Wine Nook? Yes, PLEASE.

It all started with this glorious masterpiece….

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Our beautiful Christmas present.  It’s a cutting board made by Pop with our initials inset.

The second I set it down on our counter, I was inspired to add more wooden rustic elements to our kitchen.   Next to our fridge we have this small counter…

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…Which has been acting as a catch-all space for anything random that happens to be laying around.   I thought that adding purpose might help to keep it more organized.  Enter “dedicated wine bar area”. I am Italian, after all.  I feel like it’s my duty to celebrate wine.  And I like wine.  And Joey likes wine.  So, we went for it (while inserting frequent fist pumps… Or maybe that was just me?). 🙂

In my minds eye, I saw wooden wine racks and glasses hung beneath the counter.  So, during our last trip to Ikea we picked up two of these wine glass holders…

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And two of these wine racks…

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Unfortunately, when we went to assemble the wine racks, we realized that they would be too tall for the space once the wine glasses were hung.  So, Joey chopped off the top row of each rack with our miter saw.

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I stained the wine racks Early American by Minwax (which was highly disappointing, I might add).  It came out this ugly, ashy color with blackish wood grain. Bad-70’s-paneling vibe, if you ask me.  Not good.  I had used the Varathane brand Early American stain for our media cabinet in the living room and it was perfection.  So, in the case of Early American stain, Varathane>Minwax.  Hands. Down.

To rectify the situation, I applied a coat of Polyshades in Antique Walnut, which I had leftover. And it worked like a charm.  You can see the difference in this pic…

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The bottom middle rod was Polyshaded and the top rods weren’t.  The Polyshades added much needed richness to correct the ashy hue of the stain and ended up exactly the tone I was going for.  The Minwax stain doesn’t look nearly as offensive in this pic as it did in person for whatever reason.

Joey mounted the wine glass holders beneath the cabinet, using some nuts and bolts for added security (rather than just screws up into the cabinet)…

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Which left this (imagine one more next to it… we butted two together to fill the space) ….

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I hung some glasses and set the wine racks in place…

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A little before and after action…

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Much better.

I know this is hardly a new idea, but I just love it.  I feel like it warms up the kitchen a lot and helps to camouflage the multitude of outlets in this tiny space.  (Seriously… two full outlets within 18 inches of each other.   The builder said that because we opted to go with a counter-height peninsula (rather than a raised bar area), they had to find alternate places for the outlets that would’ve been in the backsplash behind the sink area.   And this is what they came up with.)

Anyways, this was a pretty fast and easy project.   It probably took about an hour of actual work (between the two of us), not including dry-time for the stain and Polyshades.

Cost-wise… The wine racks were about $10 a piece, wine glass holders were 6 bucks a pop, and the Minwax stain was about $5 for a grand total of about $37.  Not bad for a little dose of function and coziness.

So, do any of ya’ll have any projects you’re working on right now?  Any vino-inspired goodies to share? 🙂

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A curious finding

Okay, so it all started with this guy…

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A wood-lidded jar that I found at Goodwill for 4 bucks. I liked it, but wasn’t totally digging the orangey tone of the wood. So, I decided to darken the stain. I sanded the lid with medium grit sandpaper and followed it up with fine grit to smooth it. I didn’t really worry about sanding with the grain like I normally would because I wanted a more rustic, aged look.  Then, I stained it with some Ebony stain that I had on hand.

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Which left this…

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I liked this darker version just fine, but decided to add something a little more. A little bling. I used this metallic spray-paint….

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Taped off a strip in the middle with painters tape….

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Spray-painted my lid with one thin, even coat….

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(I was also spray-painting a seen-better-days wood candlestick holder that I got at Goodwill for a buck… I forgot to take a before pic of that one, though. My bad.).  I left the lid in the garage for three days to cure up.  Which left this….

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At this point, I decided that the silver was too crisp for what I was going for, so I sanded it a bit with 220 grit sandpaper….

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Which left this….

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Then, since I already had my Polyshades out for my basketcases…

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….I decided to apply a coat to my lid to further age the silver patina and to seal the entire surface. I applied the stain+poly mixture with a brush and immediately noticed that my silver spray-paint started to bleed into the wood portion of my lid (sorry, forgot to take a pic). So, I used a paper towel to remove the excess Polyshades (thinking that it would simply clean up the wood portion).  But what it really did was (ready for this?)…..

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That’s right. It REMOVED EVERY TRACE OF SPRAY-PAINT!!!!!!! Fully cured, dried-for-three-days spray-paint. And, I just want to stress this point…. I did not scrub the lid with the paper towel in the slightest. I gently wiped the Polyshades off (’cause remember, I was only trying to clean up the wood portion) and all spray-paint went with it. Every bit!! I mean, I’ve seen some paint-bleeding in my life… I’ve seen dry paint rub off  after being exposed to wet paint to some extent.  But ALL of it?? So easily???  Never.  Never in my life.  I nearly fell over. But decided to talk to myself instead. “What the…???  Are you Serious?? O.M.G!! No. Friggin’. Waaaay.” could be heard coming from our backyard if one was prone to listen.

So, I’m taking this experience as a cue from the decorating gods that the lid should stay without embellishment. Which leaves me with this….

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Which is fine. At least it’s not the ugly orange color anymore. And I learned not to apply Polyshades to a painted surface. Unless I want to remove the paint. Jeepers.