DIY / Tutorials Remodeling

Faux Wood Garage Door Tutorial

It has long since been my husband’s and my desire to give the exterior of our home an overdue makeover.  When we originally purchased our house we didn’t have a garage, but a carport with lattice as a wall on the one side.  A few years ago we walled in the garage and added a builder grade garage door with carriage windows. That suited us just fine and matched our scheme, but once we got to work adding a new color and stone veneer, that BIG white door just didn’t suit the rustic feel we were after.  I wanted a faux wood garage door, and I decided to DIM (Do It Myself). Here it is in its prep mode.

DIY Faux Wood Garage Door Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.comI wanted some pizzazz, some curb appeal, some I-don’t-look-like-I-came-from-the-big-tool-store-type attention.  Mind you this was a vast improvement over no garage door which showcased our auto loveliness.

Since it is the norm for me to add texture to the pieces I paint with glazing for my shop, one day I thought to myself, “Why not the garage door?” So off I went to create a faux wood garage door.

Luckily our custom garage door we chose a few years ago already had a faux wood grain inlaid to the panels.  So with some paint, I went to work and made our garage door look like this…

DIY Faux Wood Garage Door Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces

Want to give this faux wood garage door a try?  I’ll show you how.

DIY / Tutorials Home Decor Project Gallery Remodeling Repurposed

Autumn Inspiration & DIY Floating Mantel

It’s finally September and autumn is just around the corner! Yippee! Do you love fall like I do? I’ve got it so bad that I switch the Christmas song to this season, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year….”

Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

The colors, harvest time, fall festivals, knowing things are slowing down all make it seem so comforting. My husband tells me that it’s sort of weird I like it because everything is dying. Not so!  Everything is going to sleep and taking a rest, including me!! Tsk.

Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

 About a year ago, I decided to finally get a mantel put on our fireplace and I knew just what I wanted. A barn beam mantel.  Not a shiny, glamorous looking mantle, but a rustic, roughed up, story-telling mantel. I knew I could find one somewhere in the farm country I live in, so I put a wanted out on Freecycle (willing to pay), Craigslist, etc., and bingo! Freecycle came through and guy had torn down a barn and had all sorts of goodies for me to peruse.

At $4 a foot, this was a steal because no one wants old-looking barn beams, except rare finds like me. ahem. We took the whole family and had a blast because rarely do we get to be out on farm with all its sights, sounds, and animals. It didn’t take long for me to find the perfect beam with perfect imperfections.

A floating mantel was the option we did, which basically means that it doesn’t attach to “legs”, but looks as if it is floating on the wall. Want to do one yourself?  You don’t have to use a barn beam, but anything you want really. It’s pretty simple, but there are a few necessary steps to take to make it safe and secure.

Here’s what you’ll need:

*this post does contain affiliate links so you can find the products I love!

First, check the codes in your area for installing a mantel. We have a raised hearth, with a fireplace insert, and added 13″ from the top of the insert, putting the top of our mantel at 49″ above the hearth. Once you’ve figured out your height, you will need to find the studs in the wall with a stud finder or other method.

Next, grab a tape measure and mark the spots across the wall, making sure you’ll be landing in a stud at the correct height. Double-check by using a level and chalk line marker to give you a visible guide. Since we are drilling into our bricks, we found a mortar line and used it as a guide.

You will need to know the length of your mantel to figure how many bolts you will need. When you’ve got your measurement you’ll want to use this formula:

