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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Our White Kitchen Makeover for Under $3,000

Lower Cabs, Benjamin Moore, Ivory White; Upper Cabs, Behr Color-Match, Kraftmaid Canvas

Right after we closed on the purchase of our home, a 1946 apartment in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, New York, we immediately embarked on a gut renovation of the bathroom, which was in dire shape.

A bathroom renovation of that magnitude - taking walls down to the studs, floors down to the beams - will run you about $20k-$30k these days. So, I knew there wasn't going to be a whole lot of budget left over to upgrade the kitchen. I had to get creative and focus on the things that could be most easily and most economically fixed.

They might not be the things you'd think they'd be. Here's a look at it "before":

Kitchen - Before

In Praise of White Appliances

Do the white appliances jump out at you? Well, I'm okay with them. While I'm by no means one of those alarmists predicting the demise of stainless steel, I also don't feel that every kitchen must have it. In some kitchens, especially those in houses built before 1970, white appliances look right at home. I think they look great with blue cabinetry. And in my opinion, they look spectacular with cream cabinets and butcher block counter tops. That's what we have at the cottage, and I love it:




But the bare wood cabinets in our new home were not doing us any favors.  In fact, those builder grade wood cabinets were what I objected to most - that, and the loud peach granite. My personal tastes run to slate or polished concrete. But even something as economical and simple as butcher block would have been more welcome to me than this granite.

However, granite is what we'd got and it is an expensive and durable stone. I was determined to try to make this peachy granite work.

Painting the cabinets white was the first thing that crossed my mind when I viewed this kitchen. Painting cabinets takes a lot of sweat and elbow grease, though. And when all's said and done, would it even work? And were these cabinets even worth salvaging?

I was not and I'm still not a fan of the cabinetry style. The framing, with the T-bar coming down between where the doors meet, prohibits efficient use of interior space. We actually have to turn some plates sideways to get them in. Dumb.

But they are solidly built and in almost-new condition. (They still had sawdust in them when we moved in.) What I really disliked was the shortness. At 30" high, they fell so very short of the ceiling, leaving a good 15" of wasted space above that just looked... wrong. Too bad the previous owners hadn't sprung for longer cabinets. But I felt certain I could remedy this by adding a second row above in a similar style and painting them to match.

I wasn't even going to try to match the two rows. I just couldn't bring myself to spend money on something I disliked so much. Instead, I ordered cabinets with glass front doors, so that any slight variation in style would not be so obvious. But also because it's just nice to have some glass front doors in a white kitchen, to break up the block of white, to reflect light, and to display some of our nicer stemware and crockery and give some pops of color. I mean, I would not want glass doors on my pantry cabinets, displaying all my cans of plum tomatoes. But up high like that, I thought they would look great. And maybe someday when I get around to it, I'll run some puck lights in them.

Painting the Existing Cabinets White

At first I was going for a pure white with just a touch of cream. So after removing the doors, washing and sanding, vacuuming and tack-clothing, I laid on two coats of Benjamin Moore Semi-Gloss in Ivory White. And when I was finished, they looked great.

Here are some progress shots of them with two coats of BM Ivory White:



Already they looked so much better!

It was only after we got the new glass-front uppers that I realized BM Ivory was too white against the new Kraftmaid Canvas cabinets. So, down came the doors again to be sanded and vacuumed and tack clothed once more, and given a third coat, this time of Behr Plus, color-matched to the Kraftmaid canvas cabinets. Then up they went again, including another round of adjusting the doors to hang evenly.

If you want to see more progress shots of the sanding, vacuuming (90% of painting is vacuuming), and painting, see this post: Painting Cabinets to Match Kraftmaid Canvas Color.

Next Stop: Cream Subway Tile

There's almost no better deal in the renovation world than subway tile. Classic, timeless, inexpensive. Replacing the pinky travertine-look backsplash with Daltile 3x6 field tiles in almond in a traditional brickwork pattern did more than any other change we made to bring our loud peach granite down a notch.

Here are some progress shots of the tiling. You'll see that I tiled right over the existing tile. Yes, you can do that!




While I was at Home Depot picking up the subway tile and grout, I picked up a quart of Glidden flat paint from their Martha Stewart collection in Spanish Olive. It's a green with a lot of yellow in it, so it complements the undertones in the creams and the peachy granite. Eliminating the boring beige wall color was the final touch to taking this kitchen from boring beige to dreamy white - all for under $3,000.


