DIY: Making a Deep Windowsill

Yesterday, John made a shelf for the deep windowsill in the Grey Room.

He bought an 1x8x8 pine board at Home Depot. We were thinking of getting poplar because it’s a harder wood, until someone told us poplar is green, and doesn’t accept stain well.

John measured the windowsill and added 4 inches on each side (total length: 70 inches)…

Before starting, he made sure the end was square.

Holding the shelf with 4″ extending at each end and marking…

Cutting the notch out at each end with a circular saw…

Finishing the notch with a waffle saw to eliminate an over cut…

Perfect fit…

Extends 4 inches…

The 1x8x8 is now a 7 1/4-inch¬†deep windowsill…

John glued and nailed (with finish nailer) the half round to the 1x8x8 to finish the exposed edge…

It’s necessary to condition pine before staining to eliminate a splotchy and uneven look. Without conditioner, pine does not accept stain at an even consistency.

John sanded the pine with 220 sandpaper before applying the wood conditioner.

After applying MINWAX wood conditioner, John applied three coats of natural MINWAX stain with a satin finish.

It looks great!


The Grey Room: Before & After

I took this photo–of what has become the “Grey Room”–back in June 2015 when John rented an electric jack hammer to install a French drain. To read the blog post, click here. Between this room and the basement, he removed about 3,000 pounds of dirt.

Fast forward to mid-January when I took this photo of the original 9″ tile floor.

In 1954, when this house was built, most 9″ tiles had some form of asbestos. Therefore, it’s best to not disturb it. It’s recommended to leave it and simply cover it. It’s not necessary–and it’s too risky–to break it up.

For all this time, it was a hideous floor to look at but at least we didn’t have to worry about it during the construction phase.

When John installed the floating/engineered flooring a couple weeks ago, it was a major transformation.The light-colored floor really lit up the room.

Baseboard will be next!

I think I mentioned previously that we have enough engineered flooring left to finish the mudroom. All along I wanted tile in the mudroom but now I’m debating whether I should have John install the floating floor.

John will make a hinged door for the opening next to Coco where the French drain leads down to the basement. 

When it’s time to add furniture, a couch will go against the above (east) wall.

By the time we started installing the flooring in this ground level room, we were out of the 6′ wide underlayment. We purchased a 3′ wide roll at Home Depot. It required taping which added another step and was a bit of a pain.

If you’re installing flooring in more than one room, the 6′ wide roll is worth the hefty price. For us, it covered the master bedroom wing, three bedrooms plus a hallway. The cost for 2 rolls of 6′ wide underlayment was $600. It has a vapor barrier, sound insulation, and when walking on the floor, it creates a slight bounce.

A curious pug who just turned one year old!



Solid Image-Bonus Room

The ground level bonus room is painted. We’re ready to install flooring next.

The primed west wall before rolling…

And after rolling…

John will make a small door for the drain in the corner…

Next: Brandywine Valley

Let it Rain!

Yesterday, I posted a couple painting videos on Instagram. To watch, click the feed on the right.

Instagram videos can be up to one minute.

On Tuesday, John spent the day cutting in both rooms.

There are so many gray hues to choose from at Sherwin Williams.

When John brushed on the first stroke of color in the room filled with natural light, I was instantly happy.

I asked John if I could help with cutting in the bonus room. He said, “Let me do it and you can help later with the other rooms.”


Concentrating with a very steady brush…

John said, “You can tell this is quality paint; it goes on like Teflon.”

Back in the mudroom where I cracked a joke.

The mudroom faces north so the paint appears a smidge darker.

We decided to paint the beam gray and the underside white.

The wall on the right leading upstairs will be painted bright white along with the door and windowsills.

After finishing cutting in both rooms, the last step before rolling the walls is to run a spackle knife over the primed sections. This takes off any specs making a totally smooth surface before applying the finish coat.

NEXT: Rolling the walls!