I’d like to interrupt the “regularly” scheduled wall removal posts for a fun little DIY project. Don’t forget, there’s a special discount code for you readers at the bottom of this post!
We’re pretty close to being done the living room, but we need about 2 Connor-free days of work to finish the flooring. I’d so much prefer to use a vacation day to get this done while Connor is at school so that we can enjoy our weekends together as a family. Like this past weekend, we had 3 busy but fun filled days together going to the local coffee shop, hanging out at University of Delaware Alumni weekend, going to the farmer’s market and library, seeing good friends at a going away party (we’re going to miss you, Adam, Janet, Keira, and Cameron!), and a local town’s fun day out (Yorklyn Day). We were thoroughly exhausted but wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂
So before we can finish up the living room, I decided to try and finish up this small project over the weekend during one of Connor’s naps. It’s been something that I’ve been trying to finish ever since Connor turned 1 year old back in February. We were pretty religious about taking weekly (ugh!) and monthly progress pictures for him for his first year, but then decided to give ourselves a break after year one to just check in once in awhile. Man, was that a commitment. But the output was priceless! Here’s a glimpse:
That boy <3. Now that he’s standing and walking, I figured it would be fun to do a growth chart for the progress pictures rather than the chair. I looked around Pinterest and Etsy for some options, and happened to come across this shop on Etsy that sold a DIY decal set. I loved the fact that I could personalize this to our family, and also build part of it myself. I also thought about doing this directly on the wall or on some woodwork in the house, but ultimately decided against it, figuring that if something were to ever happen, and we needed to move, I wanted to be able to take this precious piece with me.
I ordered the set, along with a personalization for the top for our last name. They happened to be having a Valentine’s Day sale at the time too! (Can you tell how long I’ve been working on this little project?? haha). It came with all of the directions on size of the wood needed and decal application, so I thought that was pretty great.
Connor and I took a Friday afternoon trip to Lowe’s together (our usual Friday afternoon hang out spot!) and picked up the supplies.
I wanted this to be a nice project that would last forever, so I went for premium pine instead of the basic pine, but also wasn’t quite willing to spring for the more expensive grades of wood than that. Plus, the premium pine had a nice wood grain look to it, with no knots that I’d have to worry about working around. I picked up an 8 foot 1×8.
Aren’t those smaller carts at Lowe’s the BEST??
I’ve been reading about wood conditioner for these types of projects, and how it helps raw wood accept the stain better and gives you a nice even finish, so I decided to give it a try. I also picked up “weathered oak” thinking that it would give the wood a nice warm and light color so that the decal would easily be shown.
I cut the board down to 6 feet, as directed to by the decal directions and sanded it down really well, especially the corners and edges to avoid any sharp edges (kid safe!). Then, I applied the conditioner and waited a few minutes for it to soak in (it’s best to apply the stain pretty quickly after the conditioner, according to the container) and then started applying the weathered oak stain.
BLECK. I hated it. It just made the wood look dirty and gray. Not really what I was going for at all.
Back to Lowe’s I went, and picked up the next warmest color in the stain section, “Golden Oak.” At some point I got more time during a nap to apply it. I figured that I’d just apply it directly on top of the old stain to see how it looked, and if I didn’t like it, I would just sand it all off and start fresh. Luckily, I actually really liked the look of the two stains combined, so yay for less work!
After the stain set in, (it only takes a few days, but by the time I got to the next step, a few weeks went by) I gave it two coats of my favorite satin polyurethane to finish it off. This set for a few days before I applied the decals to make sure the decals took to it properly.
The directions for the decals were super simple and easy to read. It’s designed to hang on the wall 8 inches from the ground to accommodate for different heights of baseboard molding. The decals went on beautifully and I was really proud of the finished product!
Ignore the cut up ugly carpet… this was during mid living room renovation.
We were going to hang this up in the playroom, so I wanted to make sure it would be secured to the wall and not fall off if someone started to play with it, so the saw tooth hangers were out of the question. I also didn’t want to drill into the front of it. David decided on a new router bit that could create those “keyhole” hangers directly into the wood.
I was pretty entranced watching it cut the hole. It’s the little things.
We did one on the top and one on the bottom to keep it secure it two locations.
Once it was ready, I drilled out the holes in the wall in the playroom to hang it up. The screw holes had to be pretty precisely measured out to ensure both screws would line up with both keyholes, while also make sure they were at the correct height for the bottom of the growth chart to be 8 inches off of the ground (or else the measurements would be totally off).
I checked out Connor’s stats from birth and his first birthday to apply the first two tick marks for heights. I can’t believe how much he’s grown.
And he immediately came to check it out…
I think he likes it. We plan to track the rest of this growing boy’s progress for a longgggg time.
Time sure does fly, and everyday just gets better and better with this little dude. Now excuse me while I go cry.
LittleAcornsByRo has kindly offered a discount code for all Hams at Home readers! Go to her shop HERE and enter code “DIY30” for 30% off any of her offerings! Good luck on your project and thanks for reading!!