Kitchen - After
If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the variation in color in the upper and lower cabs. On the lowers we kept the BM Ivory White. The uppers are color matched to Kraftmaid canvas color of the new glass front cabs, which is a creamier white with more yellow in it. The paint desk at Home Depot mixed the Behr paint to match a sample door.

You'll also see that we replaced the shoddy plastic chrome-look faucet with the real thing, a simple chrome Delta Trisinic faucet. And we added a towel rack to the sink front.

We got lucky with our timing on this project, and our contractor who was cutting tiles for the bathroom loaned us his tile cutter, saving us the cost of renting one. And wow, was that an experience. His was like the Cadillac of tile cutters!

So I put the unspent tool rental funds toward this indoor/outdoor runner from Dash & Albert instead. It pulls together the ivory cabinets and the green wall color perfectly, don't you think? And hides that pinky-beige floor tile until I decide what to do with it. Inspired by Domestic Imperfections, I may actually paint over these floor tiles.  On the other hand, I heard from a neighbor that there are hardwood floors somewhere beneath that tile. Can you believe that? Someone covered hardwood floors with tile?

That's a project for another day!

Source List & Price Breakdown for Our Kitchen Makeover

Kraftmaid Cabinets, Canvas Doors, Home Depot: $2,100
Delta Trisinic Faucet, HomeClick.com: $250
Bygel Rail, IKEA, $2.99
Benjamin Moore Ivory White Semi Gloss, 1 qt., Schatz, Steinway Street: $15
Behr Custom Color Semi Gloss, color matched to Kraftmaid Canvas, Home Depot: $15
Glidden, Martha Stewart Collection, Spanish Olive, 1qt., Home Depot: $13 (discontinued)
Daltile 3x5, Almond, Home Depot: $35/case (covers 12 sq ft.)
Custom Building Products Grout, Non-Sanded, Linen, Home Depot: $13.87
Spacers, 250-pack, Home Depot: $2.97
GE Silicone for Kitchens & Baths, Home Depot: 3/$6.50 ea.
Striped Runner, Dash & Albert: $125
Paint brush, Rollers, pan liners, Home Depot: $20 (I have a lot of paint supplies on hand.)
Tile Cutter: $0. (We lucked out and the bathroom contractor loaned us his!)




Monday, January 5, 2015

Beveled Tile - The Problem With Finishing Corners



It's been almost a year since we closed on the purchase of this home, and about 9 months since our bathroom renovation was completed. I haven't wanted to dwell on the bad moments and near misses (and there were several!) just luxuriate in the deep soaking tub.

But before amnesia completely takes over, I want to share some information about beveled tile that caused us a near catastrophe. Perhaps someone out there right now planning your bathroom reno will stumble across this bit of information and be able to act upon it in the planning phase while you have all your options open. Or maybe you are right in the middle of dealing with this very issue and this information might help.

Back in April of 2014, at the very moment when my marble-tub vision was starting to come to fruition, we hit a snag with the tile that could have been a show stopper.

When you are a homeowner planning your renovation, one of the common ways to blow your timeline and incur additional costs is to have something go wrong with your product order. Avoid Order and Delivery Hiccups, says Sweeten blog, and they are so right. Tile can take weeks to get in, especially if you have special order pieces.

Early on when I was placing my tile order, while I was deciding between ordering from a premium tile line like Waterworks that offers special finishing pieces or going with simple field tile from Metro Tile, it was the special pieces that I was concerned about. I was absolutely willing to splurge on Waterworks tile if it was necessary to get the look I wanted. But my contractor did not think it necessary at the time. And that was good news to my budget. 


The splurges in my bathroom were going to be the marble surround and deck for the tub and the handcrafted floor tiles from Heath Ceramics. So I was happy not to take a hit on the wall tile. The wall tile was a simple white beveled field tile and in the shower a standard charcoal gray subway tile both from Metro Tile. 

I am hi-lo like that.

When it came to the bath, I was willing to splurge on the tile if fancy corners and bullnoses were going to be needed. But just as happy to hear it wasn't going to be needed.

This was a teaching moment as they say, for myself and perhaps it will be to others out there. A case where the homeowner - me, I - should have had confidence in my gut feeling. I didn't go into this project blind - I thoroughly researched every aspect of my renovation. I recalled questions on Houzz about how to deal with the positive corners. My gut told me that beveled edges were going to need special treatment. And my gut was right.

