kitchens.....what makes it right?

posted by: mpeg on 10.19.2008 at 10:40 am in Kitchens Forum

When I started out doing my kichen it was going to be white. When we decided to take out the wall and open it up to the living room, I started having doubts. Then I chaged to mostly wood with some white glazed peices mixed in. Now I am second guessing my decisions because what I orginally wanted I am afraid of, but I still love it and it's what I've always wanted. I recently was reading another post on here echoing my concerns. You see some white kitchen that are just bland, and some that are just beautiful. I've not been able to really isolate what it is that makes a white kitchen right. I know there are many different elements that factor in and different styles that look right. But can someone sum this up? What elements need to be combined to make a white kitchen beautiful?


clipped on: 02.05.2009 at 09:13 am    last updated on: 02.05.2009 at 09:14 am

Finished - Before/After pictures (finally!)

posted by: mysterymachine on 03.01.2008 at 04:45 pm in Kitchens Forum


This one gives you a better idea of how tight it was in the actual kitchen - if the fridge was open and the oven was open at same time there wasn't enough room for a person between

The wall that was removed:

Sorry I couldn't find any pictures of the dining room "before" it was just a plain carpeted rectangular room.

Now for the good stuff.. the after!

I have to mention that many of the after pictures were taken by the GC's photographer and are copyrighted so cannot be used without permission (he said I had to say that before I posted the pics).

The dining table and chairs we had before. All the design was done by me with lots of help from gardenweb - especially on the layout (at first my DW didn't trust me to do it and wanted to hire a designer but I think I did really well) the exceptions are the acrylic in the dining room was designed by my GC and the cabinets in the dining I gave general layout to the cabinet folks but they did the finished design (kitchen cabs I did all the design/layout). I used google sketchup for all the design.

The structural changes were removing the dining wall and bumping back just the chunk of the wall behind the wall ovens a couple feet. I also added a pocket door into the opening from the TV room to the kitchen as well (the last of the "before" pictures is taken from where the pocket door was put in).

There are so many details I could spend an hour typing them and still leave something out - so instead if you have any questions ask and I will respond :) One thing not noticeable in the pics is the cupboard on the right in the dining cabs is actually a beverage fridge. There is pullout trash+recycle in both the kitchen and dining.

And people always ask about the diswasher, yes its an 18" dishwasher, and they always ask why I went for a small one - becuase its the only way I could get the layout I wanted with the dishwasher to the left of the sink and where I could unload the whole dishwasher without moving my feet. The efficiency in loading/unloading more than makes up for the extra loads I have to run. Its a Miele with the silverware tray and I would estimate I only lose about 20% capacity compared to my old dishwasher.

The backsplash was done by my brother, its completely custom cut (as in he had a pile of leftover slab of rock from some other jobs of his and he cut all the peices to the exact size so it would be 2 tiles high on point). I bought the fossils on ebay over a 3 month period or so.

What's sad is the granite is the highlight of the kitchen and none of these pictures show it well. If you look close on the 3rd picture there you can see that it has black streaks and the picture with the sink you can see dark streaks there as well (in that area the streaks are dark grey)

Any questions? :)


clipped on: 02.02.2009 at 07:22 pm    last updated on: 02.02.2009 at 07:22 pm

RE: What happened to old fashioned color? (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: sueb20 on 01.01.2009 at 01:22 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Klinger, that is one fantastic backsplash.

I think many people are cautious about using bold color in areas like tile backsplashes because it's so "permanent" and if you decide you hate red two years later, it's not easy to change. I used color in my kitchen but not bright color. Counters are green granite, backsplash is a slate mosaic in golds/greens/beiges, and, well, the floors are hardwood. Here's a small shot of my "subtle" colors.



clipped on: 02.01.2009 at 10:35 am    last updated on: 02.01.2009 at 10:36 am

RE: Cabinets -- framed or frameless? Brand? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jkom51 on 01.24.2009 at 07:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

I did this summary way back in 2005, so this might help give you a starting point. Do a search here for "frameless"; you should be able to pull up a few recent discussion threads that compare framed and frameless cabs.


Establish a rough budget. If you're willing to go for stock laminate counters from HDepot or Lowe's, for instance, you'll have more to spend on cabinet extras and/or flooring. It's all about priorities, and you want to be flexible because you'll run into a lot of things you'd love to have. Make a list now -- what you MUST have, what you NEED to have, and what you'd LIKE to have. Items may shift from one category to another as you keep researching. Don't fret, it's normal.

