Monday, September 1, 2014

Dominoes - The Oversized Pieces Edition

Alas, it is the first day of September.  I'm always a little sad on this day.  It means the warm days of summer are almost over and winter will be here before we know it.  It means back to school and back to the crazy pace of normal life.  Labour Day weekend is our busiest time at IKEA since we are in a city with 2 universities and a college, so I'm grateful that Labour Day is a holiday and I get to enjoy the outdoors one last time.  I'm currently cooling off on my balcony after a hot morning in the sun :)

I wanted to share with you a project I completed a few weeks ago when I was up visiting at my parent's trailer. I was bummed that summer was almost over and I had not completed 1 thing on my summer to-do list yet (I had grand plans, haha).  So I took my supplies with me and completed it with my mom, and I am sooooo pleased with how it turned out.  I present to you, my new set of dominoes.

I got the idea from Shanty 2 Chic and had pinned their domino tutorial before I'd even moved in.  I won't give you the full tutorial as theirs is fantastic, I'll just show you some pictures along the way!  (I did this at the trailer don't forget, so enjoy the backgrounds of the lake, fire pit, picnic table, etc!)

I started with a 2 x 10 piece of lumber I got at Home Depot for under $10.  I had it cut there into sections 16" long.  This gave me 6 sections and I picked the best 3 (now I have 3 extra pieces left to make something else!)

We sanded them down, with the sander and by hand, to get nice rounded corners like a domino.

I gave each one 2 coats of paint.  I used Cozy Cottage by Behr.  They no longer carry the paint chip, but if you ask, they can still make it for you.  I just got a little test pot.

Then, I took some coarse sandpaper, and roughed up the edges again, as well as the corners, removing some of the paint.  I applied a Red Mahogany stain to the newly sanded areas.  This step did not work like I thought it would.  The stain went on purple and I was worried I had ruined them.  Not only that, it stained the areas that were still painted, not just the sanded parts.  So after I stained the edges, I went back over them with a very fine sandpaper and removed the yucky parts.  You can't even tell now!

It poured rain for the next few days so I finished off the painting of the dominoes in the trailer.  I marked off the centre line with some painter's tape and dry brushed some black paint on.

Then came the hard part - how do we draw on the dots so they are symmetrical... My mom came up with the idea of making a stencil. But we weren't sure how to do that, and I didn't bring supplies for stencil creations... so we used the back of a magazine cover, and traced the bottom of a plastic cup.  We broke our brains a few times trying to figure out the math, but after one failed attempt we ended up with a kick-butt stencil that would work for any number.  Like the centre line, I dry brushed the dots in black.

Shanty 2 Chic's tutorial mentions using a glaze as the final step.  I couldn't find the glaze they used (Home Depot no longer carries it) and after researching glazes, I wasn't sure I even wanted to do the next step. Making your own glaze sounded way too complicated.  But the dominoes were also too "white" looking. They didn't have the vintage, aged look to them I was going for that the glaze would have provided.  So I took them home and pondered this for a few days.  After my sister saw them, she suggested using a wax finish.  I had never heard of this either, so I researched wax finishes as well.  It seemed much more user friendly.  I found one brand of wax that was carried by Home Hardware that had a dark finish to it.  I could only find clear finishes at Lowe's, and Home Depot, but you may have better luck than me!  I picked up a small can of Minwax Finishing Wax for Dark Surfaces.

Basically, you put a ball of it in a cloth that is not woven tightly (they suggested cheesecloth, which I didn't have, so I used a Jay cloth instead).  Then when you press the cloth on the domino, the wax oozes out the holes in the cloth.  It's simply a matter of rubbing the cloth over the entire domino until you get the effect you are looking for.  More wax + more pressure with the cloth = a darker finish.  FYI - this stuff smells bad and is pretty messy so I suggest doing it outdoors or in a well ventilated room!

Here you can see the difference between the original domino (left) and the waxed domino (right).  

I attached a saw tooth hook on the back of each for easy hanging.

I hung my dominoes on the wall that separates my kitchen from my bedroom.  I call it my teeny-tiny hallway :)

I adore how they turned out and they draw your attention away from all the thermostats and switches on that wall.  Anyone up for a game of dominoes now?  #Ihavenoideahowtoreallyplay  

PS.  When you do a project at the trailer you sometimes have to improvise when you forget to bring things with you and the nearest store is an hour away!  Some things I used that were/were not photographed:

-Sticks from a tree with their dirty bark peeled off as paint stir sticks
-A rolled piece of tinfoil as a paint stir stick (for the rainy days when the sticks are no longer viable...)
-Firewood to raise the dominoes off the ground for painting
-Fingernail scissors to cut out the stencil
-Plastic disposable cup as a round tracer
-Magazine cover as a stencil
-A plastic bag wrapped and taped around my hand to use as a glove when staining
-A toothpick, a jay cloth, and a tiny piece of jay cloth (basically lint) to use for staining (hence the need for the plastic bag hand cover)

Never a dull moment when you DIY ;)

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