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May 01, 2015

Remake Adventure: The Simple Life Decor

Our little remake adventure is getting a bit more interesting this summer.... 

Over the years, we have created functional pieces of furniture solely to fit our needs/taste. The Mr. has become pretty talented with his reclaimed wood creations, in my opinion, and we have amassed quite the little personal collection of beloved custom-made furniture. Recently, a friend & neighbor of ours, who happens to have a fab coastal/cottage home goods store The Simple Life Decor approached us to make a few things to place for sale in her new store front for the summer. What? Really? 

So we assessed our supplies and hubby brainstormed up a little entry way table with 2 drawers. The table turned out great. Check out the post on the entry table construction, per usually, no plans - just flying by the seat of our pants. 
Photo: The Simple Life Decor
It's official, the first Mystic Remake creation has been delivered to The Simple Life Decor storefront in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin - just in time for the summer travel season in Door County. Wendy posted a few pics of the table in her store recently....we're proud & nervous like it's one of our children.  Fingers crossed it sells and others love hubbies' creations as much as I do!  
Photo: The Simple Life Decor

Congrats Wendy on the new store opening May 1st & thanks for the opportunity!

April 24, 2015

Reclaimed Entry Table Madness

Entry Table Madness I tell you.  This project was the brain child of my hubby, we were approached to make something to sell at a friend's store in Door County.  I must say, we were kind of excited to come up with a reclaim wood piece to make for the store, yet mildly nervous at building something for others, not just our home. In our true fashion, we set forth with no plan just a sketch. Famous last words: "We'll figure it out!"

Project started by figuring out the top dimensions, then completed the leg structure and drawers.

Much of the build went on with out a hitch.  It was Mr.'s first adventure in drawer construction and using not so straight, warped wood makes square constructing a treat to say the least.

Now for my PSA on thinning stain, and being aware of what you are using to thin said stain.  Never under any circumstances just wing it and grab whatever thinner chemical is on the shelf in the garage and proceed to stain in your close-confined basement. Now nothing horrible happened, but lucky is an understatement.  I have always just used what we had or grabbed something from the stash we have collected and finished it in a well-ventilated outside area.  This time around it was 9pm and 20˚ outside...that night I believed it was too cold and too late to bring this outside in the garage where I normally finish things. To make matters worse I was out of my normal go to low-order mineral spirits,  I grabbed the naphtha I had, thinned the stain to about a 10:1 ratio and stained away next to the furnace & gas hot water heater.  Approximately 12:30am, probably high on fumes, I start to freak out because the house smells of stain/thinner and then I chose to read the label. 'Cause now is the time to finally read it?! 

I have used naphtha outdoors, prior, knew it was great for drying quickly, what I didn't know is it is highly flammable. The fumes apparently can spontaneously combust with an ignition source as well as the liquid itself. Per label it should never be used indoors in confined spaces i.e. basements or bathrooms. Now I find out, I think I only slept about 2-3 hours that night after. For the next few hours I aired out the house and dragged everything that naphtha had touched outside, while I came down from my high!
Tinted Medium Maple Stain with Water-Based Matte Finish
In the end the finish turned out beautiful, I learned a lot about household chemicals and why I should not be lazy!!!

April 16, 2015

Cabin Fever Coat Rack

Wow it's been one crazy hectic winter for us and finally it appears Spring is on the horizon. Hooray with a capital H! While we burrowed in for the last of winter the Mr. decided to work on few more pallet projects to beat cabin fever. 

Out of the board cut-offs that remained from a few previous pallet wood projects, he was able to put together this little beauty of a Coat Rack/Hall Tree with a shelf.  Before it was even complete, it was quickly claimed by one of our friends to place in their entry way.....Trash to Treasure!

Overall it measures about 40 inches long, 16 inches high and has a 5 inch wide shelf along the top for display/storage. 

I thinned a medium color wood stain with some naphtha to add a little color contrast to the grain and texture.  An added benefit to stain tinting is the ability to even out the sometimes huge variance in color of the wood, because not all pallet wood is the same tone, age or species for that matter.  Finally, finished with a few coats of satin poly - extremely lightly sanding between coats.

In the end it was a great way to use up the cut ends of projects! 

It's been awhile since we posted some of our projects, forever amazed at how quickly life get's crazy & time passes. We'll be posting more of our winter projects soon.

Think Spring! ~K

November 07, 2014

Shoe Storage Solutions on Hometalk

A while back I began clipping great home project ideas on Hometalk, a one-stop shop for pinning all things home and garden.  You can not only see awesome project inspirations but find full how-to's, ask questions to the Hometalk community, and share your own DIY projects, what's not to love!  