The positive corners turned out to be a problem.


While my contractor had experience with beveled tile for a kitchen backsplash, he had never done a whole bathroom with beveled field tile. He assumed  he could finish the corners the way he usually did with subway tile, by beveling the back on his cuts, which gives a nice clean point to the edges.

But it turned out that doesn't work for beveled tile. Even when you cut the tiles on a bevel at the back, the front edges go all wavy gravy where the corners meet, due to the front bevels.

So, what to do?

I hit the interwebz to do some research and I learned that some designers confront the problem of positive corners by using beveled 3x3s. Henry said this absolutely could work. So, I called my local mom and pop store Tiles by Kia to see if the Metro line I had ordered from them carried beveled 3x3s. And sadly, the verdict was no.

Searching the web, I found beveled 3x3s in a line also called Metro by a company called Luxe Tile. And they Fedexed samples in three different whites.

If you have ever tried to match whites from different product lines, you would not believe the variation. It's astounding! And not something you want to be dealing with mid-project with your timeline hanging in the balance.

It could have been a disaster.

Unbelievably, though, one of the samples turned out to be okay for our needs.


I sau okay; it was not a perfect match. There's an almost imperceptible difference, with the 3x3s just a tiny bit more pink, as you might notice in the last photo. But because they are on the corner, I tell myself it could probably be mistaken for shadow. Certainly no one has ever commented on it if they've noticed.



But I know it's there.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Roller Blinds - The Perfect Midcentury Window Treatment


DBA Blinds
"Simple roller blinds in a white setting become part of the architecture. In a room with a series of same-size windows, roller blinds lined up at the same height appeal to those of us who appreciate precision." - Remodelista

Amen to that, sister!

Christine Chang Hanway got it right in her article Remodeling 101: Simple Roller Blinds.

Before we even closed on the purchase of our midcentury apartment, when the renovation was just a gleam in my iPad, I spent many hours poring over Houzz and Pinterest for inspiration. This living room in a Greenwich Village penthouse, designed by Amy Lau, was an enduring source of inspiration. And even though my own living room ended up looking nothing at all like it, the combination of midcentury modern and contemporary modern mixed kept me focused on a "feeling" that I wanted my home to have. And that feeling guided my choices in fixtures every step of the way.

Amy Lau Designs
The window treatments really make this room, don't you think? I learned from reading Amy Lau's comments on Houzz that the curtain fabric shown in this picture was designed by textile artist Judy Ross. And I keep that bit of info tucked away for future renovations. Because my current living room isn't having it. And that's not really surprising when you consider that this apartment was built in 1946.

Midcentury architects did not think living spaces should have window treatments. They felt textiles detract from the pristine nature of the architecture. The window boxes in our home are unadorned of wood trim even, and this does add an austere symmetry to the rooms that draws attention to the spare lines of the walls and ceiling soffits. The rooms have a geometric grace that I am reluctant to disrupt, even with a fabric I love as much as Judy Ross's.

Midcentury architects, however, did not consider how much the large expanses of glass they loved so much would let in sunshine - and heat. We live on the top floor of a 6 story building overlooking the rooftops of neighboring two-story tudor homes. There's no builidng facing us or blocking our light. We don't have to worry about privacy, day or night, but we do need light blockers during the day. Though most of our windows have a eastern exposure, the light in the morning can be blinding and in summer the heat grows stifling before noon. Clearly we would need shades.

If you have non-standard size windows like we do, custom window treatments can cost upwards of $400 per window. And that is what led me to hack the Enje: Ikea Hack: Cutting the Enje Roller Blinds to Fit Your Windows.


I had installed Enje before, when I lived in Ross's apartment in Sunnyside prior to our moving here. I love the spareness, the lack of cord, and the smooth spring loaded mechanicals. Even the plastic pull on the aluminum rails is good-looking. They have the look and hand feel of a much more expensive product. And did I mention the price? $18-$35, depending on the size.

A great deal for an apartment dweller who doesn't want to invest in expensive window treatments. But even as a homeowner who might spring for a more luxurious line, I didn't see anything out there that I liked better.

The only problem: The sizes.

Enje come in a standard 64" length and variable widths of 23", 30", 32", 34", 36", 38" and 48". While most of our windows are standard 34" wide windows, the "bay" in the master bedroom has these 18" wide side windows.


