Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pegboard DIY Project

Next project was the pegboard.  This project cost about $30 total for the wood and pegboard.  We already had the paint and stain from other projects.  I had asked Aaron to think of a word, statement, or verse that he would want to use in the garage.  He came up with the great idea of Ephesians 3:14-19.  Here's the verses:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Aaron's always liked this verse because of how it describes God as bigger than we can understand.  And with the units of measurements included, it just seemed to fit in the garage!  So, now that we had all the plan, it was time to put all the pieces together. 

Materials List:
  • (4) 1' x 2' x 8'
  • (3) 1' x 4' x 8'
  • #8 x 1 1/2" Grabber screws
  • #8 x 3/4" wood screws
  • #4 x 1/2" Finishing Nails
  • Nail set
  • Level
  • natural stain for the wood
  • Paint for the Letters  
    • Glidden: Creamy Buttermilk
    • Dunn Edwards: Even Growth


  1. Bought a 4'x8'sheet of pegboard at Home Depot.  It cost about $10. And the materials listed above.
  2. Painted the pegboard Glidden: Creamy Buttermilk to match the walls
  3. Stained the wood lightly with a natural lacquer.
  4. Used the table saw to add a couple grooves in one piece of wood to hold future pencils, etc (see picture)
    The bottom of the frame has grooves for pencils
    Printed large letters on thicker cardstock.  Used Faktos Font (you can download a free copy here).  It would have been a lot simpler to just buy some stencils, but I wanted a certain font.
  6. Watched a couple movies while carefully cutting out the letters with an Exacto knife and cutting board.   
  7. Taped the outlines of the letters down on the pegboard and painted the shapes in black.  
  8. Waited until it dried to remove the paper.  Only to find out that this was pretty unsuccessful and we had to painstakingly hand paint over the areas where the paint had bled.  Instead, we should have either taken off the stencil immediately after painting (so it didn't stick) or traced the letters with a pencil and then painted by hand.  Our method was definitely not the smartest.

So, we definitely made it harder on ourselves than we needed to with our stenciling technique, but I really like how the letters turned out.  Once we cleaned up those letters!

 7.  Find out where the studs were in the wall.  You have to put some vertical pieces of wood behind the pegboard to provide the depth for the pegs to actually stick in and also to make sure it's secure.  So, we measured the distance between each stud.

8..  Screw in a 1x2 wooden frame around the edge of the pegboard.
9.  Screw in 2-3 vertical strips of wood behind the pegboard according to where the studs in the wall are placed.  Due to the size of this pegboard, we decided it was easier to build this frame while on the ground.  The other option would be to create the frame on the wall beforehand and then lift up the pegboard and screw it to that frame.

10. Use finishing nails to attach the outer frame.  Nail them in part way while on the ground and then place it against the frame and use a nail set to nail in and hide the nail as much as possible. 
 11.  The corners are the trickiest.  It's best as a two person job where someone holds the frame in the appropriate spot and the other nails it in.

12.  Stop and admire your handiwork before beginning the hanging process. :-)
13.  Since we didn't have another person to help hold up one end, we piled up some extra wood to get a level spot to hang the pegboard.  We used a level and a few shims to make sure it was accurate.  It looked kinda funny, but it got the job done!

14.  Confirmed yet again that rear frame of the pegboard aligned with the studs and then started screwing into the wall.  At the end, we pulled away the wood and Aaron added a few more screws for good measure.

And here's the completed pegboard project!  Not bad for $30!  We've still got a few custom wood organizers to make to add some screwdrivers and other tools up there.  So, it's got some empty spots.  But, the big part is complete!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Barn doors in a garage...Why not?

Ok, so this idea was all Aaron's.  Have you ever tried shimmying past a car in the garage to get something out of a cabinet?  And then you can only open the cabinet a crack because you'd hit the car?  Well, Aaron got the idea to just bypass that whole cabinet thing.  Go for something similar to closets in a bedroom.  Make some barn doors, build a cabinet around it and put some shelving inside.  Then you've got no problems sliding things in and out.

So, we were sharing our plans with Aaron's cousin, Josh, one day, when he casually mentions he's got an old barn door just hanging around.   The benefits of living in the country!  So, we walk out and check it out and it's pretty darn perfect.  A few weeks later Josh comes for dinner and brings along the door.  How cool is that?!

We decided to have three.  One to hide this rear alcove where we'll be having a lot of storage and two more along the side of the garage.  Next step was to figure out how to hang it.   After some research, we went with the most cost effective option and bought a Stanley box rail/hanger from the Tractor Supply Store.  It was about $125 for one door system.

Then Aaron and his dad went to work.

