Friday, September 22, 2017

Make An Easy and Inexpensive Drying Rack For Crown, Base and other Wood Trim Pieces

I am working on this project where I am painting crown and base molding to look like wood.  I have 22 pieces of crown and 7 pieces of base to paint.  The individual pieces come in 16 foot lengths.  So in order to do this job I simply can not paint each piece and lay it down on the floor and wait for it to dry.  A drying rack is in order but how do you make an inexpensive drying rack for such long trim pieces.

This is what I do and it is surprisingly simple, inexpensive and sturdy.  The whole thing is made from regular 2 by 4's.  Of course the trick is to buy straight ones or as straight as you can get.  How you buy straight lumber from the store is this.  We are talking 2 by's so you pick up the 2 by 4 at one end while the other end is resting on the floor.  You look down the length of the piece from the end you have in you hand and you can see any warpage easily.  So you go thru the stack to find the straightest ones but keep in mind they can get really straight but not perfect.

After you have the 8 foot 2 by 4's you cut them in half.  Then take one and cut it into 3.5 inches blocks.  Take a look at the picture below.  You nail the blocks into each end of the 4 foot long 2 by and you only need one 3 inch nail for each block to do this.  A few of the blocks broke when I did this just to let you know.

After I put some paper down I laid first row on paper then I used three of the stacking boards I made by placing one in the center and then centered the other two on either side of that.  You want to place them so the block you nailed in is facing down, that way the 2 by goes over the row you are straddling.   The crown I am painting is almost 8 inches wide so I can put 5 pieces per level.

In the photo below you can see the stack as it grows.  In the end I had 6 levels.  I was a little apprehensive about how stable it would be and was totally shocked at not only the stability of it but how stable it actually was.  You can't even shake it at all.  I mean this system is really stable.  I wouldn't hesitate to go up another 6 levels based on the stability of what I had done.

The crown lays out pretty flat as you can see but if you look at the red arrow you can see a piece sagging there.  That is one of the baseboards.  They bend a little at the ends.  If I was just doing just base I would use 4 cross members instead of the three I am using here.

To apply the base coat of paint and also when I wood grain them I use 4 horses and lay the 16 foot long pieces across them.  I needed 4 horses or the pieces wouldn't lay straight enough with the pressure of painting on them.

There is one somewhat tricky aspect and that is the loading of the rack with the wet boards. So after I painted a crown piece I then lifted it up by using both hands under the center of the board as far apart as I could.  Then when I took it to the drying rack because I am holding it in the center and even though my hands are about 3 feet apart it is still curved down at either end.  The thing about that is you don't want to touch the other boards with the ends curved down.  So the way to load the rack is to angle your hands so the board is at about 30-45 degree angle. Doing that the board does not bend very much at all.  Obviously if you feel it slipping off your hands cut back on the angle.  Then you rest the edge of the board on the leading ends of the two outside 2 by 4 cross pieces and relax the hold until the center rests on the center cross piece.  Then I just slid the piece across the 2 bys.  They slide very easily.

Luckily I am working in a huge garage.  So the first stack I put at one end of the garage and then for the second coat of base coat paint I made a stack between the two cars.  Take off the top row and paint and put that on the floor then start moving the cross pieces for the next level and so on.  I will go back next week and start the wood grain process.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Painting Entry Doors To Look Like Wood

I was able to finish up a front entry door project this week.  I have never painted an entry door with this color scheme and was a little leery at first but after I got finished I really liked it.  The designer I work with a lot and who is in charge of this major remodel is very creative and his ideas always seem to work out great.

Here is a picture of the finished doors.  I painted both the exterior and interior of the doors to look the same.

The base coat color for these doors is the surprising part.  Take a look at the next photo.  Believe me I was wondering how this was going to look when I started.  You can see that I use a lot of tape in my painting projects when I am painting doors to look like wood.

This next photo gives you a peek inside.  You can see the scaffolding there.  The ceiling at that point is a little over 20 feet.  This was a major remodel and basically the entire home got gutted and rebuilt.  It is almost done however, probably another 2-3 weeks and it will be finished.

