Tile a Wall (Pt 2): Install a Patterned Backsplash

Today we’re bringing back an updated and improved version of our step-by-step tutorial on how to install a patterned tile backsplash. It’s so exciting once you get to the tiling stage; it brings the vision together to help complete the space!!

Before hubs worked his reno magic, our basement laundry room started with humble dungeon-like beginnings. It had a typical builder set-up of a double sink and connections for the washer and dryer.

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Tile a Wall (Pt 1): How to Install a Ledger Board

Sometimes you get to a point in a renovation where you just can’t make decisions. That happened to us when we were finishing our basement laundry room and were ready to tile our laundry room backsplash. We knew we at least wanted to replace the counter top but we couldn’t decide whether or not to keep our old lower cabinets. Had we kept the lower cabinets and counter, we would have started our first row of tiling from the counter up to the underside of the cabinets and be well on our way to finishing our laundry room.

Since we couldn’t come to a decision and wanted to move ahead, we worked backwards. We purchased the tile and installed it before the rest of the finishes. Installing a ledger board offered a solution! Since we were starting with a clean slate (no lower cabinets) we knew that installing a ledger board would be a must-have step for supporting the weight of the tile as it dries. If you’re as indecisive as us and you want to move ahead with tiling a backsplash, keep this post handy: we’re going to explain how to install a ledger board. Our updated how-to guide for tiling a patterned backsplash will follow here tomorrow!

Here was our starting point in our laundry room renovation. We had both upper and lower cabinets installed.

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Staircase Makeover

You may remember our staircase makeover from a few years ago, but we’ve revamped the tutorial so it’s now better than ever! A staircase is often one of the first things you see when you step into a house and can really set the tone for the rest of the decor. Today we’re sharing how we stripped and refinished it.

Here’s a before of the hallway as it looked when I bought the house. The 80’s called and they wanted their wallpaper and blond oak trim back! No problem; we couldn’t wait to bring it into the current decade.

Staircase Makeover | How to strip and refinish a staircase | #DIY #stairsmakeover #staircaseideas #staircase #stairrailingideas | BirdzofaFeather.ca

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10 Must-Do Steps Before Installing an Engineered Hardwood Floating Floor (Pt. 2)

Although there is no reveal at the end of this post, there’s an even bigger payoff – especially if you’re planning an upcoming flooring DIY – because it has some great tips to get you ready for a professional-looking floating hardwood floor installation. Pin it for future reference and share it if you know someone who might be interested!

This second in our series on installing an engineered floating floor is all about the prep work. It assumes you’ve already selected and calculated the amount of engineered hardwood you need. If you missed the first part where discussed those things and gave you 12 tips to shopping for engineered hardwood floating floors, check it out now before you read on.

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Milk Paint a Shelf!

We love milk paint! It’s all natural and eco-friendly and because it comes from the earth, there are no chemicals in it. Milk paint is created today using traditional ingredients such as limestone, clay, casein (milk protein), chalk and natural pigments such as iron oxide. There are no VOCs so it’s the ideal product to use when painting indoors. And because it dries so fast, you can get a project done in just a few hours!

Milk paint is so versatile. We even incorporated it into our wedding giveaways on the handles of these miniature rolling pins….

Milk Paint a Shelf! | How to milk paint a shelf | DIY milk painting | Step by step milk paint tutorial on how to milk paint #MilkPaint #Craft #DIY #Paint #FurnitureMakeover | BirdzofaFeather.ca

Milk Paint Colour on Handles: Spice (Homestead House)

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Levelling the Basement Floor with Levelrock

Many years ago, we applied to be on one of those home reno shows and they chose to renovate our basement! – or so we thought. In the planning stages of the reno, the show’s contractor discovered that the slope of our basement floor was too steep to build on. The floor was inconsistent and out of level by over half a foot in some areas! There wouldn’t be enough time in the production schedule to fix it properly so they were going to have to take a pass on us.

At first, we were disappointed: who wouldn’t want a crew to come in and take care of a major renovation while we sit back and let them do all the work? But on the flip side, as avid DIY’ers, it was going to be hard to give up full control of the project. In the end, it worked out in our favour because there’s no sense in finishing a basement when there’s still things to renovate on other levels of the house (i.e. our kitchen still needed to be renovated). You really need open access to the plumbing and electrical in the basement before closing those things off forever once the basement is done!

