Vintage Step Stool

A vintage look step stool featuring two steps and a decorative footer.

Before Christmas, I drew up this plan and meant to get to it by the Holidays.  But reality happens, and I just don't get as much done as I could hope.  So a printout of this plan got burried on my steel magnet wall for a month or two . . . until yesterday.

I'm working on a photo shoot for Fresh Home magazine (so excited that they have asked me to do another project for their fabulous magazine!  You can go here to get signed up to get your free issue.) and the shot just needed . . . something.  Something a tad vintage, a little not perfect, and a lot useful.



I wanted this stool to look well-used and far from perfect, thus the heavy distressing and uneven jigsaw cuts and exposed screws.  To get this finish, I simply painted one coat of flat honeysuckle pink paint (Premium Paint by Behr in Flat) with a brush and let dry overnight.  This is very important.  If you begin distressing too soon, the paint will come off in gooey chunks, as opposed to a-little-wear-over-alot-of-years looking.  Then just started sanding with a power sander and medium grit sandpaper, concentrating on the areas that would get natural wear.  If you wanted to stain the exposed wood, you would need to apply a clear coat before sanding.  The clear coat protects the non distressed areas from accepting the stain, with the exposed wood area accepting the stain.  You can go the other route - stain before paint, but you would need to add primer because it's difficult to put paint over stain.

Shopping List: 

1 – 1×12 @ 32″ (Sides)
1 – 1×2 @ 50″
1 – 1×8 @ 32″ (Treads)
2″ screws or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
wood glue, wood filler and finishing supplies

Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
jigsaw
sander
level
countersink drill bit
Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above. I find this stool perfect to give Grace that extra boost to brush her own teeth, climb up on our Farmhouse Bed, or get in and out of the bath. You will be surprised at just how big this step stool ends up being.
Cut List: 

2 – 1×12 @ 15 1/2″ (Sides – cut out in step 1)
4 – 1×2 @ 12 1/2″ (Supports)
2 – 1×8 @ 15″ (Treads)

Step 1: 

Sides

Use the measurements above to cut from the 1x12s sides as shown above. Use a jigsaw. Once you have on side cut out, use it as a pattern for the other side. Take note of which side of the line you should cut on and take your time cutting. Sand edges so the two pieces are the same.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Bottom Supports

Attach the bottom supports with screws and glue. I used pocket hole screws, but you can also use 2″ wood screws and a good old countersink bit.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Top Supports

Now attach the top supports in the same way as the bottom supports.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Tops

Now add the tops. I simply screwed through the tops, but you could screw from the supports (with glue of course) to hide your screw holes.

Finish Used: 
Now for the fun part. I love painting and finishing smaller pieces. I encourage you to try a unlikely finish on your step stool. You can always add another coat of paint! Have a great weekend!
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Rhyan End Table

End tables featuring two drawers and a large open top shelf. Open base design. Square styling.

Shopping List: 

1/2 – sheet of 3/4″ hardwood plywood (or MDF for paint grade) measuring 48″ x 48″ or larger
4 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
2 – 1×6 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
Hardware
2 1/2″ screws, 1 1/4″ screws, or 2 5/8″ trim screws
wood glue, wood filler and finishing supplies
2 sets of 16″ Drawer Slides

Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
sander
level
countersink drill bit
Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above.
Cut List: 

2 – 3/4″ plywood or MDF @ 17″ x 17″ (Shelf and Top)
3 – 3/4″ plywood or MDF @ 17″ x 12 1/4″ (Sides)
2 – 3/4″ plywood or MDF @ 17″ x 14 1/2″ (Drawer Bottoms – note different than dimensions shown in plan)
4 – 2×2 @ 26″ (Legs)
12 – 2×2 @ 17″
5 – 1×2 @ 17″ (Drawer Slide Spacers and Drawer Trim)
4 – 1×6 @ 17″ (Drawer Sides)
2 – 1×6 @ 16″ (Drawer Backs – note different than shown in plans)
2 – 1×6 @ 16 3/4″ (Drawer Fronts)

Step 1: 