The next shot shows the contrast between the base coat and the finished look.

 A closer view.

This is the approach to the front doors.  The debris you see in the lower right of the photo is from the remodel.

Another look at the finished doors.  They came out great and everyone loves them.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Painting Faux Stone Trim

I finished up a project this week in which I was tasked to paint faux stone trim.  This type of stone has a lot of pock marks in it and the look is to have the pock marks a medium dark color then the surface of the stone is an off white.

This a new construction home and apparently after the stone was applied where changes where made and more trim was added.  So my job was to match the new faux stone trim to the existing.

When you get the new faux stone it comes white so I had to paint it to match the off white existing trim.  The first two photos show a before and after.

The next two photos show before.

So the first thing I had to do was get the darker color into the pock marks on the foam.  It was a challenge and to do that I watered down the paint quite a bit and painted it on with a very short bristled brush.   That way I could 'push' the paint down into the cavities. It was a messy procedure and I had to constantly be cleaning up drips. The next two photos show a stretch where I had the darker going along above one set of the sliders.

Here is a close up of the deep cavities I had to first fill.

Then the same area after I 'dry brushed' the off white color on top, leaving the cavities dark.

Here is a before and after of two corners.

 There was a little knee wall outside that gave the back up generator a nice spot to live.  The next two are in progress shot and then the after.

This work was done outside the master bedroom.  Here is the view.  A nice view for sure.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Creating A Wood Grain On Beams

I was able to finish the project where I painted the two large beams to look like wood.   It was a big challenge to get the sides of the beams painted with a wood grain where the light fixture was hung but I did manage somehow.  It's one of things that when you get done you look at it and say how did I do that?  But the whole job came out and great and the client loved it.

Some photos of the finished project.  Hard to believe it was painted and not actually beautiful wood.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Painting Beams To Look Like Wood

I have an interesting project this week to paint two large fabricated beams to look like wood.  Might sound a little funny to paint beams made of wood to look like wood but idea is to match the beams to the flooring below them.

To make the job more a challenge the beams were constructed in a ceiling niche.  They are each about 24 inches high by 15 feet long and 6 inches wide.

The first step was to fill all the nail holes and caulk the seams along the ceiling and sides of the niche. Then I primed the piece.  The white arrow in the photo below shows where after I had primed the beam part of the top ply of the wood used separated and I had to cut it out and fill the cavity.  It happens.

The primer is grey and then I am applying the base coat of paint to the beams in photo below.  Before I put the base coat on I have to sand down the beams.  When using raw wood the fine grain will 'raise' some after it is first painted with anything.  Then you have to sand down the grain that has lifted to make the surface smooth.

 A huge obstacle is the light fixture that is already hanging between the two beams as indicated with red arrow.  I could barely reach up between the two beams and prime them with that fixture there.  I have no idea of how I am going to create a wood grain on those sides of the beams but I might have to have the light fixture taken down.

The next two photos show the first side I created the wood grain look on.

This next photo is a shot of the flooring I am trying to match the wood to.  I am not trying to match the coloring exact just the look of the grain.  The beams are darker which is the plan.

The next two photos are of the other beam on the outside of the light area.  I will next try to paint between the beams and hope I have enough room to get in there to properly work the space to create a good wood grain.  If not the light fixture has to come down.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Garage Doors Painted to Like They Have A Gray Wood Grain

I finished up a new garage door job this week.  I painted three garage doors to look like wood, two single garage doors and a double.  The color of doors is not typically a color scheme I use but I really like it.  It is a grayish tone of wood.  Not a driftwood color but on the grayish side nonetheless, goes perfectly with the new home color.

The first picture here is a shot of the two single doors.  The doors are the standard 4 rows high but the rows are oversized in height so the opening is actually almost as high as a door with 5 rows.  Plus as you can see the curved top of the opening creates a challenge.  A portion of each panel on the top row is behind the curved top of the opening.

