Feb 21, 2012

{Because Inquiring Minds Want to Know!}

I have received a lot of questions about some of our projects and what tools and/or advice we would give.  Here’s a list of tips, answers to questions, and product suggestions (or at least what we have used). 

  1. Be patient.  If it doesn’t look right…take it down and try again.
  2. You’re NOT going to “ruin” your house.  We still have to work on this one.  We really don’t want to ruin our house, and sometimes a project scares us just because we may ruin something.  We’ve been pretty lucky, and haven’t had any major problems…but if we do, I think we will get through it (maybe with a little help from a professional if needed).
  3. Be creative!
  4. Go for it…sometimes what scares you the most, will be the most rewarding!
  5. What is lattice? We used lattice on our Rast Hack drawers, to trim out the sides of our Mudroom, and to our Door Casings.  It is a thin (1/4 inch) piece of pine wood that comes in two sizes.  We get ours from Home Depot or Lowes, and it is usually found in the back of the store with the trim, casings, and moldings.  If you can’t find it, just ask someone…and they will help you out!
  6. Crown Molding – Product Suggestion:  We found a product this past summer that was a crown molding that was reversible.  This meant you could cut your angled compound miter and then flip the other side for a perfect fit.  We found ours at Lowe’s.  It is called Flip Face, and it is also found in the molding section, as well. IMG_3236
  7. Tips on crown molding.  Justin found a great website to help him set his saw here.
  8. What tape do you use?  Frog Tape…it’s green and perfect in every way.  You can use it on fabric or walls, and you will always have a perfect line.  Skip the blue, and go for green.  Trust me!IMG_3233
  9. What stain did you use  on the Mudroom Bench?  I mix 1 part (or one small can) of  English Chestnut with 1 part (or one small can) of Special Walnut.  This mix seems to compliment the wood floors and cabinetry in our house.IMG_3234
  10. Where did you get the corbels you used on your mudroom?  Home Depot!  They are the best.  Layla used them on her kitchen cabinets at The Lettered Cottage and Young House Love just used them on their open shelving in their newly remodeled kitchen.  And for$8.86…they are must have item when doing a shelving unit of any type…including our mudroom.IMG_3226IMG_2572
  11. How did you paint your mudroom?  We used a roller and a paint brush.  Sprayers scare me.  I’ve heard they can be finicky and can clog.  Our favorite paint brushes are Purdy.  We ALWAYS add Floetrol (for latex paint) to our paint to extend drying time and which alleviates streaks and brush marks!
  12. Tools We Can’t Live Without
    1. Skil Saw Compound Miter: We got ours from Lowe’s.  (Christmas gift from my mom.)  It was about $70.IMG_3229
    2. Evolve Nail Gun and Compressor:  We got ours from Sears.  It is a Craftsman Evolve and was about $80 for the compressor and gun.IMG_3230
    3. Dremel MultiMax:  This is a great, multiuse tool.  Justin cut all of our baseboards when doing the casings with this tool.  The Dremel was about $90.IMG_3232
  13. Is your header new?  Did you use Picnik?  What are you going to do when it’s gone?  Yes, I change my header all of the time.  I think I finally have it the way I want it.  I used Picnik and Picasa together.  I have no idea what I’m going to use when Picnik goes bye-bye…but I will probably shed a tear or two.

Quick Header Tutorial:
-First, I make sure my pic is the right width is pixels.  My blog calls for a 1050 pixels heading picture for it to fit centered.
-Then, I used the shapes for the borders.
-Then I added text.  When I find a color I like, I write the number down so I can use it in blogger for my titles, links, and widgets.


I hope I answered some of your questions!  If I haven’t answered a question, shoot me an email at acharmingnest@gmail.com!  I will try to get back to you as soon as possible!



  1. Thanks so much...I was one that asked about the lattice & I did figure it out at the hardware store after a weird look from a young kid!!

  2. Thanks Erin! I don't usually comment on your blog but I always *love* reading about your projects and ideas and plans and all! The mudroom is of course genius - and your other projects are always so classy :) I just started a blog recently (house-capades.blogspot.com) and have been wondering about the pros and cons of including ads on my blog. Could you do a post about that? :) About whether it's working for you, what you've found works or doesn't work? I want to be able to customize my ads, for example, but haven't figured out how.

    I shall also shed a tear when picnik goes away! And love that you have a nail gun with a compressor - those still intimidate me but someday! :)

    1. I will try, but honestly the ads aren't really that profitable. You have to get a lot of hits for it to add up. I would be interested in selling blog space to interested individuals...but I think that comes as you build a reputation, a following, and a reputation. I'm not there yet...I don't think.

    2. Thanks Erin! It's good to know. I recently read an article about how long (in years) it takes for a blog to become profitable from ads. Oh well, definitely not the point of blogging (for most of us)! :)

  3. All great tips! I love those corbels and the flip face moulding is GENIUS.

  4. Great tips, I always love seeing what others have in their arsenal!

  5. Thank you for the tips and information.I have so many projects lined up right now my head is spinning.

  6. Erin,
    Love your tips and tricks! I'm in the middle of starting our mudroom transformation and we're going with the same IKEA hack you did although we've opted for the 3 drawer stand instead. I'll send you pictures of the completed project. It'll take a while because I have 2 little ones running around and a full-time job. Maybe we'll finish just in time to use it next winter (I am so tired of jackets on my kitchen counter!).

  7. Hi Erin, thanks for the tips.
    Any idea now where I can buy the time I need to complete my projects? ;)

    1. Not sure where in the store that would be. But if you live in the Indy area...Justin could help you out!

  8. Just discovered your blog - love it!

  9. XIM Latex Extender works just as well as floetrol.


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