Cut Plywood

I was just at The Home Depot the other day, and spotted these gorgeous 4×4 posts (been lusting after Crate and Barrel’s Big Sur Table for the longest time). An associate gladly cut the 4×4 to size for me, and the cuts were just perfect and only took a minute. So if your local store has a good staff, perhaps bring this cutting diagram in. Always remember that the saw blade takes up approximately 1/4″ and you cannot just mark out all the cuts and go – your pieces will not be accurately cut. My advice is to cut two strips that are 17″ wide, and then cut the strips into the 17″, 12 1/4″ and 14 1/4″ pieces. And then from the scrap cut your final back piece.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Sides

Start building the sides by attaching 2x2s to the top and bottom. You will need to build 2 of these – well, actually, go ahead and build three of these.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Side Drawer Slides

Okay, now only build two of these from the three that you build in step 2. Make sure that there are no screws sticking out here these are the drawer slide spacers.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Legs

From the two pieces with the drawer slides, add legs as shown above.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Top Trim

Now the top trim.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Shelf/Top

Add the top and shelf as shown above.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Back and Shelf Trim

Okay, here’s where you add that third piece you built in step 2 – to the back. Also trim out the shelves and the bottom with 2x2s as shown above.

Step 8 Instructions: 

Drawer Trim

A little piece of trim for between the drawers . . .

Step 9 Instructions: 

Drawers

You will need to build two drawers. It’s basically 1x6s surrounding the bottom plywood. You should always build your drawers to fit the opening in the end table, not to shown dimensions. Check the clearance on your drawer slides (normally 1/2") and adjust the door measurements to fit your endtable.

Step 10 Instructions: 

Drawer Slides

The blue boards in the diagram above are for attaching the drawer slides to the drawers. This drawer is designed for a standard slide requiring 1/2″ clearance on each side of the drawer. Adjust so that there is an even fit around the drawers and the drawers slide smoot

Estimated Cost: 
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The Media Hutch

A beautiful media hutch to match the Cabin Collection. Features two large open shelves for controllers, two drawers for remotes, and a large shelf to customize the fit of the tv and store additional controllers, games, or books.

You don't hear me talk a whole lot about finishing because it's not the exact science of screw board A to board B of construction.  Probably what you hear more than anything is comments that go something like this . . . . "building was the easy part, finishing . . . that was the real work!"

The problem with finishing is that there really isn't a "wrong" way to finish something. If you have achieved the look that you are after, than you have succeeded.  (Of course, you should read instructions on your paint cans to make sure that finish is durable and safe.)

For those of you looking to achieve that edge rubbled finish, most recently seen on my Cabin Entertainment Center, I thought I would put together a few tips for you.  These are just tips, and you should always build to suit your needs first and foremost.

This is really the easiest of all finishes, in my opinion.  Even easier than a solid paint, which requires perfection.  And you gotta consider, if you live in a home with a preschooler, you might just want to accept that you furniture is going to get distressed anyway.  Might as well give em a head start.

Here is just flat paint.  Just needs something, don't you think?

 

 

The clear top coat also brings out the color, but in my opinion, the slight distressing warms the entire look up.  So here is exactly what we did:

  1. Sand the entire piece in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper.  Make sure you clean off any sanding residue with a vacuum and a damp cloth.
  2. Spray on one coat of flat paint with primer in it.  A roller would also work (try those cabinet ones with the sponge rollers) but avoid brushing because a brush will put a heavier coat of paint on, completely covering the wood grain.  I also avoid separate primer because then you got this white coat under the colored coat.
  3. Let the coat of primer dry completely.  If you start distressing too soon, chunks of paint will come off.
  4. When dry, with a piece of 120 grit sandpaper, lightly rub exposed edges that would receive natural wear.  Concentrate on corners, outside corners, tops, and around handles - areas likely to wear naturally.  Resist the temptation to use a power sander.  It's too easy to remove to over distress.
  5. Avoid over distressing - just a touch here and there is all you need.
  6. Vacuum off all sanding residue and wipe clean again with a damp cloth.
  7. If you painted a light color, you may wish to glaze the exposed wood with a glaze. You can buy glaze in the faux finishing aisle, but I like to use Minwax Express Color.  Note that the stain may also add color to the painted areas.  If you wish to keep your paint color from accepting the stain, you will need to apply a clear coat BEFORE you distress edges, glaze, and then apply your final clear coat.  I like to work my glaze in with a rag by hand, but others use brushes.  Rags tend to use less glaze, and glaze can be spendy.  Work the glaze into the exposed edges, wiping off and reapplying.  Your weather (hot dry climates will dry very fast) will determine just how long the glaze needs to be left on (and what color you are trying to achieve) so be patient and do lots of testing.
  8. For inside corners, you can apply glaze and wipe clean.  Glaze will remain in cracks and tight corners, creating adding dimension on your finish.
  9. My cabinet was not glazed because I love natural wood and dark gray.  We sprayed on a clear coat of water based poly to give the project a dustable and durable finish.

