Wednesday, October 23, 2013

$111 mudwall step by step

 My $111 mudwall has detailed pictures of the after here, but I wanted to show the steps to get there.

 I hadn't used a lot of mdf before this project, but I fell in love with it for a couple of reasons.  After sanding, painting, sanding bit more, and then final painting, it gave a really smooth surface.  Another thing I love is that I found pre-primed 1 bys at the local store, and the two edges were already routed with a round over bit saving me two steps.  Third is that it is really inexpensive which you can't beat!

I started by filling holes from the old coat hook panel, and then located the studs.  Using screws made for mdf  (important as it doesn't hold screws the way wood does,) I attached my top row first ensuring it was level.  I then attached the left vertical piece butting it against the horizontal strip being very careful to make sure the vertical piece was plumb.  These two strips are the basis for everything else, so I spent some time making sure they were exact.

I then added the other horizontal strips followed by the right vertical strip.  Each of these was a 1 x 2 cut to length but any width would work.

Next came another 1x2 which I placed on its side to make a ledge.  I used a nail gun along the back.  I was adding additional pieces on top of the ledge back, so the weight of those would further secure or sandwich the ledge.  Otherwise, I also would have used glue.  And I wish I could say why that extra piece of mdf is there, but I usually can't even remember what what day it is so that will remain a mystery. 

I then cut my vertical pieces that will hold the chalkboard, galvanized steel and calendar area in place.  I used a rabbet bit on my router to cut one edge on 2 of the pieces and both edges on 2 more pieces.  The center strip is stacked so there are actually 4 total.

I cut my chalkboard to size after taping the cutline to prevent excessive chipping of the surface.  I used my Dremel multi-tool which worked great.  (Poor thing died not too much later.)

To secure the board, I first screwed a strip with only one rabbeted  edge on the left, slid the board into the edge, and then screwed a double routed edge strip tightly against it.  The board is supported by the ledge, so it is an easy one person job.

I repeated that process with the galvanized steel.  I was going to put a whiteboard on the right hand section, but since I already had a chalkboard and the steel is both magnetic and a dry erase, I saved money by leaving it blank.   I attached the right hand section last.

A 1 x 3 mdf board and a piece of cove molding finishes off the top ledge.  Since I used a stop block to cut the vertical pieces, it fits snug and level on top.

The lovely thing about painting is that any imperfections can be filled away with the three products below.  Quick tip about caulking the edges:  fill a container with ice water, dip your finger in, and then use it to wipe the caulk away.  It won't stick to your finger and any extra dissolved in the ice bath.  Yay!  Also, caulk isn't sandable, so don't use it to fill holes.

Here it it getting painted.

I painted these bins from TJs the same color and installed them last.

I purchased the white hooks for shoes online from Amazon (loooove Prime) and I found the nickel ones at Home Depot.  I was lucky enough to find packages of these all the way at the back of the shelf.  They were from a vendor that they no longer used and the price check came up less than half what the individual hooks would cost.  The little cup hooks have been in my picture hanging supplies forever mainly because I don't hang cups. 

And here is the before and after again:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mudroom or mud hall or mud wall...

Do you dream of a mudroom?  I do.  I would love a full mudroom with baskets, and benches, and lockers, and shelves, and all the amazing ideas I see online.  The thought of not having shoes and stuff piled all around the house is dreamy.

I sometimes think that all I do online is drool over other people's mudrooms.   But unfortunately,  I don't have a room, hallway or wall any of the great options could fit in. All that I have is a short hallway that has three doors.  Here is the layout:

The opening on the lower wall is the doorway that leads to the family room and kitchen.  The space between the garage door and the laundry door was originally the space I had though of for some type of mini thin cabinet, but that didn't work.  First, the cabinet would have to be very thin, and it would need some kind of sliding door to keep the clutter hidden.  (You can see this wall from the family room and kitchen.)  I even built a carcass for it and decided that it protruded too much in the hall and made walking too tight.  (That became my son's bookcase, but that is another post.)

The only thing left was the opposite wall where we had some hooks already.  It looked awful and didn't store shoes, purses, etc.  Here are some before pictures:

Shoes piled up at the door, coats piled on each other and on bookbags, and random things taped everywhere by my son.  He loves tape.

The words functional or attractive would never be used to describe this hall.  I would see this mess all day long going from my bedroom, the garage or the family room plus every time I did laundry.  And laundry is depressing enough on its own.

I really wanted a solution, so armed with this 3 bin chalkboard thingy I found this at TJs (of course!) for 29.99...

and also with 2 years of reading every single board and batten blog post out there, I thought I could come up with something that would work.  My very own mudroom in a hall on a wall (very Seussy so it has to be good) or a "mudwall."

After several iterations, here is my plan from Sketchup:

I wanted to see if I could make this for around $100 excluding paint, nails and glue that I already had.  Also, I had never used MDF but wanted to try it for this mainly because I found pre-primed, pre-routered white MDF boards in the 2 1/2 inch width I wanted.  I also changed the size of the upper sections because I found a 2' x 4' metal sheet at HD, and I didn't want to cut a custom size.  This made the other sections larger which really worked better for a standard calendar.  (If you look closely, I bought the wrong year calendar - 2014 - ha!)  Being as lazy  efficient as I am, I try to incorporate time savers whenever I can.

And here is the finished project! 


I used white hooks for the shoes.  They blend in and make it not so hook crazy.

And Jake is thrilled because he has one more place to hide snakes to scare me...

Just a reminder of the before and after

I love this wall!  I am sooo excited with how it turned out!  My Mudwall (it deserves caps) turned out better than I hoped.  Here are some of the details that make it work for us:

- Total cost for this awesome organization was $111.

- The top shelf is just under 7 feet so my 6' 4" husband won't bang his head.

- There are tiny cup hooks painted white above the bins to hold keys so they aren't scattered on the kitchen counters.

- There are 16 white robe hooks on the bottom evenly spaced to hang shoes on.  They are just high enough to hold our shoes off the ground, and the white hooks blend in with the wall when not in use.  I didn't want it to be hook overload.

- In the summer, the Mudwall can hold beach towels and pool toys right as we come in from the garage.  During the school year, it is perfect for jackets, backpacks and organizing homework/school.

- Jake can finally reach all of the hooks unlike the old rack.

- All of our information is finally in one place.  Yay!

- The hooks don't stick out enough to catch anyone as they walk around the corner.

I will post progress picture very soon.   So we love it - what do you think??