And in the bathroom, a 17" wide window.


The smallest size the Enje is available in is 23" wide. But they can be easily hacked. The roller and rail are aluminum, which can be cut with a standard hack saw. The mesh can be removed from the roller and cut with a sewing scissors, then glued and stapled back onto the roller and rails.

I've done this for three of our windows. You'd never know they aren't custom made:




If you would like to hack the Enje, see my step by step instructions:

Ikea Hack: Cutting the Enje Roller Blinds to Fit Your Windows.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Renovate for Free: Reduce the Cost of Your Renovation to $0

Our $0 renovation
T'is the season for resolutions. Is improving your home on your list for 2015? How about saving money? What if you could do both? And reduce the cost of your renovation to $0. 

No, I'm not talking home equity loan. 

And this isn't going to be a post about scouring the interwebz for the best deal on fixtures. Or how to find upcycled goods at salvage yards. Or even how to cut your contractor costs by doing some DIY yourself. (Though, I can readily get behind any one or all of those things.)

This is about something very real that you don't hear too much about in the home blogs. 

If I were to add up the cost of the renovations to our new home - contractor fees, materials, and fixtures - it totals more than $40k. But it didn't cost us a cent.

Wa-wa-what what?  

Here's how we did it...

It starts with seeking out a home that's sound but cosmetically challenged and using its untapped value to renovate it to your taste. In finance-speak I guess this is called something like "instant equity" but I prefer to think of it as getting my dream renovation on someone else's dime.

1. (Optional) If you are selling the home you are leaving, sell it FSBO and pocket the equity as well as the agent fees to invest in your next home. I call this step optional, because even a first time buyer can find a diamond in the rough. But I do need to mention it, because the more money you can put down on your new home, the more negotiating power you will have when it comes time to make an offer. This is especially true if you live in a hot real estate market like ours in New York City.

My FSBO apartment in Carroll Gardens

FSBO means for sale by owner and it may seem a scary proposition - especially if you are me and one of your favorite real estate blogs Curbed.com starts to question your ability to sell FSBO and get your asking price

Curbed's qualms on my behalf were, as it turned out, unfounded. I stay abreast of real estate in my area. For a long time I paid for a StreetEasy.com Insider membership (though, now that the site was sold I can't vouch for it). This gave me true market comps and closing prices. So I knew that I was in a hot market and how to price my sale. I also do digital marketing for a living so I knew where and how to list my home online. And my design eye as a Renov8or helped me stage my home to sell. 

We received multiple bids the first week at the asking price and the winning bidder waived contingencies. This was the brass ring - almost as good as an all cash offer. It meant that when the appraisal came in below the asking price, as I was very certain it would (bank appraisers often lag the market), the buyer would not have an out or a chance to renegotiate the sale price.

2. Scout out the next real estate frontier. I was, sadly, priced out of my suddenly "hip" neighborhood in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. It happens. And when it does, you move onto the next frontier. I didn't have to do a lot of research to find my next hood. I'm pretty much always perusing real estate sites - in the way I guess some women shop for shoes. Or some men, guitars. (I'm not being sexist, just saying: I heart houses!) Brownstoner.com covered my move as a “trendsetter” among Brooklyn bloggers moving to Queens.

But the real trendsetters actually arrived in Jackson Heights years ahead of me, snapping up pre-war classic sixes for less than I paid for our 2 Bedroom midcentury. I don't feel we're on the tail end of this wave, however. I look around me at our local green market on Sunday and see a familiar tribe of displaced Brooklynites all here for the same reason - large, well-designed homes at a still-affordable price - and I'm certain more will follow.

3. Find a home that's under-valued. If you see an apartment you like, research the building's sales history and other units in the same line or other comps in the neighborhood using sites like StreetEasy.com and see if you can find a comparable home for less. I actually first saw and fell in love with an apartment two floors below us that had exactly the same layout as ours but an asking price way more than we wanted to spend. StreetEasy.com revealed ours on the top floor was already in contract for about $50k less. And you know that caught my eye! Top floor, less money? What's wrong with it?

Other buyers who are not Renov8ors have the opposite approach. Some will pay more for a home that's "turn key" or in "move-in" condition. The New York Times "The Hunt" actually featured our home and a couple who rejected it in favor of the more expensive version that I first saw.  Here's what the NY Times had to say about our home's cosmetic issues that turned off these (and other) buyers. 