Now for the center hutch plans.

Just like the finish, you should build this around your needs.  Measure your TV and make sure it fits.

Shopping List: 

1 – 1×12 @ 8 feet long
2 – 1×12 @ 10 feet long
6 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
1/4″ plywood for back (to do both side hutches and the center, you can use the same piece of plywood)
2 – 1×8 @ 10″ long (scraps for drawer fronts)

1 1/4 inch screws
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws
wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
hammer
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
nailer
sander
countersink drill bit
Dimensions: 
You can adjust the top shelf height and also make the bottom hutch out of 1x4s or 1x6s for added height. The drawers shown above are for 1×8 drawers.
Cut List: 

2 – 1×12 @ 48″ (Sides)
4 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Trim for sides, cut it to match the width of your 1x12s)
4 – 2×2 @ 48″ (Legs)
4 – 2×2 @ 54 1/2″ (Front/Back Trim)
4 – 1×12 @ 54 1/2″ (Shelves/Top)
1 – 1×2 @ 54 1/2″ (Shelf Trim)
1 – 1/4″ plywood @ 48″ x 57 1/2″ (Back)
5 – 1×12 @ 7 1/2″ (Assuming your 1×8 drawer fronts are 7 1/4″ wide – adjust to fit your 1x8s)
2 – 1×8 @ 10″ (for 10 1/4″ wide drawers)

Step 1: 

Sides

As we did the side on the rest of the collection, start by trimming out the top and bottom. I didn’t have a nailer handy, so I used 1 1/4″ screws from the inside (flat side) countersunk and glue.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Legs

These would be the legs if we were making a bookshelf, so I’ll refer to them as legs. I used pocket hole screws to attach, but you can also use 2 1/2″ finish nails and glue or countersunk trim screws (I believe trim screws come in a 2 5/8″ length, which is perfect).

Step 3 Instructions: 

Taking Shape

You can do step 4 first, step 3 first – do what makes sense for you. Attach the 2x2s with either pocket hole screws (2 1/2″ long) or the trim screws from the outside.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Top

Attach the top to the sides and front/back trim with either pocket hole screws or the trim screws and glue.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Shelf

I built my shelf first with the intention of making the shelf adjustable, but ended up screwing the shelf in place as a fixed shelf. The back of the shelf has a 2×2, but the front has a 1×2. For an adjustable shelf, simply drill holes to match shelf pins in the desired location.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Back

I highly recommend a back on the top just because the piece is so large, and the back adds so much strength. If your shelf is fixed, attach to the shelf too with 1 1/4″ screws and glue.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Build the Controller Shelf

The controller shelf not only adds dimension to the look of the piece, not to mention increased useability, but it also strengthens up the base unit. Measure your 1x8s drawer fronts (you should have some leftover from the media base unit) and cut your 1×12 dividers to 1/8″ (tight fit) to 1/4″ (loose fit) longer than the width of the 1x8s. Also, measure the width of your controllers (as shown below) and make your two center cubbies a width fit for your controllers.

Step 8 Instructions: 

Adding the Controller Shelf

We screwed the controller shelf directly to the bottom of the hutch. There is a 1 1/2″ gap behind the controller shelf for wires. The drawer fronts are simply 1x8s on hinges – perfect spot to hide remotes and to place charging cords.

Step 9 Instructions: 

Assembly

When we assembled the entire unit, we screwed all of the pieces together and also anchored to the wall behind the hutch. Safety first!

Estimated Cost: 
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Skill Level: 
Style: 

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