Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bar Work Day 1

Since before we put an offer in on our house we had plans to make a bar between our kitchen and living room. We have enough dining space for the two of us, but this part of the wall was just screaming for a makeover. T.J. and I originally had very different ideas of what we wanted, but in the end, a combination of the two won out. Plans have been in the works for months, and during our time off for winter break, they have finally had time to be realized.

Here is what we were working with before:

We started with a trip to Menard's for wood and wood stain. We decided a dark wood stain would look best for this countertop/bar. Especially because I am slowly getting rid of anything else wood in the house by painting over it with white. I do think this one piece will look beautiful wood, and will really stand out amongst all the color and white.

Before I stained the wood, I watched this quick video on YouTube and referred to this blog post on Young House Love to educate myself on staining techniques. I always like to check more than one "how-to" and pick the techniques I like best. For example, I decided to use a foam brush like in the YouTube video instead of a regular brush in the blog post.

T.J. headed up all the woodworking on this project... but I managed to snap a few pictures along the way. He first used his Kreg Jig to attach the two boards together. Then he cut them to size to fit our opening. We just used a crow bar to pry the old piece of wood off the half wall - it was interesting to find out what was under there. Nothing surprising I guess, just new to me!

 To deal with the issue of the wood molding under the old piece of wood on the wall, I painted it white (2 coats of primer, 2 coats of white semi-gloss), and on the side we needed to install brackets on, T.J. cut the molding so the brackets would fit. 

T.J. got sanding, then used his router to round both the top and bottom edges of the bar wood - but left the two short ends untouched.

Finally, it was time for me to come in with my new knowledge about staining wood. This part was pretty exciting honestly. I mixed the stain well, donned a stylish blue glove, and spread it on with my foam brush. Wait the recommended amount of time (about 30 min) then wipe off the excess stain. I admittedly forgot about it on the bottom side of the bar and left it there for an hour - so I left the stain on the top on for an hour too for uniformity. No harm done.

 (with the stain still on it - pre-wipe)

(darkness after I wiped the excess stain off)

And there you have it - day one of the bar work. All that in ONE DAY. It is nearly done! Day two work will be coming soon in a subsequent post. Until then - thanks for stopping by!

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