If you have followed along here any length of time, you may know we have a puppy. His name is Tucker. We've had him for almost a year now, and he often is in the workshop chewing on wood scraps or photo bombing pictures or getting paint in his fur. That's how he rolls.
When we got him, he fit in my lap, and his kennel was proportionate for his size, it was easy to tuck away somewhere and it didn't really both me. Then a friend offered to trade kennels, she had one that was too big for her dog, and ours was too small. So we did. Enter this beast of a kennel... (I'm not sure why there are pillows and blankets on top...)
As soon as I saw that, I thought, no way is that sitting in my house.
But as most puppies are, Tucker is into everything all the time, and he needs a little space of his own (where he cannot chew on toys, knock over trash cans or steal food off the kitchen counter). Real life here.
I saw a picture of a kennel turned into a table, and I thought - aha! Let's build something to make this sucker not so ugly. At first I thought about building a table around it, but I want to be able to collapse and move the kennel when necessary so I settled on a removable top.
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Here's how I built it -
1. Measure the kennel, add about 2" to every side.
2. I needed 2 laminated project panels to fit this kennel, so I measured and cut them to size.
4. Nail it all together with brad nails and a nail gun. Let it dry.
5. I realized I needed to cut a little notch in the top for the door to swing open/shut smoothly. So I cut out a little piece with a jigsaw.
6. Sand down the top and edges so they are all smooth. I used 120 grit sandpaper - it's important when using the General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain to not sand with too fine of a grit - make the wood too smooth, and there won't be much for the stain to stick to.
Wipe off the dust.
7. Apply the stain with the chip brush very liberally. I did this in sections so one side of the table top wouldn't be dry before I got to the other side.
8. I immediately go back with a cotton rag and wipe off the excess, depending on how dark you want the stain, you don't HAVE TO do this, but I wanted some grain to show through, so I wiped it back until the grain was showing.
Wear gloves, unless you want espresso colored hands for a week. Trust me on this one.
9. Once the stain is dry - I let it sit a few hours. I applied two coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat. I sanded with 400 grit between coats to make it extra smooth.
10. To give the kennel a little more "den" like effect, and give it a little more farm house charm, I added some burlap curtains. I thought about cute hooks, tension rods or something like that, and then I just decided to staple the fabric to the underside of the wood. I figure it's easy enough to take off if I ever need to.
And just like that the kennel isn't quite so ugly anymore, and we have a happy puppy. It's nice to have a spot in the corner for a lamp and some plants by the window, and it's doing double duty and hiding a kennel!
This is a good reminder that we need our houses to work for us, but not to be afraid to make even the most mundane things a little prettier with a project or two.