In this post I will share with you the first part of my entryway makeover. After adding picture frame molding and an accent color to the wall, I built a concrete table which was styled with decor and a mirror. This post has been created in partnership with National Hardware. All opinions and creative process are my own.
Creating a more functional space for this DIY entryway makeover
When I got started on designing our entryway, I knew I wanted the space to not only be beautiful but to also be functional.
Our entryway in very small and for a long time was just a wall with some pictures on it. I got to work on the design, keeping in mind that it needed to be budget friendly and check all the boxes with functionality for an entry. Which means it needed to have:
- A place for someone to set something down as they enter (for example, if they are arriving with food or beverages but want to take off their coat and shoes)
- A place for someone to hang a jacket
- A easy to clean rug to prevent the mess that comes from visitor shoes on our flooring
- Beautiful decor and finishes!
Here’s a little mock-up that I did for the space:
To start this project, I got to work on the wall itself. Here’s a look at what it looked like before, and after the accent wall was finished.
I simply added picture frame molding (or “box” molding) to the wall and painted it the color Pier by Behr. This type of wall treatment is very budget friendly and only requires a few pieces of trim!
Getting started on the concrete table build
I couldn’t really nail down a design for my table and was torn between a waterfall concrete table or a concrete top with more traditional legs. I had my instagram followers vote and the waterfall table won! For reference, here was my inspiration for the table:
The first thing I did was purchase three 2x4x8 pieces of wood. I cut them to size and used pocket holes to attach them together. I knew it was going to be a little wider and taller once I wrapped it all in plywood but it gave me the basic frame of the table.
To ensure the joints of the table were solid, I purchased metal brackets and notched a space in the wood for them so that it would be flush. Again, I wanted to wrap the whole thing in plywood before covering it with concrete.
Here’s a look at what the frame looked like once it was assembled and the brackets were added. I also made sure to add a lot of wood glue.
After consulting with a friend who makes concrete tables, she stressed the joints are extra important because if they move, it can cause cracking of the concrete. Spending a little extra time to make them as sturdy as possible is important!
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Next, I ripped down plywood and wrapped the frame with it. I used a lot of wood glue, nails, and some screws to keep that in place as well. This make the table much more substantial. I wasn’t looking for the legs and top to be super skinny, I wanted them to be thicker.
Of course, at this point I wanted to make sure I was happy with everything! This is a tricky area because it is very small. The table can’t take up too much space or people will be bumping into it. However, it needs to be wide enough to be functional. What good is a table that is so skinny no one can set anything on it?
I set up my lamp to make sure it fit and I lived with it for a day or two to make sure it was just right!
The next step before covering it with the concrete was to make sure no metal was showing. I covered every screw and every nail hole with Bondo so that the moisture from the concrete would not rust anything over time.
Then, I simply sanded it smooth with my orbital sander. I used a higher grit to make it a little quicker. It didn’t have to be perfect since it was going to be covered with concrete, but I did want it as flush to the plywood as possible.
Lastly, I covered it with Henry FeatherFinish concrete! It took about three coats of the concrete on all the surfaces (the last coat being fairly thin) to get the look I wanted.
The nice thing about concrete is that you can give it as much or as little character as you want. I like there to be some character with the color variation but I still like the finish to be smooth.
To make it smooth, I used another trick from my friend and smoothed the concrete with a damp sponge once it was fairly dry to touch (but not fully dry). This helped get a super soft finish without having to sand the concrete at all! No one likes concrete dust in their home!
Note: if you do need to sand, please use a respirator mask when dealing with concrete dust!!
Once it’s fully dry, be sure to seal it with 3-4 coats of polyacrylic. I chose the matte polyacrylic so that it would not be shiny at all.
Hanging the mirror + mirror hanging trick
I purchased a beautiful mirror that I’m still absolutely obsessed with. The thing with mirrors is that they are not cheap! They are also really heavy! Not only is this a high traffic area but it’s next to a door that is occasionally slammed by my children who are excited to play outside.
It’s very important to be that this mirror be securely hung on the wall. That’s why I reached out to National Hardware to see if they wanted to partner with this project — I knew their hardware was high quality, easy to install, low damage, and designed to make life (and projects) easier and that’s exactly what I was looking for!
Let me show you a little trick for hanging mirrors!
First, grab your mirror hanging hardware and some painters tape:
I’m using National Hardwares Professional Mirror Hanging Kit and some regular painters tape that I had on hand. Next, you’ll just lay the tape over the back of the two hooks on your mirror. If your mirror doesn’t have hooks, the Mirror Hanging Kit includes some that you can install on the back of your mirror.
Just grab a screw or nail and poke a hole where the hooks are so you know where to install them on the wall.
To prep my wall, I marked the center of the space that I wanted to hang the mirror and figured out how high I wanted it to be as well. I used my level to make a straight line at the height I wanted the mirror.
Then, I took the tape off the back of the mirror, lined up the holes and folded it in half to find the center. I lined up the center of the tape with the center of my wall and then lined the tape up with my level line. Sometimes the hooks on the back of mirrors are installed a little wonky so if the holes don’t look straight, don’t worry!
Then, install your mirror hanging hardware right into the holes on the tape. Mine were not going to be installed into a stud, so I used the drywall anchors from the Professional Mirror Hanging Kit.
When using drywall anchors, I like to start the hole first and then tap the anchor in with a hammer. Once you have the holes started, you can remove your tape.
The hooks from the kit screw right into the drywall anchors easily. One of the things I love about the National Hardware kit is that the drywall anchors are super skinny. Being low damage is important because the smaller the hole you create, the easier it is to patch later and the better finish it will have!
Once your hardware is installed, you can just hang up your mirror! The hooks will line up perfectly with ZERO frustration!
The last thing I want to happen is for this mirror to fall, break, and hurt someone. Using this kit from National Hardware makes me confident that this space is family friendly! Not only is their hardware made from steel for extra durability but it can hold up to 50lbs AND it comes in a nice resealable box for organization. Win win!
Be sure to check out all of the options at National Hardware! They have any kind of hardware you can think of from for all of your indoor and outdoor projects. Just to name a few:
- Closet hardware
- Barn door hardware
- Craft hardware
- Storage and organization hardware and accessories
- Hinges, brackets, and braces
- Plant hanging hardware
- Security hardware
The options are endless! Click here to visit National Hardware online.
Check out the video I made for the mirror hanging trick! You can save it on Instagram to refer back to it later!
Stick around for the next part of the DIY entryway makeover!
The entry is not done yet but I love breaking down bigger projects into bite size pieces and celebrating each win along the way!
You can follow along on Instagram (the project is saved to a highlight titled “Entryway”) or sign up for our newsletter below to stay up to date on our projects and receive DIY tips and freebies straight to your inbox!