I recently posted our Pallet Wood Shoe Storage Bench project.... to my surprise I was kindly invited to put together a Shoe Storage Ideas board of my favorite posts and you can see it by clicking on the image below.  Don't forget to follow Mystic Remake on Hometalk while you're there! 

November 03, 2014

Upcycled Bathroom Vanity

Our bathroom dresser journey started when we had purchased a farm-style rectangular vessel sink on sale and then built the bathroom wall to fit the large sink.  The problem, a year later we still had not found a vanity that would work to fit the non-standard width wall and said sink.  As our quest progressed to find a suitable cabinet, we decided to look for a furniture piece that might work versus having a custom piece of cabinetry made. 

Hunting high and low for a furniture piece at every thrift store and rummage sale we came across.  We were starting to lose hope.  Our search ended after a full morning of rummaging when my faithful thrifting friend Joy & I screeched her car to a halt at the sight of a garage full of old furniture.... a dresser not the prettiest of things when we found her, but she was the right width & depth = SOLD!! 

My hubby on the other hand was a skeptic when I texted him this picture of it from the sale. He was however sold on the price of $2 and later the magic of what wood stripper can do.

Here is our covered in crayon, scratched and watermarked find.  
And after some coats of Furniture Refinisher (wood stripper) we had removed 95% of the old beaten finish and it was a great color that seemed to match our maple trim perfectly. At that point we stopped stripping the finish and prepped it for poly to seal it for use as a exposed to water bath vanity.  

To seal it we lightly sanded to even the finish and then put on 5 coats of Soft-Touch, Water-Based Matte Polyurethane.  We decided on water-based poly due to the fact that it remains crystal clear and does not yellow tint the finish - keeping it exactly the color it was before poly.

The top of the dresser we removed and flipped it over to give it a flat edge finish, not the rounded bevel the dresser originally had. It also was coated in about 8 layers of poly due to the fact it would have the most water exposure over time.

Love the raw wood look that the matte poly gives, even after multiple coats.

We were also able to keep one of the drawers for storage, always a plus.  The top two drawers were unable to be saved for use due to the plumbing needing space.


This was a roll with it and see what happens kind of project and we love how our $2 upcycled vanity turned out.

October 27, 2014

Scrap Take 2 - Bookshelf

In these parts we are picky about our pallet wood.  It has to be hardwood, rough sawn and well worn. No ordinary pine need apply. Who knew all the options that existed when it came to picking up wood next to a dumpster?  

Our pile of primo pallet wood was cluttering our always full garage, so we came up with a plan to add a little storage to the vacant corner in our living room.  Game plan: make our shoe bench by our garage entry on steroids, height to be determined by the length of the boards we have, and at least 2 shelves.

It took a lot of elbow grease to hand sand the sliver nightmare away and not loose the character of the awesome rough sawn wood.  But it was worth it!

After the all the sanding, a little thinned stain to tint the wood, we sealed it with 3-4 coats of matte finish water-based poly. The matte finish offers protection for the wood, seals down the rough edges/burrs that were left (aka slivers) and maintains the non-glossy rough around the edges look we wanted. 
It looks rough to the touch, but in fact it's smooth like butter!
End product - the world's heaviest bookcase and finally a home {burlap bins} for the ever growing collection of Legos!! Next project: Create a lamp for new bookcase.....

October 23, 2014

Halloween Raven Mantel

Fall is our favorite season.  It brings one of our favorite holidays, Halloween! In true creepy fashion, this year we changed up the mantel and mixed the old reclaimed items we display all year with the some festive ones!
Raven & Skull Mantel
Halloween Mantel

In our kitchen we put together our collection of un-used orange pumpkins...they somehow were multiplying in our basement I swear and made a Jack-O-Lantern stack with some orange christmas lights and a few drill holes.  They cast a neat orange glow at night from atop the cabinets!
Jack-O-Lantern Tower
Happy Halloween!

Made From Scrap - Storage Bench

Here's how DIY works at our house.  I come up with great ideas and hubby bears the burden of making it work. I asked him to jump on the pallet furniture band wagon, and I think I may have created a monster.  Pallet Project #1 consisted of a bench with shoe storage to place by our garage entry.  

Pile of scrap hardwood pallet pieces = indestructible bench for our mountains of shoes! 

Wave of the magic wand, a.k.a. AnaWhite pattern for a Spa Bench and few evenings of listening to the alternating sounds of the chop saw & hubby cursing the day he accepted my challenge to make something out of this pile of scrap! Voila!

Happy how to make the shoes return to the baskets!

September 22, 2014


We've decided to give this blog thing a shot and document the happenings of our home DIY and life.  Hope you enjoy our chaos, more to come soon!