I had a great idea for a Memorial Day weekend project, but it took 6 days, not 3. Back in November, we added another puppy to our family. He’s been staying in my late Mastiff’s kennel which is 15 years old and not exactly visually appealing in the living room.
I decided it was time for an upgrade. If I made something nice, we could put it in our bedroom where there was more room and it would look less out of place. My design inspiration came from HERE.
I decided to make mine out of poplar (which I have a large supply of in the garage) instead of pine (which is too soft and scratches and dents too easily). Poplar also added to the weight, but this thing was going to be heavy no matter what. Cutting and ripping the boards took me a short morning. I drilled pocket holes to assemble everything together. The back and top panels are poplar boards screwed and glued together.
I had wanted to use steel rods instead of rebar, but the rebar was a decent amount cheaper. I should have went with the steel rods. Rebar is very inconsistently sized, not always straight and is various shapes of “round”. I wasted a bunch of time before finally buying the drill press I’ve needed for a while. Once I got the drill press setup, things went somewhat smoother. I eventually got one of the side panels completely assembled. Then the second side, then the front.
Because of the size and weight, I decided it would be best to do the final assembly and finishing on the back porch so it could easily be carried in through the bedroom door. I assembled the sides and front using glue and pocket screws.
I attached the plywood floor with pocket screws and attached 3 boards to the bottom for it to sit on and for extra support. The Puppy like it! (He is a Berger Picard.)
I decided to use multiple finishes and started by applying Minwax Classic Gray.
Once the gray was dry, I applied Minwax Dark Walnut.
Then I applied a discontinued Metallic Black Coffee glaze which I had previous used on the Powder Room vanity. I tried to apply and remove it randomly to allow the gray and walnut stains to show through. The board on the bottom in the picture below has the glaze, the top board does not.
The glaze has metallic flakes in it which makes it sparkle in the light.
Once that was dry, I applied 2 coats of poly to protect it. We carried it into the bedroom and attached the back panel with pocket screws. I used gate hardware for the door.
Before putting the top on, I installed peel and stick vinyl to the floor. This is the same vinyl I used on the Home Theater Platform. It looks like wood, but should hold up to claws and messes. I am going to caulk around the edges to prevent any messes seeping down between the real wood boards.
Once the top was added, it was finished.
Now for my disclaimer – The kennel ended up 6″ taller than I wanted. I transferred my numbers incorrectly at the beginning. Whoops. Overall, it’s approximately 52″ wide by 32″ deep by 42″ tall. The puppy has a long body so I wanted him to have room to stretch out and maybe be able to share it with his “Mini Me” someday.
Now, we have more room in the living room and it looks less cluttered. Our bedroom only has the bed and 2 nightstands, so we had room for this kennel in there and it doesn’t stick out like the old wire crate would have. I’m really happy with how it turned out.
In previous posts, I had documented how we had repainted almost the entire house. Downstairs, the only rooms that we hadn’t painted were the Master Bathroom and Laundry Room. I had contemplated doing some changes to the Master Bathroom which is why nothing had been changed in there. The laundry room was low priority (and I dreaded the thought of trying to paint around everything in a fairly small space). A couple months ago, we went ahead and repainted both rooms. As always, we wish we had done it sooner.
The Master Bathroom still had the original ivory ceiling and trim and khaki walls. Everything coordinated well together, but it didn’t coordinate well with the new Master Bedroom and Master Closet color schemes.
First, we painted the ceiling and trim Behr Silky White. Just like the rest of the house. Then we moved on to painting the walls Behr Sculptor Clay which is very similar to Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. Below is an “in progress” pic where you can see the big difference between the old wall color and the new. So much brighter!
It is now a nice, neutral color that still goes well with the existing finishes. And it now blends well with the surrounding rooms.
We also replaced the chandelier over the bathtub with a small ceiling fan. It may not be the most popular design choice, but, again, it’s one of those things we wish we had done along time ago. It makes a significant difference on hot summer days when the room is filled with shower steam and the hair dryer blowing. (Info about the window design HERE.)
