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Friday, November 15, 2019

Finishing Trim and Reuse Recycle Repurpose Mantle to Coat Rack

Catching up here with the last few blogs about working on our she shed.

Now it's time to finish up the rough edges. We need trim!

I had found a gentleman on Facebook Marketplace who was selling a huge bundle of trim, already painted white for $20. There was window trim, door trim, and baseboard trim. Enough to complete almost the entire room.  We loaded it up on the trailer. All it needed was a fresh coat of white paint and it would be ready to go.

It's now too cold to paint outside. We had to spread out tarps under the saw horses in the garage to paint the trim. Since the big garage is pretty new, we didn't want any paint splatters on the cement.  This is going to be "Steve's Garage" soon, so I better be clean and neat out there as his guest when working on projects. LOL .

Steve began to measure, cut, and air nail up the pieces of trim. He had to go around every window and every doorway. This would neatly finish up the inside areas where the window sets, as well as the surface trim that's flat on the wall against the plaster. In the pics below you can see he also went around the doorway that leads into the kitchen.

In taking a hint from a This Old House program on PBS, he decided to frame the trim around each of the three front windows in a method different than normal. 

After careful measuring, he built three box units for each window and attached the trim as well. He pre-built them all out in the garage. Making perfect 45 degree cuts and joining them to make perfect 90 degree corners, he was able to assemble them without any gaps or mis-cuts. Each window trim now was a complete box unit to be brought in and set into place.

It worked very well to level them all off and shim them into place over the irregular jagged openings of the plastered walls. The windows of course are all level, even and plumb.  The newly created box trims are all level, even and plumb. By sandwiching them together this way, the irregular plaster edges are enclosed and completely hidden.

I put my lace curtains into place right away. They are on three little spring tension rods that just fit into the window frames. Do you see that they're cute little chickens and roosters? Appropriate for a farmhouse, don't you think?

After he nailed everything into place, he followed around all of the edges and seams with a thin bead of caulking to make a nice neat even finish. Then I gave everything a final coat of paint after puttying up the tiny nail holes from his air nailing gun.

He was only able to do the trim around one set of the french windows facing out to the east. The other set we will not trim out until the ceramic tile flooring is laid in front of those. To me, adding the trim is like adding a picture frame to this beautiful view, like art work.


Here's the second project that we worked on.
It's a
Reuse Repurpose Recycle

Back in February when we were first looking at this house, the realtor furnished us with some old photos of what it used to look like inside back in 2015. (They are shockingly horrible pics and shows how beat up this place was from the renters)  It was purchased in 2015 and fixed up and sold to us in 2019.

In these original photos from 2015, it showed two pieces of black mantle wood: a lower one that spanned the entire width of the fireplace and higher one that was shorter.

(oh my look at the poor beat up livingroom and diningroom back then) 

this is now: 

Evidently, somewhere along the line, somebody took down the upper mantle and set it in the garage. That is where we found it now in 2019.

Of course, you know me, I am all in to Reuse Repurpose Recycle. I got out my measuring tape.  I had an idea! My brain got to thinking...  aha!  I had that mantle laying in the garage.

There is a little corner area of the she shed that we are going to build into a triangular closet later on. I wanted some type of a board or shelf there to mount some coat hooks.  We needed a handy spot to hang coats up near the door.

I marked with a pencil where I needed the mantle cut, and Steve helped me add a little chunk of wood to fill in one empty gap. Now it could be mounted in an L-shape for a coat rack in the corner of the she shed!

As it shows in that other picture, the mantle was black. It took three coats of paint to cover it up.

Once the pieces were dry, it happened to be the same day we had the littlest grandchild Claire over to visit. She just turned three years old.

We got out the set of little plastic Grandchildren Tools. We have had this very same set since Jameson was a tiny tot. He is now 11. These are the tools to help Grandpa "fix things". These tools have been played with all the way down the line, from grandchild to grandchild, now the 7th grandchild. It doesn't matter if they are boys or girls, they all need to learn to help Grandpa "fix things".

She helped me measure and mark where 
each of the coat hooks needed to go.

She helped open up each little package of coat hooks and take out the screws.

She held the screws and handed them to me one at a time while patiently watching me pre-drill the pilot holes and screw them in.

She counted as we attached every hook and every screw. Miraculously, we did not lose a single piece and had nothing left over.  It was a good lesson in counting, measuring and learning to keep all of the pieces in order when working on a project.

Helping Hands

Steve mounted the coat hook up on the wall with sturdy lag screws. Tada! A job well done.

Now every time little Claire comes over, she points up to the coat rack and says: "I made that!  I made that! I help."

Even after we make this area into a triangular coat closet, we will keep the rack in place within the closet. Rather than messing with hangers and a hanging rod, I would rather just reach in and hang our most often used coats, right on a hook.

For the cost of $1.99 times 6 hooks, we have a pretty darn cute little coat rack---

---made with the help of a pretty darn cute little grandchild!


  1. She needs to make another row of hooks that she can reach to hang up her coat. Your room is really turning out nice.

    1. I was think that, but we may make some shoe and boot cubbies, with maybe a bench seat on top? Or turn it all into a trianglar closet. We already have the doors. We will see.

  2. I really really like your lovely bright and warm 'she shed'! (It deserves a more elegant name than 'shed', IMHO) The only thing that I would add is a railing on the open side of the stairs, with a low rail for seriously short people like your assistant.
    Does the tile have to wait for warm weather, or is that the next episode? "Stay tuned for the further adventures of....KarenInTheWoods!!!

    1. Yup... Railings are all done, on both sides of the staircase. Up to code. These blogs are "catching up" posts to the present. He is working on the tiles today. Just taking it step by step. Tiles came after the rest of the floor so we could layer up the crooked cement to match the rest of the level finished floor. Used sheets of sub flooring on top of mixing 3 big 50 lb bags of leveling compound. Bringing it up level to the grey plank floor. Will be pics soon in a future post.

  3. So much fun for littles while they are learning and the feeling of accomplishment helps greatly.
    I think you need to change the name, "she shed" just doesn't cover the full family usage of this space. "Parlor" or "salon" seem too formal, maybe "den" or how about "fiber den"....

    1. She loves learning. They all do!

      The space is technically a "workshop" by ordinance standards, not finished living space (taxable)


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