Yes, you want full-extension drawers. You'll find many good quality cabs are made of particleboard or MDF. Don't dismiss them as 'not as good as real wood'. Tremendous advances have been made in resins and these products can be very durable. Your mom's cabs were probably made of poor quality particleboard. We've owned medium-priced laminate covered, high-density particleboard kitchen cabs for over 14 years and put them under horrible abuse, and they've been wonderful. But the particleboard is industrial strength and the laminate veneers themselves are very high quality.

Cheap cabinets cut costs in finish and structure. Many mfgs use Scherr's for their doors anyway, so you can get a certain "look" at many different price points. There are certain things that will become evident as you continue to look and examine display cabs:
--look for high quality laminate on the inside, the underside (many mfgs do NOT finish the underside of upper cabs any longer except as an "extra cost") and most importantly, the edges. It's useful to check out stores that have opened within the last couple of years but not yet upgraded their displays: those 2 years of display wear will equal ten in real life, and you'd be surprised at how bad some fancy finishes look when they've been nicked and scratched up a bit.
--Drawer base cabinets are the Big Thing nowadays. Check two things: the weight rating (75 lbs. is a good starting point) and in any cab wider than 24", how is the shelf or drawer bottom supported to keep from sagging? Some people have been unpleasantly surprised by this issue.
-Put in a pantry, either a tall cabinet with rollout shelving (for at least the first 5') or an actual walk-in pantry. This is not only wonderful for increasing the storage efficiency of your kitchen, but fabulous for resale. Every woman who doesn't have one, wants one; and every woman who already has one, would never do without it again.
--the 'framed' vs 'frameless' debate rages constantly. In a small kitchen frameless can offer you more storage, but the styles tend to contemporary, although Shaker styling matches many classic homes. Frameless is common in Europe and has proved itself equal in durability to framed, despite what US mfgs (who do mostly framed) like to claim. In a kitchen, the boxes are screwed to the wall and the side-by-side placement adds to the overall sturdiness. The biggest issue is installation: they must be properly leveled, and particleboard is much heavier than MDF or plywood.
--Do put in more than adequate lighting, but be aware that if too much sun comes in, wood fading is common. Catalyzed paint finishes and laminate veneers are the most resistant to UV fading. Put in undercounter lighting, but don't use halogens (way too hot). Xenons are a bit better but the new flicker-free, slim-line fluorescents win for energy efficiency.
--if you succumb to the granite craze, you can DIY very cheaply with granite tiles. Spend the money on a good quality sink -- one basin or two? how deep? drop-in (easier to do, easier to replace) or undermount? -- and a good quality faucet. This last can be difficult because very few places hook them up any more, so it's hard to try them out. If we had actually tried out our faucet I doubt we would have purchased it, although many people love them passionately so I won't name any names. However, you can get a very good faucet with pullout sprayer for less than $200 (2009 note: probably more like $400 now!). Again, don't go super cheap on the faucet, like the sink they take the most wear and a leak will ruin your pretty new cabs.
--figure out what you want to do with corners (if you have them). This is a good place to spend a little extra money that earns big usability dividends. E-Z reach uppers are wonderful (have one, couldn't live without it) and Lazy Susan/Super Susan base corners (or corner cabs with pullout shelves, but they tend to be in more expensive lines) make a huge difference in eliminating the "black hole" of corner storage.


clipped on: 01.26.2009 at 05:34 pm    last updated on: 01.26.2009 at 05:34 pm

RE: St. Cecilia Light Granite (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mdmc on 01.23.2009 at 10:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have Santa Cecilia. Not sure if it is the light but t does not have gold in it. That is why I chose it over other granites. I did not want any gold. I too have white cabinets.
my new kitchen


clipped on: 01.24.2009 at 05:10 pm    last updated on: 01.24.2009 at 05:10 pm

RE: Staining and painting pics... (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: taatjben on 01.23.2009 at 09:39 am in Kitchens Forum

vic -

I too have just ordered miterd corner doors. I think they look better, and, according to my cabinet guy, they are harder to make, but if made properly, they should not have any problems. My cabinet guy still used the joint and tenon construction with a tool called a festool domino joiner, with two custom dominos in each joint. Much stronger than a biscut. There are also guys out there that use a solid tenon in the corner, I know Kraftmaid does it this way, I actully had a door from home depot home and we tried to dismantle it. It was much harder to break apart than the regular type constuction.