  • Find center – mark it with chalk.  Starting from center, measure out 12″ each direction and mark. We used 5 bolts for our 7’4″ beam at 12″ apart, leaving large space at ends because of the openings in our beam.  You could go to the edge.
Once you’ve got your marks, you will need to drill the holes for the sleeves with the hammer drill and 3/4″ bit. Mark your bit with tape at 3″ to make sure you get the accurate depth. Tap the sleeves in with a small sledge until flush with the wall.
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Using the ratchet and appropriate socket, anchor down the lag bolts, leaving 3″ sticking out. Then take your hacksaw or angle grinder and cut the heads off the bolts. This will allow you to slide the mantel onto the bolts easily.
Grab your chalk and rub it on the end of the bolts in the wall. You could measure and mark your mantel on the backside for the bolts, but that can be a little tricky, so we decided to just lift the mantel up to the chalked bolts and press it into them to get the mirror image on the mantel. That way we would know where to drill. Just be precise as can be when pressing the mantel onto the bolts.
Now, drill the mantel, using the 1/2″ drill bit, on the chalk marks you just made on the mantel. Do a dry fit to see if your holes line up. We had to tweak ours just a bit, but for the most part we got it. Our dry run was so hard to remove that we felt it wasn’t necessary to use an epoxy. However, there is any epoxy that is made specifically for wood to metal, just go to your local hardware store and ask.
Mount the mantel and let cure (if using epoxy) and then break out the decorations!!
Ta da!! My hubby did most of the work because this was my Mother’s Day present. I am very pleased to have it!
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
My autumn mantel is not yet complete because the local gourds and goods have yet to be harvested, but…lookin’ good so far don’t you think? Become a follower to see updates!
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Don’t you just love the hand-hewn beam with the hand-hewn crossbeam notches? Can you see the hand-drilled holes in the notches? I am in awe of the craftsmanship.
How about you…what do you do to celebrate autumn?
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
If you loved this DIY tutorial, become a follower, or sign up to get email feeds right to your inbox – just click on the button in the sidebar.
Pin and share!
Want to add a floating mantel, but don't know how? It's pretty simple and we've got the DIY for you! by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
More DIY goodness for you:
DIY Barn Wood Shutters from Old Pallets by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesDIY Faux Farmhouse Barn Beam Ceiling by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
DIY / Tutorials Remodeling Repurposed

Closet Renovation Using Reclaimed Barn Wood

Back in late winter, it was finally time to give my much used and much abused family mud room (walk-in-closet) a closet renovation like its never seen before.  We live in a 1952 ranch home that has some great amenities in it, and this closet is one of them.  It totally suits us because with 6 kids (8 people total) one can quickly accumulate a little bit.  Just take how many coats, shoes, hats, gloves you own and multiply that times eight (don’t forget we live in Ohio which requires 4 seasons worth of apparel)…you get the idea.


So here it is.  Let me give you a tour…

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces…perfectly vintage river stone linoleum, funky 80’s wood paneling, bare bulb fixture in main section, as well as a pull-string bare bulb fixture above hat shelf (you have to reach up to turn that one on if you are so inclined), 12″ ceiling tile in main ceiling that doesn’t match tile in hat shelf ceiling, no floor trim, outdated closet within closet. I could go on, but I think you’re getting the picture.  Yes, I even added my watermark to actually claim this as mine.

I should have taken a picture of the before I emptied out the tractor trailer truckload amount stuff we had stored in here.  It needed some love, eh?

First, I tore down all the tile along with all the extra things little friends that live in ceilings leave behind. Let’s just say I wore a mask, gloves, and a bandanna on my head.  yick.  All the while, trying to save the trim and anything else that could be reused.

Next for this closet renovation, I decided to wire up the lights so that they both would turn on when you flipped the switch.  In order to do that I had to drill through the beam (shown below) to be able to connect them.  Some genius guy wired the two fixtures separately to our breaker box, which meant one had a pull string. No fun.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesThis was no easy task because the drill bit I had was not long enough to reach all the way through, so I started on one side and then tried to match the hole on the other to connect the two.  I wanted to hide the wiring up above the trim, so I had to drill right against the ceiling. A typical drill doesn’t fit up there very well.

Once I had the hole, I cut the hat shelf light fixture wire and fed it through, then spliced it with our new main ceiling fixture.  Note: before doing any electrical work you need to shut off the breaker for that room!!  ‘In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t learn the hard way. tsk.

For the ceiling, I used some wood luan panels (thin, smooth ply) we had in our stash that my husband grabbed from his workplace trash pile.  Can you believe they were the exact width of our ceiling…perfect!!  Replaced the trim, but didn’t hang the fixtures until the painting was done.

Then, it was time to put in the built-in shelves to that empty far-right pocket.  Previously, I just stacked big storage tubs there, but this time I wanted shelves for my husband and I to put our shoes/boots.

