Phinney Lumber Introduces Our New DIY page!

 Welcome to Phinney Lumber DIY.

This page is for YOU, our neighbors and homeowners, to offer inspiration, encouragement, and fun as you venture into some satisfying Do It Yourself projects with us.

Why a DIY Page?

In our 90+ year history as first a sawmill and later a building materials supplier, Phinney Lumber has served the local contractor as its primary client. As we move into 2020 and beyond, we are thrilled to welcome more and more local homeowners into our store, just like you, and we are working hard to better serve you; this page is just for you!

Connect With Us... through DIY!

We are connecting with you through social media and our blog, we are welcoming you when you visit by refreshing our store and changing our inventory to better serve you, we are inviting you to engage with us online and in person, and we hope to empower you to DIY with our new page. Let's get to know each other better, neighbor!


How to Use this Page:

Get inspired – we’re offering a themed activity every season with a “work” project to give that great feeling of accomplishment and a “whimsy” project to add a bit of fun!

Shop Phinney Lumber for project supplies – we’ll make you a list of what you need, so stop in and pick up your supplies here!

Join the fun – We’ll have contests, challenges, and opportunities to chat about projects and ideas on our Facebook page!

We’ll also share some of the best DIY resources found on the web, right here all in one place.

Spring 2021 "_______!"

Freshen Up!

Spring is in the air! That winter wonderland called “outdoors” will soon be a live-able space once again. It’s time to think about freshening up your “fresh air living room” (also known as “the deck!”)


Once the basics are attended to - Phinney Lumber has chainsaws, rakes, shovels, weed blocker, wasp spray, house wash, and more - (that is, if your post-winter yard looks like a tornado blew through); how about a fresh coat of stain on that deck, and maybe add a few built-by-you window boxes to hurry spring along a bit?

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"Work" Project - Freshen Up the Deck with a New Coat of Stain!

First Step: Inspect – look for structural issues (like loose rails and sagging boards) and wood rot, both of which can undermine the integrity of the deck. If you see rot, find where the water is coming from. Often the culprit is a leaking gutter that is funneling water onto a particular area of the deck. Rot can be a problem around handrails or stairs, where it's more difficult to effectively seal the area; so, check there, too.

Divert the water, then repair (with wood stabilizer) or altogether replace rotting boards before staining or sealing your deck. Phinney Lumber sells super durable, low maintenance, and easy to install Plastmo gutter systems if you are ready to give your ugly old gutters the heave-ho.

Next Step: Clean – cover shrubs and flowers with a tarp; use a cleaner specifically formulated for decks; if you use a pressure washer, turn it on the lowest setting so as not to rip up the wood grain; then lightly sand the fuzzy areas and wait several days for the wood to thoroughly dry.

Final Step: Stain - Don’t paint, but do stain your deck. Paint is a film which sits on top of the wood and will wear off faster; stain absorbs into the wood and beautifies as well as protects for a much longer time. Phinney Lumber carries Storm System stains (expertly crafted by the creators of California Paint) which provide the best protection in even the most extreme weather conditions. Stop in and buy the very best.

"Whimsy" Project - Celebrate Spring with DIY Window Boxes!

Even if those most-awaited blossoms are still sleeping under a cover of frozen earth, you can bring spring back to your deck in these charming window boxes that you can build in one weekend using the printable .pdf materials list and directions below. 

Click this icon            for a printable tools and

materials list.

Click on this icon             for printable instructions on                 how to build your window boxes.


See the pictures below for reference. Good luck!


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3_Window Box Diagram.jpg
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Winter 2020-2021 "Revivify!" (we kinda like that word)

It's the time of year when we get reeeeeally acquainted with our indoor space. This winter, introduce your practical homeowner side to your creative spirit and let them collaborate on this season's project.




"Work" DIY Project - Total Room Makeover!

Winter is a great time to focus on indoor DIY; we're spending more time indoors, making it the perfect time to focus on walls and floors to ensure they are updated and well-maintained. Keeping your home's style current (goodbye, shag carpet, hello laminate flooring!) helps to maintain its value while inspiring a sense of satisfaction for a job well done. When tackling a room makeover, it’s a good idea to do those little extras (insulate behind switch plates, lubricate squeaky door hinges, update lighting fixtures... we've got everything you'll need) for a total room refresh.

The Plan:

Paint – We've got helpful tips on choosing color, including historic colors, right here on our website. Once you have the color or colors selected, you’ll want to select the best sheen for your project, get your California Paint mixed here a Phinney Lumber, and check out our Painting Basics and Paint Tips & Tricks pages to get you all up to speed on the basics.


  1. The first step is to measure the room and make calculations for the specific type of flooring you are considering. For tips on how to do this, click here for a step-by-step how-to.

  2. Next comes the fun part, stop by Phinney Lumber and choose your new flooring! Our flooring vendors have all the styles and colors to please.

  3. While you are waiting for our free home delivery, you can grab all the tools you’ll need for your paint and flooring projects right here in our store.

  4. Once the flooring arrives at your house, you’ll want to let it acclimate, or adjust to your home’s temperature and humidity level, by letting it sit for a few days in the room where it will be installed.

Be sure to check out these great tutorials on how to install your new tile or laminate flooring:





"Whimsy" DIY Project - Eye- Popping Wall Art!

Here's some inspiration to "pop" those freshly-painted walls. We've got paint, brushes, painter's tape, drop cloths, rags, paper towels, and everything else you need to create these amazing looks right in your own home!