Anyways, I wouldn't worry about it. And with the glaze, even if the corner miter loosens a bit, the glaze makes it look like its supposed to be that way.


clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 07:57 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 07:57 pm

Before/after pictures-oak to cream/glazed -pictures

posted by: nodirthere on 02.05.2008 at 10:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

We re-did our standard builder's grade oak (nothing wrong w/oak, we had just had them for 4 houses and 20 years)- Re-used all the cabinets we had,filled the wood grain, painted and glazed-cut out the inside and put some glass. I actually had a painter paint and I did the glazing. We redid this for under $9500! That includes the granite, but not the new appliances. We recessed the "ovenwall" 1 foot-and added the foot to the island overhang for more stools and put the GE Cafe slide in where the gas cooktop was. A much more functioning spot and added much needed stool space-So glad it's over-and happy w/the results- gained 10 pounds during the process ordering out so much!

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clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 04:37 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 04:37 pm

RE: My3dogs!! Valance question... (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: cooperbailey on 12.31.2008 at 11:10 am in Home Decorating Forum

Here ya go.

Easy to sew valance directions
Posted by my3dogs (My Page) on Thu, Jul 17, 08 at 20:01Hi everyone! Here are the directions for the valances that you saw in the post linked below. They ARE EASY - but the directions are long, because I am trying to give you enough detail, even if you are a beginner. Read them all the way through so you understand them, and ask any questions you may have. If you are a real novice, you may want to make a sample using just muslin, or other inexpensive fabric, til you get the hang of it. This is a no-pattern valance that I started making last summer. It requires just straight stitching. My windows are generally about 50" (more or less)in height. If your windows are very short or very tall, you may want to vary the length of the fabric you use. I would say to err on the 'buy more' side though, so they don't look skimpy. The fullness adds richness. I generally use 1 1/4 yards of 54" wide home dec fabric to make the valance. You will need an equal amount of lining fabric. If you choose to put trim on the bottom (it adds a lot to the treatment, IMO) buy 1 1/2 yards of trim to make sure you have enough to go across the length of your 54" wide fabric. If your fabric is wider than 54", buy enough trim to cover its width. Cut your valance fabric and lining to equal lengths. I always measure the side edges of my fabric and mark the length before cutting. It may have not been cut straight at the store, and you want to be sure that your left side is the same length as your right side. Pin the two rectangles of fabric together on all sides, with the RIGHT (front) sides of the fabrics inside, facing each other. Before putting the fabrics together, I mark lightly on the back which is the TOP of the print (if using a print) and which is the bottom, so your print will end up right side up! Depending on the type of rod you plan to use for the valance, you need to leave openings on each side that will become your rod pocket. Continental rods (the flat wide plain ones) need a 4" rod pocket. If you use a decorative rod, with finals on the end that screw off, I would recommend making your rod pocket 2" wide. For a small tension rod, I'd make the rod pocket 1.5" wide. You don't want to force your fabric onto the rod - allow room to make it easy for you. Measure down from the TOP of your pinned together fabric, and make a light mark with pencil on each side, the size of your chosen rod pocket, plus 1/2". That 1/2" is going to be the width of your top seam. You'll be making a mark on the left and right sides 4 1/2" down from the top if you use a Continental rod, for example. Stitch from these marks down each side to the bottom, using a 1/2" seam. You'll need to leave an opening in the top or bottom to turn your valance inside out when you're done stitching. I'd suggest a 4" - 6" opening for turning. If your rod pocket openings are 4", you don't need to leave another opening, you can use them to turn it inside out. Mark the opening you need to leave, then stitch across the top and bottom edges, using a 1/2" seam, leaving your opening...well...OPEN! Clip your fabric corners off OUTSIDE of your stitching. This is just a small triangle of fabric from each corner. This will allow you to get nice sharp edges on your corners when your turn the valance right side out, as it reduces the bulk of fabric there. Turn your valance right side out, pulling it through the opening you left. I use a wooden chop stick to