While typing this, my heart is racing because I did the stupidest thing I have ever done in my entire life.  I have been using our table saw for over 12 years, as well as my husband. I have always given him a hard time about keeping the guard on.  Well…this time I didn’t keep it on. It’s by God’s grace that I did not lose two of my finger tips on my left hand.  Sorry if you’re squeamish, but just warning you they put those the guard there for a reason.

I did severely cut my fingers while catching a piece that flew up off the table – DUH!!!!  Thank the Lord we had just put on a new, clean blade.  I’ve never been so mad at myself or had the pain similar to birthing a child outside of birthing children.  Thank you to the healing power of our bodies, I am am able to type to you now.  This closet will forever remind me of my stupidity, and thankfully I’ve only suffered nerve damage in my tips.

If you know me, I am as stubborn as a mule and continued with my painful fingers to finish that closet because I wanted it done… and not in 3-months-from-now done. NOW.  Just picture me managing a drill with one hand and my other hand wrapped up.  I’m also so stubborn as to not go and get stitches, which I know I should have had done.  ahem.

Here’s the photo I sent to my mother in an email telling her to only open it if she could stand to look…

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesShe could have strangled me over the internet once she opened the picture when she got the nerve after a days time.  Ha!

Sorry there are not more pictures of work-in-progress. My injured hand was not going to let me mess with photos.  I did manage to snap a picture of my cute little helper though.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

On to the painting… Yes, you can paint paneling, just make sure to wipe it down and prime with quality primer.  If it’s been stained, you’ll need to use a stain-blocking primer.  Since my closet was so dark, I wanted it white.  I knew it would show me all the dirt that was there, but that’s fine by me…the better I can tell when to clean! And because the rest of the adjoining room was just painted white earlier that previous summer.

We decided to go over top of the linoleum with your basic peel & stick vinyl tile since it was in even and pulling it up would cause pits in the sub floor.  (This is where I had to step out and let hubby take over) We really had hoped to put down ceramic tile, but budget didn’t allow.  We figured we could yank the tile up at a later point.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesOnce the tile was down, we added the baseboard.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesYou have no idea how excited I was to say goodbye to that river rock linoleum.  When you have 6 kids within two years of each other, there just isn’t time for this type of work, especially when you are a DIYer.

Remember the mismatched accordion type hooks on the wall?  Those had to go.  I needed more hooks and I wanted a rustic look, so I went back to my stash of barn siding that I used from my valances in the adjoining room and my garden.

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesCan I just say this closet renovation was the best thing I have added to my house yet.  Each kid has four double hooks to themselves, with a few leftover for bags and such. BONUS: I even got more of my favorite barn wood in my home. cha-ching!

DIY Walk-In Closet Makeover with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesAaahhhh…tidy at last and bright.  At the flip of a switch I now get 2 lights on at the same time….genius.

I hope you are inspired to give you space a refreshed feel, even on a budget. You can do it! Do pin this closet renovation to inspire others too.

DIY Walk-In Closet Renovation with Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

See the latest update to our space HERE and how we removed the dreaded BOOB LIGHT. ugh.
To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More DIY projects like this closet renovation:

DIY Farmhouse Style Bathroom Remodel by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces DIY Farmhouse Bedroom Remodel by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
DIY / Tutorials Remodeling Repurposed

DIY: Barn Wood & Bedskirt Valance

As promised in my earlier post for DIY: Barn Wood Shutters for Pallets, I would like to show you how I made my barn wood valance.  It’s really very simple, just a few items needed, but this is a lengthy post to give you all the information you need, so bear with me!

Back winter of 2011, we decided that since we were not able to sell our home and have our country living we so long for, that we would be putting our garden out in our front yard.  We live on a quarter-acre lot and have plenty of room, but our back yard is completely shaded.
We knew we would be going against grain to put one out front, but I am never one to bat an eyelash at being different.  I had in my mind raised beds and knew it had to be made out of a wood that would not leach chemicals into my plants.  We couldn’t swing the cost of redwood, and knew barn wood abounds in our area.  So I decided to post a wanted on Freecycle for barn wood.

God is so good!  We didn’t just get some barn wood, but our pick of a couple of buildings on an old farmstead.  Yes!