Fall 2020 - "Winter is Coming!"

It’s time to turn the clocks back, change the smoke detector batteries, and get ready to welcome winter. We’ve got everything you need here at Phinney Lumber to help with your fall DIY projects. We’ll winterize for the “work” project and make a boot bench to add a little “whimsy!”


"Work" DIY Project - Winterize with Spray Foam!

Sealing heat-sucking air leaks in your home with spray insulation is an easy and effective way to reduce your heating bill this winter. Here's how:

Check on Draft Busters

Check the weather stripping around your doors, windows, and garage door. There should be felt strips (or, for the garage, rubber strips) to seal these openings to prevent drafts, and these can wear down over time. Fall is the perfect time to replace weather stripping.

Snoop Out Sneaky Leaks in the Attic

Mosey on up to the attic and check for sneaky leaks. If you can see light shining through gaps or chinks in your attic, you have air leaks (and entrance points for bugs and rodents). Seal those off with foam insulation to keep your house warm over winter. Leave the attic vents alone, as you want them open to get rid of humid air.

Pinpoint Air Leaks in the House

Begin by checking areas where different materials meet; this will be where most insulation is found, and you can use foam spray insulation to seal these areas. Check between brick and wood siding, between the foundation and the walls, and between the chimney and siding. Also look in the basement and crawlspace for gaps and cracks where air may be escaping. Don’t use foam on very large areas; for these you’ll want to install insulation that's sold by the roll or sheet.

Check these places for leaks:

  • Door and window frames

  • Baseboards

  • Electrical outlets

  • Cable TV and phone line holes

  • Heat, dryer and air vent passageways

  • Pipe, wire and conduit entrances

  • Electric, gas and air conditioner holes

  • Places where pipes pass through walls and floors, including outdoor faucets

Apply Spray Insulation

  • Read the instructions on the foam sealant label before use; you don’t want any surprises!

  • Cover the surrounding area with a drop cloth and protect yourself with safety goggles and work gloves.

  • Most aerosols are flammable, so keep the sealant away from flames.

  • Practice dispensing the foam onto a sheet of newspaper or into a garbage can until you get a feel for the flow.

  • Fill openings approximately halfway full to allow the sealant to expand.

  • If foam in a straw applicator hardens, trim the straw down until you can spray foam again.

  • If you overfill an area, trim off the excess foam with serrated utility knife once it has cured.

“Whimsy” DIY Project - Build a Boot Bench!


It’s that time of year when the flipflops go away and the boots come out. What better time to build a “boot bench” to organize that pile of shoes by the door AND create a place to sit while you wrestle boots on and off?

Build a Boot Bench

Here’s what you’ll need to get (at Phinney Lumber, of course!):

MATERIALS (to buy at Phinney Lumber!)

  • 1 x 12

  • 1 x 10

  • 1 x 3

  • 1 x 2

  • Wood glue

  • Sand paper

  • Tack cloth

  • Paint and/or stain

  • Clear coat for sealing, optional



  • Chop saw (or ask Dana if someone in our lumber yard can make the cuts for you)

  • Drill

  • Kreg Jig and 1 1/4 pocket hole screws

  • Clamps (optional but helpful)

  • Paint brushes



  1. Make the following cuts:
    1 -- 1x12 @ 37 inches (stained top)
    2 -- 1x10 @ 34.5 inches (top and shelf) * if you want a bottom shelf to catch the dirt and protect your floor, add one more of these
    2 -- 1x10 @ 17.25 inches (two legs)
    4 -- 1x3 @ 17.25 inches (leg trim)
    2 -- 1x3 @  31 inches (top trim)
    2 -- 1x2 @  31 inches (shelf trim) *if adding a second shelf, add 2 more of these

  2. Sand down the cut edges

  3. Drill the pocket holes:
    3 on each long side of the 1 x 10 leg pieces
    5 on each long side plus 2 on each short side of the 1 x 10 top and shelf pieces

  4. Screw the two legs to the top

  5.  Add the shelf 7.5 inches up from the bottom

  6. Add trim to the top, shelf and legs

  7. Sand the base with up to 220 grit and remove the dust with a tack cloth

  8. Stain the top bench piece and put it aside to dry

  9. Paint the base and allow to dry

  10. Add a clear coat if desired for extra protection

  11. When the bench is dry, spread wood glue on the top and lay down the stained piece. Clamp it or secure it by piling with heavy items on top while the glue is drying

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Pretty Handy can give ya  71 practically free ideas for scrap wood

Neil Paskin is the king of the scrap wood challenge; check out his videos here.

Jen Woodhouse offers some clever scrap wood ideas on her "you can do this, ladies!" vibe website.

Family Handyman has 11 impressive ideas for scrap wood; we especially like the desktop catapult!

Still looking for ideas? offers another 100 ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Project Summary

  • Use scrap wood to create something cool.

  • Need ideas? Check out the links in the Inspiration" Box to the right.

  • Need tools, paint, and other supplies? Stop in to Phinney Lumber and grab some stuff!

  • Post pics of your end result on our Facebook page for the chance to win a prize!

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Summer 2020 DIY Kickoff– Our Very Own Scrap Wood Challenge!!!

Share and WIN!

  • Remember to post  pictures of your end result on our Facebook page for the chance to win a Phinney Lumber Gift Certificate!

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