Before we moved into this house, Scott and I had a very serious talk – the good kind of talk that makes us all giddy and raise our voices over each other; the louder the better. The topic? What new tools will we need? Because if anything makes Scott excited over a project, it’s power tools (but hey, me too!).

It wasn’t until after we moved in that our rose-colored-glasses came off and we realized, whoa, we have our work cut out for us. Yes, we could see the poor paint job at our inspection, and sure, we could smell the second floor from a block away (thank goodness that’s behind us now!) – but the excitement of all the home’s potential had us pushing those pesky, unwanted thoughts aside. And now, four months in, we’ve had so many ups and downs, it’d be impossible to recount them all. (Should we try? A lacking furnace, the city zoning battle, the unlevel floors, sagging ceiling and – oh yeah – we’ll be knocking back a pretty, shiny penny to resolve cracks in the foundation. But we can’t forget about the insane daylight, the large studio and our future laundry room!)

All that aside, we knew we’d eventually get to the point where we’d be able to take out the paint. We’d finally reach the top of that mountain (I mean, we’re still working our way up, up, up… but still), and we’d see the view from the top and we’d know: It’s only getting better from here. And over the weekend, we did just that. (You know, stood at the top of the mountain.) Because with the help of Ace Hardware, we were given a new tool that topped our list from those early summer discussions, and whoa. Lives have been changed. Enter the Wagner Power Painter Plus:

Never having used a paint sprayer before, we were both excited and – full disclosure – a little nervous. We shopped around for a few different models before deciding on the Painter Plus, but even still, our biggest fears were ease of use, over spray and – in our case – would this electric spray gun really do the job? (No lugging around air compressors with this guy!)

For our virgin run, we set up a floor-to-ceiling sheet of plastic in the garden unit and brought in a rotating crew of every bedroom, bathroom and closet door in that apartment. (We’re hopeful for a December 1st rental date, so the pressure is on.) After reading the straightforward instructions, we just went for it! In under 2 hours, we gave new life to six formerly beige, sticky doors – and that’s including the time it took us to read through every, single page in the manual. (Because remember? We were scared. And for nothing!)

By mid-project, Scott and I were fighting over whose turn it was (mine! It was mine!). As for those silly fears, the over spray was a non-issue since we had taken the time to prep our space, and yes, this electric gun really does the job.

Minds? Blown. Only one coat was needed for every door to have a flawless finish, and we’re thinking our next run (because we have, oh, about 10 more doors to go!) will take even less time now that we’ve gotten our manual reading out of the way.

The best part of our new found love is that we get to hand one off to you! Together with Ace, we’ll be giving away a Wagner Power Painter Plus* ($100+ value) to one lucky reader. Using the Rafflecopter widget below, enter as many ways as you’d like. Giveaway runs through Friday, November 8th at 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post. Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We’ve partnered with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel. Ace has provided us with the Wagner Power Painter Plus to complete our project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. How we DIYed before this tool, we’ll never know.

*Find the right Wagner painter for you at your neighborhood Ace Hardware!


  • Lindsey d. - November 5, 2013 - 8:30 AM

    Oh man, I need this! Fiance and I are picking out colors to repaint his entire house. The only time it’s been painted was when it was built 12 years ago, so it’s definitely time. I really dislike the creamy/beige trim and doors, but with at least 16 doors in the house, that’s a lot of doors to paint! Not to mention that I have some furniture I want to refresh!ReplyCancel

  • Amber - November 5, 2013 - 8:58 AM

    I need this, well I needed it this past summer! We recently bought a condo in Roscoe Village, and all the doors needed to be painted so I painted all of them by hand (with a brush and roller) over 2 months. I showed my husband your instagram video of Scott painting the doors with the paint sprayer, and he just shook his and said “we’re idiots”.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 5, 2013 - 9:05 AM

    Lindsey, good luck! This would also be great with furniture – we can’t wait to give it a try ourselves.

    Amber, nah, we didn’t know better until we gave this a go ourselves! I’m sure you could find another use for it now that your doors are done…ReplyCancel

  • Laura at - November 5, 2013 - 9:21 AM

    Great giveaway! We so need this for our doors and trim.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 5, 2013 - 10:36 AM

    Laura, YES. Yes, you do.ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - November 5, 2013 - 11:53 AM

    We have a ton of doors and trim this would be great for. Is it open to non USA residents? (I’m in Canada) Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 5, 2013 - 12:53 PM

    Hi Brooke, International shipping is A-okay!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - November 5, 2013 - 1:40 PM

    Fingers crossed I win this! I’ve got two porches and many, many feet of fence to paint in the spring!ReplyCancel

  • ryan - November 5, 2013 - 2:00 PM

    I love this but I’m a little afraid that if we had it my husband would try to repaint the whole house :)ReplyCancel

  • Kiira - November 5, 2013 - 3:04 PM

    told you life would never be the same! I can’t carry things into the basement fast enough.ReplyCancel

  • Henry Drake - November 5, 2013 - 6:54 PM

    I Need this! Would be really helpfulReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 6, 2013 - 7:23 AM

    Good luck, guys!

