Mirrored Wall

I have been out for a while due to moving  and a lot of family stuff.  But! My move has given me opportunity to do a lot of crafts which I will add as the time allows. Today, I want to talk about my mirrored wall.  I don’t have step by step pictures due to placing these mirrors required me sitting on a ledge over a staircase.  I decided to focus on getting the project done than risk tumbling down the stairs and laying there until someone found me. I digress, I needed pizazz along my blue wall. I wanted my living room/dining room to be gray with navy blue accents. Even though home designers say accent walls are “out”. I could care less and painted the wall above my stair well navy blue. I needed something to brighten the wall but not cover the blue. Years ago I went to Ikea and bought some 12×12 mirrors. I bought 3 packs of 4 for a different use, but back at that time I went in a different direction. The packs were only about $5 each so this whole project will cost you $15.

Here is what you need
– a wall
– for my design 3 packs of 12×12 mirrors
– a tape measure
– a level (use with caution)
– a writing implement

1. First, I decided on a pattern.  I laid the mirrors out on the floor and arranged them until I found my desired pattern.  Initially I liked the mirrors turned to a diamond shape and four across three down.

Note: mine changed part way through and I’ll explain why later
2. I measured the patterns length and width to determine the center.
3. I measured my wall and determined the center.
4. I marked the center of my wall with chalk, I knew I wouldn’t see pen on my dark wall.  Whatever you use, make sure it’ll come off the wall.
5. From there I used my tape measure and level to mark each of corners of the mirrors.
6. Then I placed the center mirrors on the wall. The way Ikea has their mirrors stick to the wall is with these four double sided sticky foam pads.
7. I placed the mirror on the wall before removing the paper from the pads to make sure everything lined up.  I worked from the center out.
8. When I got to the top mirror farthest to the right I lined the mirror up and it fit, but when I put the pads on, it lifted the mirror away from the wall just enough to hit a low spot of the textured ceiling. So, when I went to place the mirror and adhere it to the wall the corner chipped, creating a crack. Here’s where you need to be careful… This mirror is refusing to come off my wall at the moment.  These suckers stick once you place them so make sure you want them there. I will replaced it when I get back to Ikea and have the energy to pry it off my wall.

9. When I tried to put the last mirror on I the top row I made a horrible discovery that the wall in my 100 year old apartment is not square. Crazy huh? So I changed my design and made a step pattern instead and I just threw it on the bottom row. In retrospect I’m lucky it looks purposeful because, at the time I was pretty pissed about my broken mirror that refused to lift and my trapezoid of a wall.
10. After all the mirrors were hung, I cleaned them about 4 times each. I really have become fond of Invisible Glass. It cleans very well and leaves the glass streak free. These mirrors were pretty dirty and it did a nice job.
11. And you’re done! In my picture you can see vases and candles, I put the five vases in front of each mirror and a flameless candle in between each vase. Once Hobby Lobby puts all their floral on sale I’ll be filling the vases!

Just as an FYI: the blue vases are from Ikea ($5 each) and the candles were bought from HomeWoot.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, despite the broken one.  It did exactly what I needed it to do.  My apartment has very small windows and the mirrors reflect the little light they let in, and it looks great with the glow of the candles at night.  It also flows into the living room.  It points you in the right direction!

Thanks for stopping by again, I’m glad to be back!





Refinishing a dinner table

I just rented a new apartment (yay) and I needed a dinner table. I found this beautiful oak table and four chairs on Craig’s list for $100. The table is in great condition but it had some wear on the top. I had all the things to finish it so Mike and I took a Sunday and made it refinish the table day.

Materials needed.
Foam brush
Damp cloth
Saw horses (or table legs I took mine off)
Extension cord (you may not need this)

Let the games begin:

1. the very first thing I did was remove the legs from the table.  I didn’t want to sand the table and loosen or damage any of the legs so, I popped them off and set the table top on two sawhorses (outside because there was going to be a lot of dust!)

2.  We started off with 180 grit sandpaper, and sanded the top of the table.  We just wanted to take off the old polyurethane, and a thin layer of the wood, but not too deep.  Below is the edge of the table and we didn’t want to have to re-router the edge.


3. Next we moved to 220 girt sandpaper, put it on the power sander, and sanded the top again.  As we sanded (Mike and I switched off) we ran our hands over the table feeling for high spots then smoothed them out.  With the 220 we sanded the top and edges of the table.


4. then we went through and hand sanded the entire table with the 220.  At this point almost all of the scratches were out.  a few were very very deep, and again due to the edge we couldn’t sand them out without creating a whole lot of work for our selves.


5.  We wiped down the table and edges with a damp cloth.  If we were staining the table we could have dusted it off, but because we only were using polyurethane, we wanted all the dust off.

6.  Let the table dry before you start!  While it dried we moved the table inside so debris from the outside would fall and stick on the table.

7. when the wood was dry we took a foam brush and began to poly the table.  We started on a corner and used long strokes down the long end of the table.  We completed  a strip down the long edge before we started at the top again.  One technique we used was keeping a wet edge.  this simply means the the strip of poly we did next to the strip we were working on was still wet.  This helped the poly blend nicely and not be streaky.


8.  We let that dry over night

9.  The next day the pores of the wood soaked up a ton of the polyurethane and made the table feel very bumpy.  This is okay because the table needed sanded again any ways, so we used 400 grit wet/dry sand paper and sanded the top, careful not to take the entire coat off.

10.  Wipe down the table, a dry cloth is fine this time as there is a lot less dust.

11.  Repeat steps 7-10 several times.  I would say 3-5 coats for a table that will not get a ton of use and 5-7 for a kitchen table such as mine.  Each time we sanded we used the 400 grit until the last 3 coats.  then we switch to 800 and the very last coat was 800 wet. (wet/dry sandpaper used wet makes the grit finer and makes for a smoother feel)

12. for the last coat we did not use a foam brush.  Mike made me a sponge/rag to wipe the coat on.  He folded an old thick sock he no longer wore and wrapped that in an old t-shirt.  He made it square-ish and used a side with no creases for the remaining coat.

13.  Let it dry and you’re done!  (once you put the legs back on that is)

The only issue we ran into was the polyurethane didn’t seal properly one night and we had to buy a new can.  We worked with satin at first then accidentally bought a semi gloss then had to go back out and buy a satin again.  Minor issue but it was irritating.  This in total probably took a week.  We dragged it out over about 3 weeks because my apartment needed painted and new carpets.

Here in the light you can see how even it came out.  There are a few imperfections but overall it came out great.  Unless you are looking for them you can’t tell.

This is just an example of a scratch that was so deep it wouldn’t come up unless we routered the edge again.  This is the only one that is obvious, but it’s covered most of the time anyway.

I really had a lot of fun doing this, so did Mike.  We tried to split everything evenly because it was pretty cool to see it from the start until now (first picture).  The table was a great deal and I don’t have to worry about coasters or sweating glasses because of all the layers we put on.  Thanks for reading!