Monday, January 28, 2013

She's A Brick......Wall (Before and After)

So the fireplace mantel was looking....... a little washy.  Matchy-matchy with them there walls.  And the concrete nothingness was even more apparent.

So, I grabbed some paint.  And I done painted.  And a somewhat magical thing happened.

(brick is Glidden's Unicorn White - the walls are Glidden's Shadowbox)
The old concrete voids just kinda.....disappeared.  Prior to painting, I was stressin' about how the heck I was going to make fake, little brick façades.  I was scheming to use some 1/4 inch mdf, beat them up a little and then adhere them to the wall.  But you know what?  Not on my radar right now.  Painting out the wall really helped to shorten my 'to-do-now-because-it's-driving-me-nuts' list.  And that, friends, is a good thing.


Can we just say b-o-r-i-n-g?  That's the most neutral wall in the history of neutral walls.  I could feel the above-mentioned list lengthening.

Every time I sat down on the sofa, I looked at that wall and thought 'it needs something --- some contrast'.

And then John and I got the flu.

So I had to stare at that wall a little longer.  I couldn't move.  I was so tired and miserable and gross.  But my DIY blood is thicker than influenza.  I don't know if that makes sense.  I marched out to the garage (in my pajamas - in the middle of the day), grabbed my trusty Kreg Jig and got jiggy wit' it.

("You got a - Prada - bag with a lotta - stuff in it - give it to your friend - let's spin")

While I was in the garage, I grabbed my Kreg, a bigass mirror and some pine 1x5 boards and got to work.  In between coughing fits.

Here's my Kreg that John jigged up for me.  Get it?  Jigged?  Forget it.....  

The writing on there says,
"Make me something pretty.  Love, John"
I mitered the boards and then drilled pocket holes on two of them.  A small bead of glue and some 1.5" Kreg screws later, I had a simple frame.

I carefully laid the mirror face-down and added some mirror clips.

One I screwed all the clips in, I said a prayer and turned the giant behemoth of a mirror over.

Whew.  That was hard.  Now it was time to get to the 'contrast' part of this project.  I taped off the mirror and applied one coat of Minwax's Dark Walnut stain.  

It's like a little miracle in a little can.
A couple things to note:  

1. Wear gloves.  This stuff is stain.  It will stain everything it touches.  Including your hands.  And you'll look like you have a strange case of reverse-vitiligo when you pick your kids up from the bus stop.  

Ask me how I know.  Dammit. 
2.  Crack a window, would ya?  Ventilation is a must with this product.  Whenever I stain something, John *always* walks in the door and says, "It smells like death in here."  It never fails.

After a single coat, the mirror looked like this:

Now, had I not been sick, I might have remembered to stain the back of the mirror first.  Why?  When you put a frame up against a mirror, a small amount of the back side of the board reflects into the mirror.  I forgot to do this, even though I know better.  To get around it, I had to drip gobs of stain along the edges of the mirror in an effort to get the back of the board to soak it up and not reflect the light wood color.  It worked in most spots.  

Once finished with the stain, I did *not* let the stain dry fully and just slapped a couple thin coats of polycrylic on that bad boy.  You're supposed to let the stain dry fully.  Mama don't got that kinda patience.

Once the polycrylic was barely dry to the touch, I whipped it up on the mantel and reclaimed my place on the couch to continue being flu-ridden.  This time, with a much nicer view.

Now, I'm itchin' to put some art up on the wall to the right of the mirror.  Maybe some subway prints?

TDC Before and After


  1. hey cuz, if you would like, I can do some custom art. Give me a subject and the color scheme you would like. I would love to help. I have been watching all of your progress and LOVE what you have done so far. :)

  2. Hey Rose! Thank you SO much! I haven't decided on accent colors, yet. But, I think I'm leaning toward a golden yellow in small doses. I'll let you know when I commit. :)

  3. What type of wood did you use?


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