Sunday, July 14, 2013

Built-Ins & Wet Bar: After

This weekend, we took on a little project.

We decided to rid the house of the last remaining 1970s relic:


the wet bar.

Oh, boy.  Allow me to point out that there is reflective metallic wallpaper on the ceiling.  Oh, and there is a fluorescent light fixture up there also. I can't believe this ever went out of style... not.

You may remember that we painted the built-ins surrounding the wet bar in the den last weekend:

We were pleased with the result, but there was still a creature lurking behind the nicely painted louvered doors.

So we donned our construction attire and got to it.

First, we deconstructed the glass shelving unit & pried the dark wood crown molding off the walls.  Fortunately for us, the reflective wallpaper came right down.  
Like with the built-ins, I prepped the dark wood with the tips from Bob at Ace (put 1/8- 1/4 cup powder dish washer detergent in warm water and use a sanding sponge to scrub the wood.  Then wipe with warm water, then wipe dry.)  
I primed with Kilz 2 Latex Primer. (I went ahead and did two coats of primer to ensure the red paint and the dark wood didn't show through later.)

While the primer was drying, Grant took on the lighting and the ceiling.

We bought pre-packaged, tongue-and-groove beadboard. (Like this. We bought 2 packs of 36" tall strips at around $11 apiece.)  We used a circular saw to cut each strip to the right length and fixed them to the ceiling using liquid nails meant for paneling. Apply a squiggle along the back of the paneling, and place on the ceiling.  Remove, then reset in place (this somehow makes it stick better).  Use finish nails to hold in place until the glue dries.  (We found white nails, which blend in a little better.) Then do the next strip.

Once all the beadboard was up, Grant drilled two holes in the ceiling large enough for 4-inch can lights.  He wired them in and boom: new, more flattering lighting.

By that point, the primer was dry, so I painted the cabinet and the crown molding the semi-gloss designer white I had left over from the built-ins.  The walls are Benjamin Moore "Gray Sky" I had left from my office.

We made shelves out of an 8-foot strip of 1" x 8" that already had a bullnose edge (a rounded edge rather than a square one). We used the circular saw to cut the board to size, and I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in "Grain Sack".      

To support the shelves, we bought four $6.99 iron brackets from Hobby Lobby.  We screwed them in place, then screwed the 1" x 8" shelves to the brackets.

Et voila!


Eventually, we would like to put a mini-fridge in the hole.

This little section of the house is just about done. For the moment, anyway.



  1. The tranformation is just phenomenal! The room built-ins look chic and stylish, and you did it just by adding a fresh coat of paint. I've also read the prepping steps and tips for painting these, and it sure sounds helpful. Great job on this project and I'll definitely read more!

    Suzzane Dyck @