This home had some eye sores, but I could see the potential

If you missed the reference, ours is the one that had an ugly "wall of mirrors".   :-)

That article made my day! Because by the time the story went to press that wall of mirrors had already been turned into the loveliest wall of books you can imagine, thanks to an inexpensive Ikea Hack that cost about $800. Seven Billy Bookcases + height extenders + trim = Wall of Bookcases. The irony was not lost on Brownstoner: A Renovation for a Wall of Mirrors.

4. Stalk properties in contract - they may fall through.  I fell in love with the more expensive apartment, so I stalked the less expensive version that needed a renovation. It was in contract, but I continued to watch its progress in my Open House alerts each week. And, just on the off chance, I reached out to the agent, expressing my interest and asking her to contact me should her contract fall through. And that is exactly what happened!

It is especially rewarding to find a property you love where a previous contract has fallen through. A home languishing weeks on the market can create an opportunity for you to make a below-market offer. 

This home had been on the market well over six months and the owners had already moved into their new home. This, coupled with cosmetic defects, positioned us to make an offer well below the asking price. What we brought to the table was sound finances that were guaranteed to pass co-op board approval plus the ability to move quickly.


Where we reinvested our instant equity
5. Invest your "instant equity" in your renovation. The difference between our purchase price and the assessed value of our home at closing gave us instant equity that more than covered our renovation. Were we to sell tomorrow, we would get our renovation money back and more. 

And we got a home renovated to our taste. We didn't pay for someone else's renovation; someone else paid for ours. That's Renov8or Gold!

See House Tour.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Roof Reveal: Cedar Shakes = Cottage Love

.


There are a lot of new plastic or rubber shingles that have a cedar look, but we chose to go with old fashioned wood shakes. And Arthur and his crew installed them the old fashioned way, nailing them in one by one (with the modern application of course of the nail gun!)

We chose white cedar because it weathers gray - and gray will be a sweet look for a modest cottage like ours with white trim.

Here is what the shakes looked like out of the box:



Before you can begin, you have to remove about five layers of old asphalt roofing. Then level out any unevenness where the pitched roof of the original cottage meets up with the 1980s addition. 

The plywood boards are covered in felt paper, then a ventilating underlayment goes on. This is made of an airy material that allows the next layer of rubber sheathing to breath. After this, the shakes are added over the rubber sheathing. 

Here are a few progress shots from my phone about midway through the work, starting at the back of the house, where you can see the deck and outdoor shower shelter:



A bit closer. Can you believe that fall foliage!


And a shot of the pallet of shingles:


Finally, a close up of the shakes on the roof:




Sweet!

While he was at it, Arthur replaced the rotted out boards of the front stoop:



And cellar hatch:




He also did some much needed though not so visible tuck-pointing to the cement-block foundation -- and more importantly, some animal-proofing so that no little critters can burrow under the house. 

We are so happy to be able to take care of these things this fall. These types of projects are not as much fun as, say, the kitchen renovation or even painting the beadboard was -- but so necessary. 

We just nreathed another 30 years of good health into this house. Which means many more years of summer fun for us.

Next up for the cottage - landscaping, certainly, while we save up funds again to finish shingling the back of the cottage to match front and the new awesome roof.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

How to Remove a Broken Lightbulb From a Fixture


Sutton Double Sconce - Restoration Hardware

We've been very happy with the fixtures we chose for our bathroom renovation. The chrome medicine cabinets and sconces complement the console sink and give the room exactly the retro modern look we were going for.

So I have to say I was surprised and a tiny bit annoyed when a bulb blew out in one of the sconces after only 7 months wear, and when I went to replace it, the bulb snapped apart with the metal base remaining stuck in the fixture.


Normally I wouldn't get too worked up about a broken bulb stuck in a light fixture. It has happened before, so I know all about the potato trick.

DIY Network
And the soap trick.

Lifehacker


The real problem was with the fixures themselves.


You might think, as I did, that you'd simply shut off the breaker to the bathroom, unscrew the bottom sconce, use your potato or soap to remove the stuck part of the bulb, replace a new bulb, screw in the glass again, restore power, and be on your way. But the Restoration Hardware Sutton Sconce doesn't work like that. Twist and turn as I did, the thing would not come apart. And as you can see the glass is too long and narrow to squeeze a hand-holding-potato inside.

