How do people who live in apartments do their home projects?

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After my divorce I Moved into a small two bedroom apt with a patio on the 11th floor, from a 3bd house and find it challenging to do any projects with limited space I can't take anything downstairs to paint because theres pretty strict association rules.I really want to take on bigger projects like repurposing furniture and building a storage bedframe, however I'm not sure how to handle the painting, sanding, ect. Does anyone have any tips for my dilemma? Trying to repaint my desk and it's just not working out for me.

q how do people who live in apartments do their home projects

Trying to repaint my desk, in a small area is very overwhelming. #aptliving

  7 answers
  • Do you have any friends with a garage or yard that you could borrow periodically? In larger cities there are co ops that share studio space for a small fee.

  • Does your building have maybe a workbench area or work room? Maybe you could suggest it as surely you aren't the only one looking for work space. Are you friendly with your neighbors? Maybe you can pool together and approach the building.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Sep 04, 2018

    That is a problem. Can you rent a small workplace that has a sink ? Sometimes there are artists studios available or can be shared that aren't too expensive. Check around your community.

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  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Sep 04, 2018

    do you have a patio or deck on your apt? spread some paper down and do your work out there or even in the grassy area of the apts.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Sep 04, 2018

    Michelle, hang in there, you are so close to doing what you want! I often paint in my kitchen, especially since the weather has been so rainy. Instead of a drop cloth, I use a large, sturdy shower curtain liner. Then, I use inexpensive milk crates (less than $4 at Walmart) to contain my paint, brushes, etc. I keep tools in a tool box. You can stack the crates out of the way, put your tools away and minimize clutter. I felt overwhelmed looking at the picture, because there is so much stuff. Declutter, consolidate and give yourself permission to get the space to work for you. I like that you have a slider close by, to air things out (I don't spray paint inside - so that you might have to find a space outside where you can do that, at another location). Give yourself lots of natural light, fresh air, and the last half hour of your project day to clean up. If you clean it up when you are done for the day, keep everything contained and near by to resume when you have time, you will enjoy yourself more. Invest in a shelving unit for your supplies and you are halfway there!

  • Heje Heje on Sep 04, 2018

    Your desk is already looking beautiful! I agree with the last helper, Cynthia. Allow yourself the room to create, thereby eliminating the clutter. I have heard of people renting storage sheds where they do their work. Make sure they have a plug in and a possible water source for you. I use a lot of brushes from Dollar Tree that can be tossed when done or bagged for a day or two.

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Sep 04, 2018

    Box everything up in labeled boxes, but keep up with what you need for the desks. Buy a roll of plastic drop cloth, or a box of the big plastic trash bags. And a big roll of paper towels.


    Cover as much floor or patio as you can with the drop cloth or trash bags. You can tape them together where they overlap. Turn the desk upside down on the plastic. Clean the whole underside with warm soapy water and a sponge. Rinse with a clean sponge, and dry with paper towels. Clean up as you go. Use a piece a sandpaper in your hand or a sandpaper tool with a handle—no electricity yet.


    If you can lift up the table on a couple of boxes, it will be easier to get to the sides and edges. After sanding enough to get the paint to stick, paint with Chalk Paint. To save money, you can make you own, using one of many recipes on Hometalk and Pinterest. I add about 1/2 cup of Epsom salts, cornstarch, or baking powder, into two cups of paint. I use a foam brush so there won’t be brush strokes. Let the underside and legs dry for a few hours or overnight. If one coat didn’t cover everything as you wanted, add a second coat and let that dry. While the table is still upside down, you can distress the frame of the table and the legs. Or you can add gold paint or flakes, or other decorative elements. Paint or shine or replace any hardware or other parts you want to. Foam brush on clear polyurethane, at least two coats, drying overnight for each coat.


    When all of that is done, flip the table right side up. Clean the top. Sand the top so paint will stick. Paint the top, two coats at least. Or do any special effects you want to, like marbling, Unicorn SPiT, stenciling a design. Distress or embellish the top. When it is just as you want it, start the layers of polyurethane. A pint of poly should do your whole desk. By the third coat, it should look like glass, although you might want to add more.


    A tip: use a hair dryer on high to burst any bubbles that might come up, and fine sandpaper to smooth any part that sets rough. Try to have a fan blowing on you while you are working with poly and some paints. Use stacked boxes as your desk until you get through.


    Michelle, projects like making your desk beautiful may seem trivial, useless and hopeless. But you can do it. Keep asking questions on Hometalk and making comments. You are not trivial, nor useless, nor hopeless. You can do this project. You can get your apartment organized. You can get yourself organized. I’m pulling for you. Best wishes ☺️



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