The best way to get to the top panels on a door that has the curved top opening is to open the door the whole way and then get on a ladder and paint the top row from inside the garage.  This only works if there is enough clearance between the ceiling of the garage and the garage door when it is opened.  Unfortunately most of the time there is not.  The other way is to open the door just barely enough to where when it starts to go back and gets away from the opening it will curve back on the door track at an angle, stop it and paint the door by getting on a ladder and reaching in.

I don't have a picture on this particular door of when I painted the top row but I did it by angling back the top row like in the photo below.  In the photo the third row is angled back while I paint the bottom two rows but you get the idea of how it looks when the top row is angled back.  You have to reach in and paint.  It's pretty hard actually and  I am sure unless you have experience painting garage doors to look like wood you could not pull it off.

The photo below also shows how I tape off the bottom two rows to get them ready to paint.

This next photo shows how I tape off the space between the rows for painting.

The next two photos are of the completed single doors.

This next photo is when I was putting the base coat color down for the wood graining.  You can see how the door was painted a dark brown.

Here is a photo of when I had taped off the third row down from the top on the double garage door and I am ready to paint in the wood grain.

Friday, June 2, 2017

New Garage Door Painted to Look Like Red Mahogany Wood

I have been working this past week on a home that is undergoing a major remodel.  The place was totally gutted and redone.  Part of that process was to get a new garage door.  Then I painted that garage door to look like wood.

I sell a complete tutorial on how to paint your common garage door to look like wood.  The tutorial is only ten dollars. Just click on the Garage Door Tutorial tab in the top menu to find out all about it.

The first picture is the finished door.  At some point the concrete driveway is getting replaced with pavers but that might be several months down the road.  The wood tone color was picked to match the new color of the home.  We wanted to make it compatible with the exterior of the home but still maintain an authentic wood look.

The first picture was taken at the end of the day that I finished the door on.  For most of the day the door is in direct sunlight.  When I am working on a garage door in sun I have to put up my suntarp. The paint dries way too fast to work on the door otherwise.

The first step in painting a garage door to look like wood is to clean the door very well.  I use a scotch brite pad and soap and water and scrub the door down.  Even a new door needs to be clean like this.  Then I prime the door and then once the primer is dried I apply the basecoat of paint.  The color of the basecoat of paint is chosen based on the wood tone desired.  So for this job I used a Sherwin Williams color called True Penny.  This gives me the orangish color you see as the base coat of paint.

Once that base coat of paint dried over night I can start the wood graining process.  The first step in that is to tape off the center panels like in the next picture.  I typically work on two rows at a time.  Each row has 8 panels in it.  Once I get the top two rows done I raise the door and do the bottom two rows.

 The next photo shows how I tape off the panels in each row. The x marks the center of the panel where I paint first.  I want to isolate that area and not get any paint in the space between the panels because in the center of the panels I am going to paint it in with a horizontal wood grain pattern and between the center of the panels I paint it in with a vertical grain pattern.

I double up the tape as you can see indicated by the white arrow.  That way it gives me plenty of protection from any over brush marks.

With this next photo you can see what I mentioned about brush overs onto the tape.  I want to start each horizontal brush stroke on the tape and end it on the tape.  That way when the tape is removed you have this clean line as you will see soon.  I use two colors to create the wood grain.  The photo below shows the first color painted on.  Keeping with the reddish Mahogany look I used a SW color called Fiery Brown.

The second color for the wood grain I used SW Black Bean.  This gives me the darker grain lines and makes the wood look richer.

The photo below shows the work done at the end of the day.  I was able to get the top two rows complete and two panels on the third row.  I always try to get the two panels done, with the first color only, on the next row before the end of the day.  That way it makes it easier the next day to  match up how dark I put on the first color brown.  

The next three photos show the completed door and some close-ups of the door.  The door came out really nice and the clients loved it.

The second part of this job is to paint the front door and sidelight to match the garage door.  I will working on that next.  The photo below is the before pic of the front door.