Garage Makeover: Framed Pegboard

There have been MANY ongoing projects around the Life Absorbed household, so my goal for Memorial Day weekend was to finally cross several projects off my list. First on the list was finalizing my garage, and a big part of that was finishing my pegboard and color choices. To catch up to speed check out these other garage projects: Garage Makeover, Garage Makeover Update, and Garage Makeover: Lighting.

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There’s nothing like starting off the day by drinking coffee out in my studio/garage. With the garage door open, it’s like sitting out on a patio. Also, RISD represent!

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Time to tackle my pegboard! It came in white sheets that I cut to fit my work space. I also had to cut a spot for the electrical outlet (as it’s the only one in the garage and the source of all my power).

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I decided to go with a a paint I already own (saving moola), Valspar Tranquility in a satin finish (Lowes), see below. You can see above, the color looks nice.

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Look at my awesome lighting fixture next to my painted pegboard! Now I just need want a frame around my pegboard… to keep it fun and girly.

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I picked out this chair rail moulding from Home Depot. It has detail without getting too big and costly (the more detail the pricier).

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Thanks to my miter saw I was able to cut it exactly.

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Now it’s time to paint it gold! That’s my mantra. At work when I tell people about my projects, it’s often followed by “let me guess… you painted it gold!”

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Since my pegboard is in two pieces, first I needed to mount the pegboard and then mount the moulding.

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Doesn’t it look nice? Especially with my fancy (but super cheap and easy to make) light fixtures!

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Here’s the thing… I’m not satisfied with my color choices. While the pale blue is a nice color, it’s just not me. If you follow me on instgram or facebook, then you know what I ended up doing. But sometimes you need to make some mistakes to learn a lesson about yourself.

Up next: How did I change my pegboard? What did I decide to do with it? Find out tomorrow!

DIY Chalkboard

A while ago I got a gold $10 frame from a yard sale in Los Feliz. What a great find! I spent time sanding and repainting this frame which became my Christmas card holder (see that DIY here). Well I decided to take it a step further and turn it into a chalkboard where I could also hang cards and photos.

Step 1 was having wood cut to fit inside the frame. You can buy the wood and have them cut it at any Home Depot or Lowes type store.

Step 2 was making my own chalkboard paint. I bought flat regular ol’ house paint (so I could make the board any color I want). I also bought unsanded grout and added 2 table spoons into an 8oz container of paint ($3 at Home Depot). I used a mini paint roller and did a couple coats until it looked like…

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…this!!

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All the guides I found to making chalkboards recommended rubbing chalk all over the board and then lightly erasing the chalk (photo below). The light dusting helps keep the chalk from sticking in the future.

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Lastly I tapped up the board into the frame and included the twine and clips so that I could hang cards and photos and write fun messages next to them on the board.

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Isn’t it beautiful? I LOVE the blue green color. It’s so much more fun than a black board and has an antique green school board vibe. It’s perfect.

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Let the chalk fun begin!

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I’m so happy with the results. (The above photo is of my grandparents ❤ )

DIY Ikea Bookcase Re-Do

If you remember, a while back I made a vellum backing to a hand-me-down Ikea bookcase that was backless. It was an excellent fast/easy/cheap temporary solution. It wasn’t the worst bookcase ever… but it also didn’t match anything and felt like dorm furniture.

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Im not one to just throw away a perfectly good bookcase, so I got creative.

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I was inspired by Young House Love’s new book! I got it for Christmas and LOVE it. See the photo above of the white bookcase with the blue/green backing? I want that bookcase… so why not just make it?

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Since I had to work with the heavily lacquered birch Ikea bookcase, I researched the best way to sand/prime/paint this surface. So many blogs posted that the Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Coverage (X2) was the best way to go. I decided to go with the flat white and it was $3 a bottle at Home Depot.

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I did a coat of white spray paint over everything. By using this paint (made for plastic) it means no sanding! Woo hoo!

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You can see above that the spray paint leaves a texture. Im sure with multiple coats, this would go away, but I had left over white paint from my dining table so I decided to do a top coat of my paint. This also means the bookcase will exactly match my table, instead of being a cold white it’ll be a warm white.

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To create the backing, I bought 5 sheets of white foam boards from Michael’s (with a 30% off coupon!). I leaned the foam core against the back of the bookcase and traced the bookcase. This way I know exactly how much to paint.

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This was a good part to work on while the bookcase was drying. Above you can see the 4 boards on the right have 1 coat, and the board on the left has 2 coats. What a difference?! Do two coats over all the board. It’s super easy using a small paint roller. The paint I purchased was an 8oz container from Home Depot (flat) for $3.

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I decided to do the assembly of the backings inside my house (which meant waiting until everything was fully dried.

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I laid the bookcase upside down, traced the bookcase again (very precisely) and then cut the foam boards using a metal ruler and exatco blade.

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I used just a standard stapler to staple the foam core to the back of the bookcase. It was so easy and took maybe 15 minutes to do all 5 panels. Keep in mind if anything requires cords on the shelves, youll need to cut a notch. For example, we keep our internet router on the shelf, so I cut a small triangle on that shelf’s backing.

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I was so excited while assembling, I had to test out how my stuff would look on it. Love it! Do you like my spice rack/diamond shaped sculpture? Check out that DIY here!

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You like? It adds such a pop of color and fun to the room. Before the bookcase disappeared into the corner, and now it’s fun to look at and stands out. This project was SO cheap and just required an afternoon of effort.

DYI: Frosted Windows

I live in Los Angeles, which means when I look out my window.. I look directly into a neighbors window (about 10′ away). As you can imagine, this means there’s not a lot of room for sunlight and privacy. My shades are always down, and for someone like me who loves sunlight (vitamin d!), it’s hard to handle. I’ve been at my place for several years now and I’m about to embark on another year there, so it’s about time I solved this issue… the cheapest way possible. Here’s the BEFORE:

This was taken at 4pm in the evening (unedited). Notice the IT Crowd on my tv- awesome right? Anywho, there’s zero light, as my shades have to stay closed. I made an exploratory trip to Home Depot and realized the “real-life” frosted solutions were too permanent for my rental property (I need to have it eventually come off clean) and also too far above my budget. I realized that all I needed was a large sheet of vellum (you can get at any proper art store) or even as a temporary solution, trace paper, which I already own. This DYI project requires trace paper, double stick tape, and scissors  (or an exacto blade).

I just put the smallest amounts of tape in the corners of the windows, and then stretched a large piece of trace across it. Leave extras along the edges that you can trim away later. Fill the window and then use the exacto to clean the edges. I had to piece some trace paper together so I have a few small seems, but if you spent some money and bought a large sheet of vellum, it would be seemless.

Below is the AFTER shot taken at 6pm that same day. Isn’t the difference astounding! I went from needing my lights on any time past noon, to not needing to use electricity until 7pm! It’s such a difference. That’ll help my wallet, and my sanity!