I noticed that I never posted pictures of our completed Master Bedroom, so here’s a quick post. When we moved in, the walls were the same khaki as most of the rest of the house. The ceiling was a few shades darker and the trim was ivory. And there was carpet. The only carpet downstairs. Not ideal for us with 2 dogs.
I previously posted about my choices for wall color and the new flooring. The walls are Behr Silver Setting – a pale silvery blue. The ceiling and trim are Behr Silky White with the center of the trey ceiling being a high gloss finish. It made the room seem so much bigger. The floors are a butcher block oak. The finish is darker than the rest of the house, but being the same species, they could all be refinished to match someday.
Stay tune for an update on the Master Bathroom.
I have projects I should post about, but today I have a more important post to share. If anyone is in Colorado, near Durango, please be on the lookout for this lost dog.
She is a female, brown brindle, long haired dog with large upright ears. Due to recent medical issues, she is very thin. Her name is Bisous (Beezu). There is a $300 reward.
If you have any information, please comment on this post below or use the Contact form and I will get back to you right away.
No, I didn’t drop off the face of the earth! I am still here – just have been very busy the past few months. I’ve been keeping an eye on this blog, but haven’t had time to keep up with posting. I’ve been working on a lot of projects and hope to post about some of them soon.
This week I worked on a project I had been contemplating since we moved into the house. The back porch is tiled, but the patio was just plain concrete. Since it is surrounded by brick, it always stays dirty. Leaves, mulch, dirt and everything else collects in there and it’s always dirty.
We had acid stained the concrete slab in our first house kitchen and I had been wanting to do that to the patio here. I had found a local supplier for the acid stain so we wouldn’t have to pay the high shipping costs like we did with our first house. I picked up 4 gallons of Kodiak (a dark gray-brown) stain, 2 gallons of Copper (a golden brown) stain and two 5 gallon buckets of sealer.
Tuesday afternoon, I began pressure washing the patio to get it clean down to the bare concrete. The acid reacts with the minerals in the concrete which causes it to change color. It’s not just a topical stain that can wear off – it actually physically changes the color of the concrete. So, anything left on the concrete can interfere with the ability of the acid to react.
It took me about 3.5 hours to finish.
Since the concrete was now nice and clean, I decided I better apply the stain the next day instead of waiting for the weekend when David was off. I used two, all plastic, garden sprayers – one for each stain color. I contemplated diluting the stain to keep it lighter, but decided just to leave it on the minimum amount of time instead. (Turns out, I probably should have diluted it too.) I sprayed the copper stain sparingly in random areas, then filled the rest in with the Kodiak color. My dad helped by holding cardboard against the brick, but the cardboard got saturated and some still got on the brick. In hindsight, I probably should have bought a piece of plexiglass to use instead. Both colors went on yellow and this is how it looked when I was done . . .
It was RED!!!! Not at all complimentary to our brick. I would have freaked out except there wasn’t anything I could do about it at that point.
For some reason, the area in front of the garage door took the stain differently from the rest of the concrete. I let the acid react for 4 hours, then I began neutralizing it with baking soda and water. That made it start fizzing, “smoking” and turn this beautiful yellow color.
I rinsed the patio 4 more times to make sure the concrete was clean. At least it doesn’t look as red now . . .
This area still looks different, but once the furniture is back out it shouldn’t be as noticeable.
The next evening, I began applying the sealer. The hard part was keeping debris off the sections I was working on. I used the leaf blower and compressor to blow each section off, but dirt still blew back on it. It turned out to not be as tacky as I expected, so it wasn’t a big deal. Most leaves and stuff could be brushed off once the sealer was dry.
We applied the second coat of sealer the following night. Since it is high gloss, there was concern about it being slippery, but our concrete is rough enough that it’s not really an issue. I wouldn’t recommend running across it when it’s wet, but it’s fine otherwise.
It rained sooner than we expected, but the sealer seems to be working well.
It is much darker than I would have liked, but the color turned out ok. I was worried about it being hot, but it’s not really any worse than it was gray. It looks a lot better than the plain gray and it will hide the dirt much better.
We waited about 48 hours before we put the furniture back. The sealer should last about 3 years before it needs reapplied.