push the fabric gently at the corners to make them nice and square, once I have turned mine right side out. Don't push too hard, or you may poke a hole through your valance! At this point, you should have a lined rectangle of fabric, with rod pocket openings near the top of each side. Close the opening you left for turning, either by folding and pressing the edges in and hand stitching it closed, or use 'stitch witchery' type of fusing tape to do it. You can also sew it closed with your sewing machine, but you want to do it right at the edge. You want to make this closure as 'invisible' as possible, so I always use fusible tape. Carefully iron your valance. Use your fingers to work the edges, so that you have your seam right in the middle of each edge, so you don't see the front fabric on the backside, and you don't see the lining from the front. Now, to stitch the rod pocket. You will be making one row of stitching across the front of your fabric from side to side. Measure down from the top edge, so you have the same length opening on each side. The size of the opening you left on each side was determined above by the type of rod you're using. You can lightly pencil on the line that you need to stitch across, or do what I do - Place the fabric on the sewing machine, and put the needle down on the place where you'll start stitching. Take a 4" (approx) length of masking tape, and lay it against the upper edge of the fabric, to the right of the needle, and stick it to the sewing machine base. You can use this tape edge as a guide to hold the top edge of your fabric against as you stitch across. It helps you make a straight, even rod pocket. My sewing machine has tape on it for all different widths of rod pockets! If you chose to put trim on the bottom of your valance, do it now. I use 'Aleen's OK To Wash-It' fabric glue that you can get at WalMart or a fabric store. If you use glue, just follow the directions on the bottle to glue your trim evenly to the front bottom of your valance. I lay my valance on my kitchen island, and let it set overnight, while the glue dries. You can also stitch your trim on, either by hand or by machine. I prefer the glue, because you see no stitching on the back side. (I'm anal.) Now to make the ties. You can simply buy ribbon (such as grosgrain) or use purchased cord (see my dining room silk ones in the link) or make them out of fabric. Use either the same fabric or a coordinating one. Here, you first need to decide if you are going to tie your valance up with bows, or do knots. Bows take longer ties. Allow yourself a MINIMUM of 36" long ties. You can always cut them shorter if necessary, but you can't make them longer. I suggest hanging your valance up and using string to tie them up temporarily to see how long you need to make your ties. (It's longer than you think!) Cut your strips of fabric approx 4" wide and the length you have decided on above for your ties. Fold and pin the strips in half the the short way, so you have a long strip of fabric that is 2" wide. Make sure the right sides are together, (inside) because you are going to turn them inside out after stitching. Stitch along the pinned edge of each strip, about 1/4" from the edge. Now the fun part - turn those narrow strips inside out. My chop stick comes in handy for this, but use whatever method you choose to accomplish this. Press the ties just as you did the valance rectangle, making sure your seam is even on the edge. I fold in the raw ends and use my fusible tape to close them, but you can machine stitch them closed or do it by hand - Your choice. Your valance is done! Put it on your rod, using the rod pocket. Hang it in your window. Now, take the ties, and simply drape them over the rod on each side, having half of the tie fabric strip hanging in front, and the other half of the tie hanging behind the valance. Now, gather up one side of the valance in your hands, and reach behind it it grab the dangling tie in back. Tie up the valance, by tying the front and back pieces of the tie together, either in a knot or a bow. Do the same with the other side, making sure your ties on each side are tied up at the same length. Now stand back and make sure your valance looks even at the bottom on each side. Use your hand to 'finger fold' and drape your fabric until the look is what you want. You'll be surprised at what a difference it can make in the look by spacing your ties closer together, or moving them further apart on the rod. Also by tying the ties higher or lower... This is where you need to play around until you get the look you want. On the HGTV message board, a woman made these and kept posting pics asking for advice - Higher? Lower? Move the ties apart or closer...It's really all up to you. Hers looked GREAT when she was done, and she was so pleased to have made her own custom valance. I hope you all feel the same way, if you try them!


clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 10:15 am    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 10:15 am

More 'easy' instructions (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: my3dogs on 01.14.2009 at 03:32 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Wow! What a surprise to see this up here again! Thanks so much for your compliments!

Ginger, these couldn't be easier...and I know I have said that before.

This is how I did it, but these are just suggestions, as your style can be different, your fabric may be solid, and you may wish to have more or less or no header, and a different width rod pocket.

Have your rods before you sew the pocket, to make sure they are going to fit through what you have planned.

I simply bought 54" wide home dec fabric, and lining from Fabric Guru. I cut the selvages from the panel fabric, and the length was determined by how many windows I have and how much fabric I had! These will end up being 63" which is a common length.

I cut 2" from EACH side of the lining. Cut very straight and even. That gave me lining slightly narrower than my 'face fabric'. I pin and sew the SIDES only together, (right sides facing each other) using 1/2" seams. (Top and bottom are still open at this point.)

Turn this right side out and press the seams toward the back. On my semi-finished ones at this point, I had the face fabric 1" wider on each side than the lining. I use a small ruler and measure the one inch carefully all the way up both sides of the treatment and press it.

NOTE - depending on the width of your selvages, you may want to trim more or less from your lining. The object is to have some of the face fabric turned toward the back when you press it, like the pic below. PLEASE experiment a bit and decide how much you need to trim - it will vary with your fabrics.

I cut each panel making sure the pattern is even with the last one, by laying the previous cut panel fabric on the fabric as a pattern to cut the next. Line up the print (if there is one) on each side and make sure it's lined up on BOTH sides. Cutting these even and straight, both across and up and down is vital to them looking and hanging well.

Once I've pressed the treatment, I then carefully pin the top together (front and lining, now wrong sides together) and machine baste it 1/4" from the top edge. I then decided what part of my print I wanted near the top, and made SURE that (in my case) the top of the pheasant heads were 1" down from the top, and pressed that all the way across. For me, that gave me 4" pressed toward the lining.

I folded this 4" pressed section under where I had machine basted it 1/4" from the edge, and pinned and stitched the rod pocket. I then stitched 1" down from the top to form a small header, (your choice whether you make one) and had the remaining as rod pocket. My rods are chunky, so I made a decent sized pocket. The size of yours will depend on your rods.

Hem as desired, (by hand, machine or fusible tape/web), after you carefully plan your length and make certain that just like the top, you are making sure that the end of the treatment is the same from panel to panel, so if you have print fabric, you will see it match from one panel to the next on all of your windows.

I use my kitchen island to do my cutting and pinning on large pieces of fabric, and can't stress enough how vital straight and even cutting from panel to panel is. That's true of whatever treatment you make, if you want them to look 'professional'.

I buy inexpensive ivory lining from Fabric Guru for $2.24 yd. I mounted my rod hardware in this 7.5 foot ceiling room 1" down from the ceiling and 2" out from the trim, which I wanted to cover. The windows are approx. 38" wide, and what you see is 2 panels that are approx 51" wide finished width, on each.



clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 10:13 am    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 10:13 am

RE: Fall - Country Mantel Is Done.. (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: gk5040 on 11.23.2008 at 10:34 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Slinkey, I'm back with my pictures. I figure I better post them before Thanksgiving. You inspired me to do up my mantle for the fall. I loved your ideas. I also have the pictures of the jars. I had such a hard time uploading to photobucket, that was most of my delay.


clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 10:00 am    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 10:00 am

Per request, a few pics of My3dogs home interior

posted by: my3dogs on 07.16.2008 at 09:44 am in Home Decorating Forum

Let me start by saying that I'm a newbie, and that my home is in southern Maine, near the coast. It is an old cape built in 1937, and a modest home of about 1700 sq. ft. I have owned it almost 22 years, and have added to it and updated it so it's perfect for me and 'my 3 dogs'! For those who haven't seen the exterior, here it is. I added the garage in the 90's.


I live on a small river which forms my irregular property line. I have many perennial are a few. This photo was taken in the spring, so not much is in bloom.

You enter through this 6' x 6' porch. 99% of furnishings, wall paper , chandy in here are from eBay.

I added this half bath years ago. The only bathrooms in the house when I bought it were upstairs and a 'rustic' one in the cellar!
I made the vanity from an old bureau that I bought for $100. Top is a remnant of Delicatus granite. Again, most accessories are from eBay.

Again, it's a modest home, and I remodeled the kitchen in the early 90's! It had a large wood stove in the kitchen when I bought it, 24" of counter space, and dark plywood cabinets. This remodel still works well for me today.

As you see from the above pic, some of the rooms still have their original, and beautiful (IMO) radiators. The house is primary heated with oil, but it also has electric heat, a gas fireplace in the LR that I put in, and the old kitchen wood stove is in the cellar now. I can use whatever is least expensive at the time, and won't freeze.

The back of the LR isn't that 'country, any more, and now looks more like this. The vintage secretary is the largest item I have ever bought on eBay. Hunting toile on the re-covered (but not by me) love seat is also from eBay.

I make all my own window treatments, and this is what is in the kitchen for the summer. A Pierre Deux 'Geraine' bargain from eBay.

Whatever fabric I use for the kitchen WTs, I also shirr on dowels that I mounted inside the glass doors, and use them to cover cook books etc, on the pantry wall in the kitchen.

Whew, I'll take a break and post a few more, if you want to see any....


clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 09:57 am    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 09:57 am

RE: All Plywood box worth the 15 - 20%? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: caryscott on 01.18.2009 at 08:49 am in Kitchens Forum

A little research and I found this:

"There are four furniture grades of particleboard: M1, MS, M2, and M3."

