#12 Why We Decided to Redo The Loft Railing

After our first attempt at the loft railing, we realized that it was slightly unstable despite the fact that I screwed in many 6-inch deck screws from the railing into the subfloor. So we went back to the drawing board again to think of a different and more stable design. Let’s revisit.

This was my first design of the loft railing. I originally wanted to do some macrame braiding in between the 2x4s, but the far-right (and far left) corner wasn’t attached to anything. The whole railing’s weight is supported by a couple of 6-inch deck screws and I can easily see it may be a safety hazard. It took some convincing and help from Mr. CodeJunkie, and I took this first version back down.

Here is a first sketch of what it should look like, how much lumber we needed to buy, and how long these pieces needed to be cut at Home Depot. We ended up buying about 5 pieces of 2x6x144 ($~100) and some decking screws. Home Depot trips are expensive these days. I guess everyone is doing home improvements since we are all locked down due to COVID.

Going to Home Depot is always stressful for me. I don’t particularly enjoy crowds and it is plain intimidating that I don’t know half of the stuff they have here. It is like a Lego’s game on hard mode. Fortunately this time I got help from Mr. Codejunkie. This was hands down the fastest time I got out of Home Depot.

The first thing I did after coming back from Home Depot was sanding. It was very therapeutic for a while until I got tired of sitting on the floor. I busted out my Makita sander and quickly finished sanding all the wood pieces (with 220 grid).

Making frame by yourself can be hard sometime when you need an extra arm you don’t have. This is when the legs come in handy.

I re-made the basic frame again, but this time with two support columns, and completely with 2x6s instead of 2x4s. They feel instantly sturdier. A lot less nerve wracking than my railing version 1!

We added these support columns on the outside of the railing frame. They needed to be countersinked & pre-drilled before we put them up.

These support columns are also 2x6s and they will eventually be attached to the frame itself to ensure the load is transferred to the sub-flooring.

During my week of working in the barn, I had a slight accident. I was trying to fix this window that acts as a guillotine every time you open it. And I dropped it on my window frame and made a huge dent on it (AND my heart…). But it’s nothing a little pink spackle can’t fix! 

Here you have it, our second attempt at making this railing safe and pretty! 

Want to keep browsing our building projects and renovations? This archive is completely dedicated to them. We also now have an Instagram account! Check us out @thetinybarn! We will be putting some short stories on there as we build in the barn. 

#11 How to Paint the Front Door & My Favorite Paint Brand

My newest update is the freshly painted door for the barn. The color is Benjamin Moore Tranquility (AF490). They are a lot calmer than I thought they were from Younghouselove’s doors. After I experienced Benjamin Moore paint, I don’t think I could ever go back to Home Depot paints. Of course, Ben Moore is a lot more expensive but literally, I’ve put on two coats of this and it looks AMAZING meanwhile I’ve put on like 7 coats of white on my house’s front door and it still looks vaguely brown. 

Here’s the door before I painted it. It didn’t look bad in the photo but you can tell it’s a door that hasn’t been painted. It was primed white from the store. Based on Sherry from Younghouselove’s guide to painting front doors, the first step is to paint the recessed areas.

This is actually not as easy as it looks because I keep seeing globs of paint around the pivot points of the recessed areas. I finally gave up on being a perfectionist about them, and you can’t tell the difference after the paint is dried.

The next area I painted is the raised panels. Then it’s the large cross sections of the door. Overall this paint is really easy to control and I absolutely love the color. I am doing the outside of this door after our rainy Spring in Arkansas come to a pause. 

Here is the finished look.

Want to keep browsing our building projects and painting endeavors? This archive is completely dedicated to them. 

#10 How to DIY Loft Guardrail (Macrame Railing) – Part 1

I added some railing to the loft this weekend.

First I made a frame by measuring the length of the loft floor. I made the railing about 3ft tall, so I measured the length of the top of the railing as well. I found these lumber from the Home Depot discount section (there’s a section right next to the cutting station that’s all 75% off because the wood has some damage or split. So I salvaged the parts that are still usable. I also sanded all of these with 220 grid sandpaper before assembly. 

I wanted to make some macrame netting to make the railing a little less harsh and more welcoming, so I added these hook eyes to be able to braid macrame ropes. 

I pre-drilled holes (in the depth of the hook eyes – see above drill bit taped with painters tape to mark the depth). 

This is what the railing looks like with the hook eyes installed. 

If you have trouble screwing the hook eyes into the pre-drilled hole, here’s a trick I learned. You can take a screwdriver (or any metal tool, sometimes I use this nail set that’s laying around) to put through the hook eye, and then use that as leverage to turn it. These tools save your hand! Unless you are Captain America, in that case, please contact me, Cap 😉

Here’s what the railing looks like halfway through. 

Here’s what it looks like once the bottom is fixed to the subfloor. But the sides touching the wall are still a little wobbly. So in part 2, I will figure out how to fix that, and then braid the macrame netting.

Here’s my first attempt at macrame-style curtain. It turned out pretty nice! This was inspired by the youtube video here. I am trying to design my own macrame net railing braiding so I decided to try and make a curtain first.

If you’d like to read more about my tiny barn building process, here are all the other articles. Happy building!

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

  • How much I’d Recommend: 9/10
  • Date finished: 2/26/21
  • Piranesi: recommend borrowing from your local library.

I found this book through Mark Manson’s 2020 favorite book list. Of course, I never paid for the subscribed version of Mark Manson’s website, though, I frequently contemplated on becoming a member (paying). So the unsubscribed version cuts off half of the article but Mark did share the full list for people who don’t subscribe. 

I requested this from the local library and absolutely LOVED every page of it. It was a fantasy, a novel, a mystery, and so much more. It is a well-deserved top-selling book. 

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. he lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house, a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.