Friday, March 23, 2012

Tray Table Painting

Our tray tables suck. Well, half of them. With six people in our family, we need to have two sets, and one set is old and stained.
Exhibit A:

So I started sanding and painting them. Our family symbol is a triskelion, so I'm doing all four with a different triskelion design. And a different color. Lots of color. Wish me luck.

I have one done:

It's taking a bit of time, because for each one I have to:
  1. Sand every part. The paint doesn't stick to the laminate if it's not at least lightly sanded.
  2. Peel off any splintered laminate and putty the gap. And let that dry.
  3. Paint. And let that dry
  4. Move the legs and paint what I couldn't in step 3. And let that dry.
  5. Repeat 3 and 4, because it takes two coats.
  6. Paint on the triskelion (using a stencil). And let that dry.
  7. Touch up the stencil bleed. And let that dry
  8. Spray lacquer on the top since I'm using water-based paint and I want to wipe these things occasionally. And let that dry.
  9. Repeat step 8 two more times.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ultimate Pallet Swing

I started with some raw pallets, and dismantled two. I used two of the the strong side supports to screw two pallets together so I had one super-long frame.
 I cut the other two side supports in half and made the braces for the headboard....

 .. and the side board. At this point the frame was about 9 feet long and incredibly heavy, so I cut off half of the pallet at the foot of the project, making it 6 feet long.
 A small block of wood under the cup holder keeps too-small cups from falling through.
 Sanded forever, by hand and with the boys' help. Paint-washed it green with a mixture of acrylic paint and water.

Used eye-bolts on the head of the frame so the rope would clear the side rail. Tied the ropes directly to the frame at the foot. My wife volunteered to model it in use for the first time. We'll make a cushion for it once the fabric store gets restocked after remodeling in April...
 The rope was the most expensive part, at $1.36 per foot, and I needed about 11 feet per corner. It took almost two feet of rope to make a solid knot.. who knew!

 Total cost:  about $21.00
  Total cost:  about $21.00 priceless

The kids fought over it this past weekend, and did more reading in one day than they'd done in the previous month!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My first (Completed) pallet project

With some old frames I had laying around, some original art by my 13 year-old, and some print outs of last summer's lake pictures. The wood itself is from pallets! The picture angle is a little strange because it's hanging in the bathroom and I can't get far enough away to take the picture straight on.