Based on what I have read MS and M2 are most commonly used in cabinetry.

Here is a link that might be useful: info on particleboard


clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 09:38 am    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 09:38 am

RE: All Plywood box worth the 15 - 20%? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: caryscott on 01.18.2009 at 06:54 am in Kitchens Forum

There are so many different cabinet lines out there but in my experience not many were using Medium Density Fibre Board for the boxes. Fibre Board and particle board are different.

Out of curiosity I looked at a few manufacturers to see what they were calling their composite panels (see list below). In my opinion no matter what you call it, it is all what the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) calls Particleboard. I could find nothing that indicates at what ANSI rating particleboard can\should be called furniture board (near as I can tell any Commercial or Industrial grade particleboard could be called furniture board by a manufacturer). Personally I e-mailed the company making my Mom's cabinets and asked what the ANSI grade on the particleboard they were using was before she placed her order. I then got the ANSI grades and looked a the properties of that grade versus other grades.

A bit OT but it is my impression that due to the construction of frameless cabinetry (because it has no frame it can not be constructed from 3\8 material common in framed construction) it is not often offered in plywood construction because the up charge from 5\8 particle board to 5\8 plywood is dramatic. Also the absence of a frame makes the more dimensionally stable particleboard more desirable in frameless construction.

Medallion - furniture board
Cabico - particleboard
Kraftmaid - engineered wood
Kemper - furniture board
Luxor - furniture grade particleboard
Schrock - furniture board
Woodmode Cabinets - furniture-grade, fine surface wood particleboard
Armstrong - industrial grade wood composite panel
American Woodmark - engineered wood

I would note that 3 higher end companies (Woodmode, Luxor and Cabico) on this list all produce frameless and all use the term particleboard.

Screw holding capacity is one of the properties that is used to determine the grade of particleboard.

Here is a link that might be useful: plywood or particle board?


clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 09:36 am    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 09:36 am

RE: All Plywood box worth the 15 - 20%? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: brunosonio on 01.17.2009 at 08:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is one of the oldest discussions in a search and you'll find a lot of valuable discussion in past years.

In general, if you have frameless cabinets, you WANT MDF, it's dimensionally more stable, heavier, and sturdier than plywood. It can be cut to exact tolerances.

Most carpenters and installers don't like MDF precisely because it is so much heavier.

Plywood is good for end pieces and large cabinets like refrig boxes.

Water will damage any wood product, be it MDF or plywood. Remember plywood will delaminate when wet, so it's just as vulnerable. In both types of wood, you want to seal your base cabinets, using a good silicone in the bottom joints in case you have a leak. Most MDF cabinets will have a vinyl lining inside, so that will give you some added protection.

There are new greener MDF products without formaldehyde.

MDF has been used by the leading high end European frameless cabinet companies, as well as IKEA and the newer American frameless cabinet companies for years. No problems. There is still a lot of residual thinking by people that MDF is somehow inferior to plywood.


clipped on: 01.18.2009 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 01.18.2009 at 09:27 am

It almost killed us, but my cabinets are yellow!

posted by: reno_fan on 01.11.2009 at 12:38 pm in Home Decorating Forum

I'm about 98% done. Still have to paint the toekick areas, and touch up a few spots, but I may collapse and be unable to post pics later! DH and I were up well into the morning finishing up. I worked non-stop for several on this, and I didn't realize just how big a project it was until I was midway through. DH and DS *totally* made this possible. They sanded and cleaned all 28 doors, and helped me paint. They handled all of the yuck work that I hate like removing hardware, taping, etc. I literally could NOT have done this without them.

The true color is really, really difficult to capture on film. The flash washes it out and makes it look just cream. Without flash, they almost look neon. The true color is a buttercream yellow that looks just like vanilla cake batter. It's *perfect*.

I did a soft glaze with SW VanDyke Brown, and it finally feels like the kitchen belongs. I LOVE it, and it totally makes me smile. The rustic saltillo floors finally aren't in competition with the cabinets. YAY!

Even DS and DH who normally don't have opinions about my neverending projects commented that it looks really, really good, and much better than they'd expected when I first said "Yellow".

I'll try to snap more pics later, as the morning light is coming in the window and really affected how the pics are turning out. Here are just a few:








clipped on: 01.17.2009 at 05:28 pm    last updated on: 01.17.2009 at 05:28 pm