Monday, February 29, 2016

Out of the box!

In last week's post I said that the clubhouse was going to get it's own post. 
Well, here it is.  :) 

It started with this great idea mom found on another blog.

I absolutely loved this idea!! 
The "changing table" we had in the nursery, was an old dresser. It held children's books, puzzles, diapers, and served as a catch-all for other random things. With the organization I hoped to add to the nursery, the dresser would become empty and unneeded. 
If the new changing table doubled as a playhouse, that would be a perfect solution for our small space.

At first we planned to buy the materials and build it from scratch... but then we got a much better alternative. 
Our church had just recently received a new communion table, and the old one was.. well, not being used for anything else :) 
That was a huge blessing. For one, I wasn't too confident in our carpentry skills, and two, it saved us money. 
Besides, the communion table was always the favorite hiding place for the kids, despite our objections. We already know they'll fit in there :) 

So after permission of course, we hauled it back to our house for a transformation.  
The pictures were taken in our basement, so they're a little blurry at times. 

Here it is in it's natural state :) 

I've seen at least 5 kids squeeze in there.  :) 

The first thing we did was remove the curtains, moulding, and wooden letters. On the top of the table was a piece of smooth paneling, held down with moulding, screws, and glue. Thankfully the little screws came out nicely, and the glue was so old it just pulled off.  

So, we had a big box to work with.

The "ideal" height for a changing table is 34" to 36" inches. I think went for 33" inches for ours. We had a changing pad that would bring the end height up a few inches. 

We cut the box down about foot. ( Yes, we're very precise ) :) 
That also gave us more wood pieces to work with. 
Mom and I were following the general idea of the changing table I showed at the beginning of the post. But most of it was figuring out as we went along. 

We wanted to have a little bench inside, and the part we cut off lent itself nicely for the job. 
Getting it on was the tricky part. 

We took a break from that puzzle for a while, a cut the door and a few windows into it with a jigsaw.

I did the three little windows, and found the making a circle was harder than Mom made it look. 
When Dad saw this, the first thing he said was "Who'll be the first kid to get their head stuck?"

Oh, great. 

I ended up just cutting the holes larger, big enough for me to stick my head through. 
Now we're good :) 

Next, a lot of sanding. With little kids in mind, I wanted everything to be very smooth. I'd hate for a little one to get a splinter. That part was time consuming. 

Super blurry! But here's a size comparison :)

Once the frame was finished, all it needed was two more walls and a coat of paint. 
The back wall was a sheet of paneling we bought, and on the side we used some of the paneling we removed from the table. 

The biggest problem I ran into was when we tried to paint it. 
Sorry, I didn't take pictures. 

The inside of the clubhouse took the paint wonderfully. The unfinished wood probably sucked it in a little bit, but that wasn't a problem for me. Mom started painting the outside. We used some white latex paint we had on hand. After the first coat we went upstairs for dinner and were done for the day. 

The next morning I was met with a unpleasant sight. 
The dry paint on the outside was discolored and crackled, peeling off with no effort. All except the wall with the three windows. That side used to be the top, that wasn't finished wood but instead had the paneling glued to it.

I started scraping the paint off, thinking that another start with a good sanding would help the paint stick. Everywhere the moulding or letters were on the wood held the paint firmly. I though I just needed to knock the finish down. But after hours of sanding, I tried the paint again. Before my eyes the wet paint discolored and peeled off.

More scraping, more sanding, a lot of frustration, and finally Mom said that more sanding wouldn't help.
I put my problem into the search engine, and found that I wasn't alone. Yay!
One of the blogs that came up shared my exact problem, and gave me her solution. 
She used Shellac. This surprisingly natural product would seal off whatever was leaking into the paint, and help the paint to stick. 
(I'd link back to her if I could, but I couldn't find her again.)
So a shopping trip and a few coats of shellac later, the paint went like a dream!

We added a few decorative touches with acrylic paint and fabric, and it was finally done. 


  1. Great job! This clubhouse is super cute. :D

  2. What a lovely project, though it looks like it was frustrating when you were trying to paint it. I'm glad you found something that worked!


We love hearing comments and remarks, so leave us a note!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...