Anyway, since we had cleared our stuff out of the basement for the show, it seemed like a prime opportunity to level the basement floor and get it over with. Once that was done, we could take our own sweet time to renovate the basement ourselves when we were ready. But with 700 square feet of space in our basement, it wasn’t going to be something that we could tackle ourselves. We needed an expert.

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12 Tips to Shopping for Engineered Hardwood Floating Floors (Pt. 1)

If you’re thinking about installing flooring, whether it’s below grade or above, an engineered wood floating floor is the way to go – especially if you’re planning on installing it over a concrete slab. Nothing adds beauty and warmth to a home like hardwood. In this first of our series on how we installed engineered hardwood flooring in our basement (a part of our broader Homeowner DIY Series for 2018), we’re exploring how to shop for it first. We wondered if engineered hardwood would be as good as solid wood and were surprised to learn that neither one is better. Only by weighing the pros and cons of each can you determine which one is a better fit for your own situation.

If you’re not really sure about the differences between engineered and solid flooring, engineered wood is produced with three to five layers of plywood topped by a wear layer of real wood. The wear layer can range in thickness; thicker layers can be re-sanded just like a traditional solid floor. Each layer is stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together under heat and pressure to make it dimensionally stable. As a result, engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed at all levels of the home. As far as installation is concerned, there are far more methods to choose from with an engineered product: you can staple, nail, click or glue.

Fusion Flooring Classical Elegance Oak Baroque / Dimensions: 9/16″ h x 7 1/2″ w

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Valentine’s Paint Stick Pallet Art

Birdz of a Feather will be on Hiatus soon, so with Valentines Day just a month away, I’m resurrecting an old Valentine’s project – which will be new to recent subscribers 🙂

I wanted to make a little something for my sweetie that would have meaning on multiple levels. Since we’ve done so much DIY renos together, I was inspired by a pallet. In keeping with our mission to lead a more sustainable life, and keep things from landfill, I repurposed paint sticks and 1″x2″ lumber to make a miniature version of the pallet that hubs could easily display in his office. It turned out to be a great way to use up old paint sticks amassed over years of painting and renovating past (and present) homes.

I started by designing an 8 1/2″ x  11″ picture using the charicature we had done for our wedding. I superimposed it into a ‘puzzle piece heart’ I drew with the words ‘you complete me’ – the perfect sentiment for any soul mate!

Of course, if you choose to make your own Paint Stick Pallet, you’ll use your own personal artwork to make it unique to you! Watch the quick two-minute video below to see how easy it is (and subscribe to our YouTube Channel while you’re at it!)

Let’s Get Started

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Water Leak Repair (Part 1) – Install a Frost Proof Faucet

Happy New Year everyone! For our first post of 2018, we’re getting down to some serious home repair issues.

Some of you may remember the reveal of my craft studio in our newly finished basement. I was also supposed to reveal the mancave right on its heels, but there was a good reason why that didn’t happen for a long time. One morning I went into my craft studio and noticed a swooshing sound coming from the area carpet underfoot; not a good sign. I then found this on top of my dresser:

The cup was supposed to be empty and now it was full of water! Then I looked around and saw that all of our perfectly fitted and caulked baseboards had warped and popped off the walls. Continue reading

A TV Remote Control Caddy Worthy of the Mancave!

Revamped just in time for Christmas, this post has been totally re-written with better step-by-steps, a supply list, new pictures and variations on the project for gift giving (see Step 9: Variations for an updated colour scheme and versions for a two and three-remote caddy).

My husband spent all his spare time over the span of almost two years building a craft studio for me and a mancave for him in our basement. When he was nearing completion of this challenging project, I knew it meant he would be spending many a lazy weekend doing nothing but watching TV in his mancave. And why not? A little R&R is so well deserved after all his hard work!

But with a new TV, soundbar and blue-ray player, he suddenly had a ton of remotes that kept getting lost. There’s nothing worse than trying to have a lazy day only to be sidelined by spending time looking for remotes! I couldn’t wait to step in to help solve his problem (after all, I had no excuse not to with a brand new craft studio waiting to see some action)!

I gathered up some pipe fittings – some pulled apart from another project I wasn’t happy with. I also scrounged up some scraps of horsehair braid that I had used 25 years earlier to make my sister’s wedding veil. Lastly, I reused some magnetic hooks that used to be on our fridge before we replaced our old appliances.

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