First Scrap Wood and Still Life project: our faux brick wall

As mentioned on my new web page, Scrap Wood and Still Life, I’m making a more concerted effort to bring joy to folks with my DIY projects and painting. (Follow along on Instagram, @scrapwoodandstilllife.)

My first attempt at bringing readers DIY posts was a couple years ago through a blog series called Home Sweet Farmhouse Home that coincided with the release of my novel, Lead Me Home. It was so much fun that I’m starting it back up again.

Besides a unique way to be creative and love on our homes, I think folks are drawn to DIY and farmhouse themes because restoration touches on our innate longing to know that no matter how messy we are, can be renewed and restored by God’s grace (Psalm 51). Such themes also touch on the fact that we are made in the image of the Lord (Genesis 1:27). Since He is the ultimate Creator, no wonder many of us feel called to create!

On to the project: our faux brick wall

Recently we installed a faux brick wall in our basement stairwell. This was super fun and truly one of the easiest home improvement projects I have tackled to date.

Here’s the wall we started with. It’s mostly stripped bare of the gallery wall I had there before, but even then it was pretty blasé. For 12 years I’ve been wanting to do something creative with the space, because it is open and visible to anyone who comes in, and the little shelf-like area was just begging to be something useful.

After surfing Pinterest for hours and hours, I decided on a faux brick wall with my own version of a German Schmear treatment.

Here’s how I did it.*

Source list and tools (not an exhaustive list):

Liquid Nails makes this project a breeze. Make sure you get the Liquid Nails made for putting up paneling–there are a lot of different kinds. Some DIY sites recommend nailing as well, but if you use the Liquid Nails as directed, I’m pretty sure the paneling won’t go anywhere.

Once the panels were up and given a day or so to dry, I applied plenty of spackling paste to the seams of the paneling, and then randomly in other places. This is where my process differs from a lot of others you’ll see, which spackle all over the brick. I just applied it sporadically.

Then I simply painted over it all with the chalk paint. I left some spots bare and painted some more lightly than others. I just eyeballed it until I was happy with the coverage and look.

Some people want the whole wall to be white, which is a little cleaner looking. Others prefer to let more red hang out, for a more rustic or industrial look. The important thing is to use your imagination and have fun with it!

Finally, caulk all the edges.

I used a 2×6 cut to the length of the shelf, a 1×4 as the shelf back, and stained them with Minwax’s Jacobean, one of my favorite shades of their stains.

Here’s a couple of close-ups:

I added a couple of paintings I made, which were inspired by my cousins’ dairy farm, also the inspiration behind my novel, Lead Me Home:

The real life Red:

Let me know if you try this project!

And if this inspires you, have fun!

Be blessed and celebrate your creativeness, friends!

*****

*Please refer to the main Scrap Wood and Still Life page for an important disclaimer. 

Dear Reader, Do you ever need a brain break?

Hi dear readers! Since I’ve been posting so many blogs about book spine colors, I thought I’d just go way off the beaten path and chase a squirrel today and share with you a couple of colorful home improvement projects I manically and maniacally threw myself into last weekend after submitting copy edits for Lead Me Home to my editor.

Copy editing, while truly my favorite part of the writing process, is also the most mentally exhausting. So when I hit the “send” key, I tend to collapse–at least in the writing and reading sense.

Painting and decorating and upcycling  have always been BIG stress releases for my mind and even my body, which had been too-long hunched over my laptop. And I think the fact that I can start and finish a painting or decorating project in a few hours or a couple of days helps restore my confidence in being able to accomplish something. You see, the middle of editing a novel manuscript can make a writer feel like they will never, ever be done.

Ever.

Never.

Ever.

So without further delay, I’ll accomplish this blog post and show you my before and afters and reveals and cheats and hacks!

First up, the inside of our front door. I’d seen this trend all over Pinterest and it looks so “WOW” I decided to try it. And WOW it is, IMHO:

Before:  
After:


Thanks, Pinterest!

The second project was redecorating and repurposing the room in our house that is supposed to be a dining room. But come on, who really eats in their dining room? Maybe if we had guests more often, but no one wants to visit us because of our three big slobbery dogs. And besides that, the room became an oversized, 10×12 junk drawer. Catch-all. Disaster.

Before:


After:


  
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Evidently I’ve loved the colors red, green and gold so much it paid off, because I truly only bought paint and the fabric for the curtains. (Don’t you just love those great big happy checks? I’ve been eyeing that fabric for years!) the settee was a cast-off, the barn paintings were from a friend, and I had the little flowered chairs for over 15 years. There are two walls that will have BIG white bookshelves for our BIG stacks of books and that we’re still waiting to get, but I’m so happy we have a brand new-to-us, usable room.

The third project is the red bench in the pictures above. The room needed a footstool, but I couldn’t find any I liked. So I had a white wooden bench, a fabric remnant, and bought some foam from Hobby Lobby (Lord have mercy, people, don’t let me go into that store alone anymore!!!):


I put the labels of the foam and batting on here in case anyone wanted to know:


IMG_8369THIS product is brilliant. The person who invented it needs a Pulitzer or Nobel or Grammy or all three, because instead of having to pound in every. single. nail. you just pound in every 6th!   
Oh, and please note that a heavy duty staple gun is essential for this project and life in general.

So, that’s it, dear readers!

Put a link in the comments about your favorite project, and why!

*****

newsletterthanks
Dear Reader is a series I post on every week. If you’re a reader and have an idea or question you’d like me to write about, relating to books or writing or editing, etc., jot me a note and I’d be much obliged to take a stab at your request. Also, if you’d like to read all the Dear Reader posts, click here. If you like insider information into my books or writing life, be sure to sign up for my author newsletter by clicking here.

Just some paintings

 If you’re a follower of my past blogs, you’ll remember these. I just felt like posting them today. They were painted during some of the more intense times of my therapy. Enjoy and be blessed.

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