The one bright spot (hi-yo) in all this was that the fixture is still available on the RH site, so I was able to download the installation instructions. I found the sconces had come with a special tool that you slip up inside the glass to tighten (or in my case, remove) the thin nut holding the glass globe in place. Problem was, I didn't know what my contractor had done with the tool after installing the fixtures. It was very likely in a box of leftover tile and plumbing parts that I had stowed in the attic of our summer cottage - a two hour drive away.

Ug. I had been out to the cottage just a few weeks back to look at the roof work, and I wasn't planning to make another trip out before Christmas. But we had guests coming over Thanksgiving weekend and I wanted the house to look its best. I couldn't just leave the lights looking like a missing tooth in a perfect smile.

Was there another method to remove broken bulbs? I googled and found several good bits of information, should this ever happen to you:

1. There is actually a tool for this. Several in fact. They are called light bulb extractors.



2. This very problem has actually happened to another Restoration Hardware Sutton Sconce purchaser, one lucky enough to have the tool on hand (note to anyone considering buying this fixture).

NineAppleTrees
3. And as it turned out, perusing the comments of Ron Hazelton's Handyman site, I stumbled on exactly the right tool for my tall and narrow sconce: the humble paint stick. (Thank you to Ron's reader Barbara!)

Ron Hazelton's Handyman Site

I am enamored with the paint stick solution! First of all, how many handy men and women carry a potato in their tool kit? Second, certainly you've shut off the breaker, but even so, daughter of an electrician, I feel better inserting a wooden stick in a fixture than a wet potato. Third, I've banned bar soap from my bathroom due to the soap scum factor.

So, the paint stick wins first place in my book on availability and safety.

To recap on how to remove a broken lightbulb that's stuck in a fixture:

Step 1: Shut off the power at the breaker box.

Step 2: If you will be standing below your bulb wear safety glasses and take precautions, as you will likely be showered in glass shards and metal bits.



Step 3: Stick the "handle" end of a wooden paint stick firmly into the fixture and turn counter clockwise (lefty-loosey). The metal end will come right out. 

Step 4: Screw in a new bulb.

Step 5: Restore power at the breaker box

Step 6: Flick on the switch and admire your handiwork.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving: DIY Table Extension to Seat Six

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm not cooking today, as we'll be guests, so that gave me some time to work on a project that I've been meaning to get to: Extending our four-top table to seat six.


Saturday we will be hosting "Second Thanksgiving" for family members we won't get to see today. It will be our first dinner party in our new home and I've been planning it for weeks, with every weekend spent knocking out some little DIY task not big enough to merit a post -- like caulking the kitchen backsplash ( finally), painting the molding alongside the cabinets (finally), removing a broken lightbulb from a fixture (I did post about that, actually), and finally, this project: Extending our 42" round table of four into a rectangular 42" x 68" table for six.

So, let's get right to it.

Step 1: Measure the space around your table and determine how large your new table top extension can be. Consider how many people you need to seat, how much space the chairs you will be using take up, as well as how much space around the table you will need for easy clearance. 


Step 2: Purchase a panel of sanded plywood from any big box store that will do your cuts for you. This will become your temporary table top.




Step 3: Purchase enough oil cloth from a fabric store to cover your temporary table top plus an additional two inches either side. My store carried a roll that was 54" wide for $5 a yard so I ordered 2 yards. I chose white so that if I choose to use a white tablecloth, no pattern will show through. But there were some fun retro patterns and even a few holiday ones.



Step 4:  Lay the oil cloth out on the floor, felt side up and position the plywood panel so that the fabric overage is about even on all sides.



Step 5: Load your staple gun (I use a lightweight Powershot that shoots staples or nails) and, folding one side of the fabric over tightly, staple it in place. 




Do this on all sides, folding your corners in neatly, as you would when wrapping a present.



Step 6: Staple the folds.

Repeat on all sides until the plywood is completely covered.



Step 7: Cover your tabletop with a soft covering to protect it from scratches.



Step 8: position the plywood, evenly distributing the overhang.


Step 9: Do a dress rehearsal, setting your table with the dishes and cutlery you plan to use. Make sure the table is steady and that all chairs have plenty of clearance. You may need to place some clamps to ensure the top doesn't move around.

Now, you are all set to host a sit down dinner using your DIY table extension. 

I plan to put ours in storage and break it out as needed. I may even make another longer one that seats 8.