Is wintertime rest time? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! So that motivated do-it-yourselfers have enough to do on frosty winter days, all you have to do is look for the right projects. Outdoor work is less of a priority. But there are also quite a few challenges that await in your own four walls and can now be easily mastered. We would now like to introduce some particularly worthwhile tasks. We present three hot projects for cold winter days!
Hibernation, no thanks!
Winter – that means snow, temperatures below freezing point or, at best, nasty grubby weather. Regardless of the weather: in winter you can rely on the fact that the daylight is gone when you finally have finished work. All of these are not good prerequisites if you want to embark on projects that almost necessarily require working outdoors.
This does not only apply to the garden, in which you can only perform very special tasks around the turn of the year. Even if you want to paint something outside quickly, the winter weather usually throws a spanner in the works. So that no DIY enthusiast suffers from “acute home improvement,” we have put together three projects in the following article that are extremely suitable for winter because they can be done right in-house!
1. Refurbish the wooden stairs
Anyone who lives in a house that has been in use for several years will hardly be able to overlook it: the wooden stairs no longer look attractive despite regular cleaning. In real old buildings, it may even be hidden under a multitude of worn layers of paint. But because it’s wood, there is a lot you can do here.
Eccentric and delta sanders are used. Both should have connections for the vacuum cleaner because the work is very dirty. If step mats or the like were glued on, they must first be dismantled with the spatula and then the adhesive residue removed. You can do this with acetone or brake cleaner.
Then it gets dusty: With the random orbit sander and 60 grit paper, you can now remove everything that is on the wood in the form of paint and old dirt on the accessible surfaces. Once this is done, the corners are cleaned in the same way with the delta sander. Then it would help if you vacuumed the stairs and best wipe them well with a damp cloth. Then the sanding process is repeated with 200 grit and then vacuumed and wiped one last time.
Now you have to decide! Of course, it would be possible to treat the stairs with linseed oil. As with any oil, however, this would mean dispensing with a final protective layer of lacquer, because lacquer does not adhere to oil. In principle, there are, therefore, two alternatives:
- If the wood look is to be retained and only possible color differences are to be adjusted, a stain is recommended. However, this must be sealed with a clear parquet varnish.
- A new colored coat of paint can be done immediately with colored parquet varnish. Depending on the stress, this must be applied in up to three layers with intermediate sanding.
Which variant is ultimately chosen is ultimately a matter of taste.
2. The new wardrobe
Especially those do-it-yourselfers who want to score enormously with their “better half” can also use the winter days to conjure up a walk-in closet landscape in the bedroom made of wood and plasterboard. There are three options:
- In large bedrooms with smooth walls, the walk-in closet can be designed as a “room within a room” in a corner.
- If there are pronounced niches, these can be used. In this case, perhaps only a partition wall needs to be drawn in.
- In the case of small rooms, it is possible to draw in a wall that is less deep but extends over the entire width of the room.
The procedure is simple in all cases: After drawing the floor plan, a floor-to-ceiling, wooden substructure made of 6 battens is screwed to the floor, walls, and ceiling. This is closed inside and outside by chipboard, wood fiber, or plasterboard. Important: plasterboard must be filled and sanded at the joints. Precise sawing is sufficient for wooden panels, especially the smooth MDF panels. Now it’s the turn of the lighting. The simplest solution is to tap an existing ceiling lamp in the room by cable.
Once that has been done, the necessary shelves can be created inside with additional slats and boards. A curtain is enough to create the separation – if you want to go to more effort, you can, of course, also install a “real” room door, but then you have to include the dimensions in the substructure when planning.
3. The shelf wall in the living room
As beautiful as “Billy” and other shelves from the furniture store world are, despite their flexibility, they have one disadvantage: they cannot be tailored to the room dimensions. For all bookworms, however, it is also much more individual, by declaring a whole wall in full height and width to be a shelf.
- In the first step, shelf rails are obtained from the hardware store. These should reach from the floor to the ceiling. For heavy loads, as represented by books, the distance between the rails should not exceed 20-inches.
- Then wooden glue-laminated boards are bought (ideally cut to the right width at the hardware store) and hanging supports for the rails that match the depth of these boards.
Each rail should be anchored in the wall with at least six (more in the case of high rooms) 0.3-0.4 inches diameter heavy-duty dowels and corresponding screws that are suitable for the wall material – this is conservative, but ensures sufficient load-bearing capacity. If in doubt, take the number of screw holes per rail as a measure.
Then the rails can be coated with a primer and then painted in the matching wall color – this guarantees a more harmonious integration. If you want, you can give the straps to be hung the same color treatment. These are then hung up as desired, but in any case, in such a way that there is enough space even for the tallest book.
In the last step, only the boards have to be put on. If the very light color of these glue binders is too bright, you can remedy this with a glaze suitable for indoor use or colored stain. To sort the books correctly, you can either proceed alphabetically by author or by genre.