  1. Cut the rail to the desired length (if needed).  Just make sure it's twice the length of your door.

2.  Instead of using the manufacturer's support brackets, Aaron measured and screwed holes through the railing (to match the measurements of the truss).  Then he placed the railing up to the truss and screwed lag bolts through the track into the bottom cord of the truss.  The lag bolt had low profile carriage bolt heads to avoid conflict with the wheels.  And create a cleaner look.  You can reinforce the truss if needed.  See next barn door blog post for instructions on that.

3.  Mounted the box rail hangers on the existing barn door.  In our case,  Aaron and his dad were able to pry out the old rusty bolts and use the same holes to install new hardware to slide in the track.  

 4.  Add the end cap (comes with the rail hangers) on the end so the door doesn't slide out.

 And here's the completed product!  I love it. 

Before and After!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Garage Cabinets: Fresh, New Look

Cabinet painting and install was an exciting step.  It meant that the garage storage would finally move back out of the house and into the garage where it belonged.  And it meant that the not quite as fun steps of demolition, drywall, paint, electrical and floor epoxy were all complete!  It took about 4 months to get to this point.  Those pesky day jobs sure get in the way of DIY projects...

But, on to the cabinets.  Our walls were painted "Glidden: Creamy Buttermilk"' and we opted for "Dunn Edwards - Ever Green" for our cabinets and future barn doors. 

We had a jumble of old cabinets from previous garages.  A fresh coat of paint, while tedious, gave them a whole new look!  Now, in retrospect, it might not be as smart of a move.  These cabinets are standard melamine and paint has a tough time sticking on them.  If they'd been real wood or metal cabinets, I think it would have been much easier.  And now when you bang up against them with something you're almost guaranteed to leave a mark.  Not quite as practical for a garage.  So, that was a learning lesson.  But, here's the process we went through.

First we dismantled the cabinets and began our painting.  If I did it again I'd skip painting the insides.  Since there's handles on the cabinet, we have less chance of scraping the outside once painted. And it's a time saver!

Then came the fun of installing them.  We installed them pretty high because we wanted storage of heavy stuff underneath.  Here's Aaron trying to get some leverage for screwing in the cabinets.

We had bought a butcher block countertop from IKEA and gave the old cabinets/workbench a whole new look.
Old workbench/counter

And here's the new cabinets (more to come on the pegboard)!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Lighting up the Garage!

After painting our garage, lighting was the next priority.  We checked out a lot of different lights, but ultimately, price won out. The IKEA lights below were $30 each and had a classic look that worked great.  So, we trekked over to IKEA and picked up 9.

Here's some pictures of the install.  Our electrician had installed the rough electrical and so we just hooked up the lights from there.  But, it wasn't quite as easy as you would think.  I wanted them to be low enough to see when someone walked by the garage, but they needed to be high enough to clear the garage door.  We ended up doing a compromise where the ones near the garage door are a couple inches higher.  You can see it in the picture below.  See how short that wire is?  But, when they were all up it was something you don't even notice.

We added six in the main garage area and clustered three together for the future workbench in that area.   I had really wanted some wall mounted, gooseneck lights for above the workbench, but after checking out prices, I decided IKEA pendants would be just fine!  It was trickier getting all three to be level because of the pitched ceiling.  We had to fiddle for a bit to make them right. 

But, the lights made a huge impact! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Painting garage trusses and shingles: Definitely the way to go!

Light and bright. An original goal for the garage renovation project.  Instead of dry walling the ceiling or putting additional storage up there, we decided to leave the trusses open and paint. 

Answering what and how to paint was a bigger question.  The ceiling was a pitched roof with open trusses and roof shingles.  No plywood or anything else between the framing and our roof.  So, if we painted, then in a couple years when we replace our roof, all those painted shingles will come right off.  And you'll be spending money on painting shingles.  Shingles!

At first we considered just painting the trusses and leaving the roof alone.  Less paint, you wouldn't waste paint on shingles and it would still brighten everything up considerably.  Then Aaron attempted to actually paint these massive trusses.  It took him 3 hours to paint one.  3 hours!  And we had like 10 more to go! 

So, we evaluated and said that painting the whole thing with a paint gun was the only way that this would happen.  And then we also made the leap to spend money to hire a painter.  Which for us is a big deal.  We've lived in multiple houses and also did the painting ourselves.  Hiring someone for electrical was one thing.  But, painting?  That one was tougher.  Time, ultimately was the deciding factor.  This project was around the Christmas holidays and we wanted to be with family, not stuck in a garage endlessly painting.  So, we made the leap and hired someone.  Here's some "in progress" shots:

And here's the finished product!

Light and bright, here we come!