    Kiira, it really never will. We’ve been changed. Ha!ReplyCancel

  • shades of white | bona fide clyde - June 25, 2014 - 4:03 PM

    […] Clark + Kensington line from Ace. Our plan (after painting prep, duh) is to buy a paint sprayer (this one?) and tackle the trim and doors. We can take the panels off of the baseboard heaters to get the […]ReplyCancel


We’re excited to share one of our most recent projects for a couple reasons: ONE) puppies!, and TWO) we were recently invited by Ace Hardware to be a part of their Ace Blogger Panel – which has it’s perks for us and you.

In addition to our own house hustling, we’ll be sharing projects that will be made possible with the help of Ace, including new-to-us products, paint and our first attempt at building a dining table. Before Thanksgiving. (Because remember when we declared that Friendsgiving would be hosted at our house this year? The world’s largest fire has officially been lit.) While Ace is partnering with us (for which we’re over-the-moon thankful for), the good news for you is that we’ll be sharing a few goodies for a handful of readers, too.

Running to the hardware store (sometimes for the fourth time in a day; um, not that we’d know) can sometimes be overwhelming, but Ace wants to nip that attitude and make you feel as though you’re getting help from a neighbor. Which, if you’ve ever been to our local Ace, ask for Al (he’s awesome) – he has the philosophy down. So to kick off the whole neighborly vibe, we helped out our friend and foster-pup-momma Kiira by creating a custom DIY doggie gate. With 2 dogs of her own (you may remember her pet portraits of Monkey and Petey), she was in need of a solution to keep not only her pups within a watchful distance, but also her rotating crew of fosters.

Here’s what she had to say:

We used to have an adjustable baby gate to keep Monkey and Petey out of the kitchen when home alone. I painted it white to make it less ugly, but it was clumsy and it happened to scare the bejeezus out of Monkey (it had fallen—very loudly—too many times when not in use). I spent an afternoon constructing a ‘built-in’ dog gate at the entrance to our kitchen, and it really was the perfect solution. However, when we started fostering dogs, I found myself pulling out the old baby gate more and more to keep all of the dogs confined to an area where I could keep an eye on them. Monkey would automatically shut down at the sight of the thing, and so I resolved to get rid of it for good.

Kiira needed a new gate (in addition to the one at the entrance of her kitchen) to toss the baby gate once and for all, but naturally, the goal was to make it just as good looking as it was functional. After a weekend in our garage and with this as our inspiration, we created a solution that’s better suited for Kiira’s home (and easier on Monkey’s ears):

4 – 1″x2″x8′ (for the ribs)
1 – 1″x4″x6′ (for the top and base)
Pack of 1″ hinges
Surface bolt
1″ brad nails
1″ drywall screws
Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover spray primer (flat white)
Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover spray paint, satin (blossom white)

Brad nailer: We used the Arrow ET200
Compound miter saw (for making cuts)
Mini Kreg jig
Screwdriver / Drill
Tape measure / Ruler
Putty knife
Sanding blocks: medium + fine
Mouse sander

WHAT WE DID: Kiira’s doorway is 32″ wide, so we wanted our finished size to be 31.5″ wide, leaving 1/4″ inch on either side – just enough for the door to swing freely, but with enough space for the hinges and latch. Using the 1x4s, we made two cuts at 31.5″ for the top and base and three cuts from the 1x2s at 26.75,” giving our gate a height of approximately 34″ tall. We laid them out for a dry fit, then used our mini Kreg jig to make pocket holes and secure these 5 planks together.

Scott cut a small, triangular slug piece of 1×2 (the same shape and size as the illustration below) that we used as our guide for the rest of the project. Using that slug, we marked 2.25″ inches to the right and up from the middle, then did the same to the left and up again. Not wanting to over complicate the process, all of our cuts would be made at a 45-degree angle. To get started, We measured from mark to mark (for example, our first measurement followed the 45-degree line, below), knowing that would be our inside cut for each rib. The first several 45-degree cuts were made opposite each other, giving your first handful of ribs a trapezoid shape.

We worked on mirroring each side as we went along, making sure to keep our spacing as straight as possible. Using our brad nailer, we secured each rib in place with 2 brads at the top and bottom of each piece. This was slightly tricky due to the angles (we had a few missteps), but it did make the job go much faster.

The hardest part of the whole process, simply put, is the math. But as long as you made your marks every 2.25,” you should be fine! However, once you get past the bottom corners (we started at the bottom and worked our way up), your 45-degree cuts will stop being trapezoidal and turn into a parallelogram (see below) – and once you’ve made it almost to the top and your ribs have reached the middle corner, they’ll turn back into trapezoids. We were very mindful of this as we made our cuts, working slowly and deliberately, measuring twice (sometimes thrice!) and cutting once.

When we reached the last remaining ribs, we needed to take off the top 1×4 to make room for our brad nailer, then secure the cap back on once every rib was in place. We did have a few planks that felt slightly loose, so we added pocket holes were necessary. Finally, we could sand (we used the mouse sander first, followed by the sanding blocks for fine tuning), spackle any gaps and pocket holes, and paint it!

We waited until we got to Kiira’s house before we installed the hinges and latch, which turned out to be a good thing as we needed to make some slight modifications to her door frame. While her ornate molding is stunning, it was too thick at the bottom, which wouldn’t allow for the gate to swing completely open when not in use. We remedied the situation with a thin piece of scrap wood – something that will be different for everyone (and will likely not be a problem at all with more modern molding).

The verdict? Petey, new foster Kostka and Monkey (left to right) love it! (Kostka was thisclose to coming home under our coats, by the way.)

The gate was installed off of the dining room, creating a good amount of space for all the pups to roam, play and sleep. Kiira’s original gate is to the left of the photo below, closing off the kitchen, and a pocket door (out of view on the right) sections off the living room.

Although the gate took us a good amount of time to figure out initially, once we hashed out the math, it was pretty simple (and fun!) to piece together. (Say, if we’d had time to complete a second gate, it would have taken less than half the time of the first.) Come spring, Scott and I would love to build a similar gate to separate our front and back yards, so we’ll be bookmarking this page for future use, too.

We encourage you to check out our fellow Ace bloggers right hereand if anyone else was as distracted as we were by Kostka’s meatball mug, he’ll be available for adoption through Project Rescue Chicago starting Saturday – hurry, hurry!


We’ve partnered with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel. Ace has provided us with the tools and materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. Cute puppies are an added bonus.


  • Hannah K. - November 1, 2013 - 5:46 AM

    First, wow – you guys are up early!
    Second, we TOTALLY know thte feeling of being at the hardware store multiple times in an evening. We have a small chain here called Valu Home and they are AMAZING!
    Third, how cute it that gate!! And those pups!!ReplyCancel

  • Megan @ The Brick Bungalow - November 1, 2013 - 8:05 AM

    My dad built one very similar for both his house and my house. I love it! It keeps our kids safe from the stairs, the dogs on either side and we left enough room at the bottom so the cats can get under. Ours leads to our unfinished basement where the cats stuff is but also where we put the dogs some days. I’m thinking we may need another when we remodel our kitchen so the cheap baby gate goes away (my big dog likes to eat kitchen utensils). And those dogs? Adorable!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - November 1, 2013 - 8:43 AM

    This gate is a beautiful alternative to those ugly baby gates. We currently are using 2 in our house to keep the pups from forbidden rooms (esp. the ones with their dog food!), which I would love to replace with this! Thanks so much for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - November 1, 2013 - 8:45 AM

    Oh, and how could I forget…the pups in your photos are ADORABLE. I want to take them all home! :)ReplyCancel

  • Shauna - November 1, 2013 - 9:14 AM

    Ohhh those little buddies are so cute!! My dog is also afraid of baby gates, this is a great solution.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 1, 2013 - 9:22 AM

    Megan, smart to raise them a little so the cats can stay mobile!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - November 1, 2013 - 9:31 AM

    I love this project – your gate came out amazing! And the pups are just beautiful- wow! Hope you have a great weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Laura at - November 1, 2013 - 9:45 AM

    This is such a great project! And I LOVE the design of the gate – wonderful example of form and function coming together well.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - November 1, 2013 - 10:21 AM

    looks great!!ReplyCancel

  • zandi @ radical possibility - November 1, 2013 - 10:32 AM

    1.) that gate is beeeyooootiful.

    2.) i LOVE al. so much. i keep having less-than-positive experiences at home depot (the one on north and the one on elston), so whenever I can I go see Al, and I love him so much. He never laughs at my many stupid questions, and is so, so nice. haha he doesn’t strike me as someone who spends a lot of time reading blogs, but if you’re reading this al, i love you. :)ReplyCancel

  • christine - November 1, 2013 - 10:47 AM

    Absolutely gorgeous gate, home, and pups! Kostka is the cutest little dumpling and is lucky to be with the best foster family around!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 1, 2013 - 12:26 PM

    Thanks, everyone!

    Zandi, we know! Al is the best. He’s actually helping us out with lumber supplies – all we had to do was ask. He even let us stay and discuss our ideas after the store closed. He’s a good guy!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - November 1, 2013 - 12:55 PM

    It turned out amazing, you guys!ReplyCancel

  • Kiira - November 1, 2013 - 1:10 PM

    You guys are so amazing and handy. Love the gate, love you, love Ace. And love seeing the house thru YBH-colored glasses :)ReplyCancel

  • Margaret - November 1, 2013 - 2:47 PM

    Another awesome project!! Love the design and it’s function. Those little mugs are just too cute!!!ReplyCancel

  • Two Pitties in the City - November 1, 2013 - 4:33 PM

    I love this for so many reasons! Only you guys could design a dog gate so beautiful. And I love seeing when worlds collide…Petey and Monkey are the cutest, and what a cute foster pup!ReplyCancel

  • Julia @ Cuckoo4Design - November 3, 2013 - 8:45 PM

    Oh they are all so freakin cute. Love how they are peaking through and above. The gate turned out awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - November 5, 2013 - 11:34 AM

    Wow! That is sooo creative! I LOVE it!!!ReplyCancel

  • Edyta - November 6, 2013 - 9:35 PM

    Love this so much! Love the gate and love the pups of course!! We have two pitties ourselves :)
    So happy to find your blog, I will be checking back often!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - November 7, 2013 - 7:13 AM

    Edyta, so happy you found us!ReplyCancel

  • Serena | Pretty Fluffy - January 14, 2014 - 11:27 PM

    This is amazing Kim – so beautiful and ingenious.

    I’ve always wondered about installing a dog gate, but they were always ugly – this one is SO pretty! Brilliant tutorial.ReplyCancel

  • […] of their favorite collaborations to date – like Ace Hardware and Schoolhouse Electric – and how they select their collaboration […]ReplyCancel

  • […] considered doing this fabulous DIY Gate by Yellow Brick Home…but then realised our tool kit consists of a few screwdrivers and some pink craft paint. It […]ReplyCancel

  • […] via […]ReplyCancel

  • DIY Pet Projects: Top Accessories For Happy Pets - September 10, 2015 - 10:21 AM

    […] DIY Doggie Gate via YellowBrickHome […]ReplyCancel

  • Kaylee - May 1, 2016 - 8:59 AM

    Love this gate, it’s exactly what we need for our 9 month old, we are planning to build it soon, can you share where your antique brass hardware is from? Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 2, 2016 - 6:13 PM

      Everything was purchased at Ace Hardware, Kaylee!ReplyCancel


Libby finally comes out as the sweet bunny she really is.

Wishing you more treats than tricks this Halloween!

  • Rachel - October 31, 2013 - 7:24 AM

    hahah she looks psyched about her costume (I love her little bunny tail haha).
    Is Jack dressing up this year? Or does Libby get to have all the fun solo ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 31, 2013 - 7:27 AM

      Rachel, we’ve tormented Jack throughout the years (and pretty much every day), so we thought we’d let him take some time off. (Maddie will have to be next!)ReplyCancel

  • Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room} - October 31, 2013 - 8:42 AM

    Hahaha! I love both of these images and seriously want to cuddle with her kitty/bunny face.

    In related news, I might be having cat withdraw…ReplyCancel

  • Laura at - October 31, 2013 - 9:04 AM

    I’m impressed she kept it on long enough to take a photo! I don’t think my cat would. ;-) Hoppy Halloween to you too!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K. - October 31, 2013 - 9:23 AM

    She looks oh-so thrilled…ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom - October 31, 2013 - 10:49 AM

    That’s too cute!ReplyCancel

  • Julia @ Cuckoo4Design - October 31, 2013 - 11:12 AM

    This made me laugh. Love the annoyed look on cats! You should see my gray Manx’s belly. She is 18 and her tummy almost drags on the floor. That side view would look a little different for her.
    Love your little annoyed bunny!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - October 31, 2013 - 12:49 PM

    Julia, I bet it’s adorable! And 18?! That’s amazing. Both our cats are 10, so we think they’ve earned their midsection :)ReplyCancel