The only catch was we had to remove it ourselves… in mid February in Ohio.  Let’s just say my husband and son deserve an award for being ankle deep in snow flying sideways removing barn siding with only a hammer, crowbar, and a screw driver – there was no electric hookup!  Can you believe I had a camera and forgot to take pictures!!  Grrrr!

See the barn wood garden beds?

Back to the valance.  After said garden was built, we had plenty of leftover barn wood to spare and I wanted something to dress up our windows – the ones I knew I would be making shutters for. Now I realize not everyone has access to a homestead barn or even wants to attempt to tear one down. You could use driftwood, fence rails, or even new wood made old.  Check craigslist free section for wood too.

Materials list:

  • length of barn wood to fit your window
  • tape measure
  • chalk
  • hammer
  • hard cut masonry nails, rusted (rusting recipe below)
  • drill & bits
  • screws to mount valance to wall
  • bedskirt or other desired fabric
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • pins
  • desired fabric
Rusting recipe:
  • 1 pint hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  1. In a large plastic bowl, combine all of the ingredients with a plastic spoon.
  2. Place your nails ( or other goodies you want to rust) in the solution. This will foam and bubble over time, so I suggest placing it outside and on cardboard or newspaper. Leave overnight.
  3. Drain off solution. DO NOT RINSE.
  4. With gloves on, place your objects on cardboard or newspaper to dry.

Now onto the valance. First cut the barn wood to the length you need.  You’ll need to take the length of the wood and figure the spacing between the nails you desire.  Mine were 6″ apart.  To figure the layout of the nails, measure the width and find center – write it down.  Your nails will be positioned 1″ in from both ends, so measure your board and subtract 2″ from the total.  Take that subtracted total and divide it up by 6 (or desired nail width).  It make not come up equal, so then you just get close to 6″ (less or more), and then you will be using that number to space your nails 1″ in from either end.

When you get your spacing, mark the board with a piece of chalk.  You will need to drill pilot holes with a bit slightly smaller than the middle size of the nail.  Go ahead and drill through because you can adjust the depth when you hammer them in.
Now for the fabric part. I wanted a simple, rustic, clean window treatment to soften the room, and although I love to crochet, I did not have time to whip up 3 valances.  So I decided to find a king-size bedskirt with crocheted edge since they have 3 sides that would fit my windows.  I rarely buy anything new, so decided to find a used bedskirt, and I found a gorgeous Cath Kidston bedskirt on ebay for very little money.

Some simple sewing skills are necessary to complete the valance.  First, cut off the bedskirt sides to the desired hanging length (mine is 9″, with actual length 8″ + 1″ for top hemmed edge). Then, shorten them to the width of you barn wood piece, but also add about an extra 1.5″ per nail width-wise so that it would have a ruffle effect once hung.

Fold side edge of valance in a half inch, press.  Fold again on itself another half inch, and press to get the finished edge.  Now, fold the top edge of valance half inch down and press with iron. Fold again another half inch and press again.

Stitch down all folded edges 1/8″ from edge starting at the bottom of one side, go up across top folded edge, and the down the other side, ending at the bottom side edge bottom.

With the leftover fabric, I cut 2″ wide strips 13″ long (I had 32 nails to hang on and each needed 2 ties = 64 ties).  Like making bias tape, fold top edge down and press.  Then, fold edges inward to meet in the middle.  Last, fold in on each other again and press.  Do a simple stitch 1/8″ in, down the folded edge.  In the next step, you take 2 of your ties you already made and lay them on top of each other.  Sew them down to the top folded edge, beginning 1″ in from the side edge and about a half inch down from the top folded edge.  Space them the width of the nails plus the extra you added for the ruffle. (my nails were 6″ apart, so my ties were sewn 7.5″ apart)
When you’ve completed attaching the ties all you need to do is mount the barn wood to the wall with your screws, and then hang the valance.  Step back and enjoy how you’ve repurposed barn wood and a bedskirt!
 Have any questions? Just send me an email and I’ll be happ to help.Become a follower to get more DIY tips in the future!
More reclaimed wood projects:
Build a DIY "Thankful" sign perfect for the holiday season out of new or reclaimed wood by Prodigal Pieces for Best Laminate #prodigalpiecesBuild Mud Bar Play Station out of Reclaimed Wood by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces