Monday, August 26, 2013

DIY dog feeder

DIY dog feeder
Last September we were on a bit of a building kick. Simple projects, yes, but we built a tub shelf, a shoe shelf, and a dog feeder. Well, we never finished the dog feeder. We built it, and then it sat unpainted in our guest room for eleven months. I'd like to say it was because the day we built it, was the day a tree came crashing into our fence and we were distracted by the clean-up effort. But there's no excuse for taking almost a year to complete such an easy project.
DIY dog feeder
The real reason it took me so long is because I was frustrated. We constructed the feeder using hand-held power tools and a doweling jig, and the resulting craftsmanship was somewhat shoddy:
DIY dog feeder
When we couldn't get the dowels pounded in so that the adjacent parts were flush, Larry gave the whole thing a whack with a rubber mallet, cracked. I had planned to leave the feeder as natural wood, coated with stain or poly, so it looked like an actual piece of furniture, but the imperfections in our construction ruined the whole thing for me. Waaahhh, call me a baby, but I'm a perfectionist and I'm definitely the "If it can't be perfect, I don't want it at all" type, which just might be my most annoying trait. It is the reason 9 out of 10 projects I start don't get finished. I'm trying to get over it.
DIY dog feeder
So, I scratched my plan to stain the feeder, and decided that painting it would be a good way to cover up the imperfections as well as seal up the cracks and exposed joints. (At first, I planned to fix the imperfections with wood putty, but on the day I started painting, I discovered our wood putty was dried up, so I just slapped primer and paint over the whole mess and it worked just fine.) But then I couldn't decide on a paint color. The dog feeder's permanent location will be in our mudroom/soon-to-be walk-in pantry (though that is a story for another day), so I could get away with using a fun, bright paint color. I finally decided that rather than buy a new can of paint, I would use paint that we already had, specifically, orange porch paint.

Yes, orange porch paint. At this point you're probably wondering "They weren't possibly thinking of painting their porch orange...were they?" Yes, yes we were (and I still hope to - there is a lot of orange porch paint left). We have a small balcony off of our upper level master bedroom and my plan three or four years ago was to paint the balcony floor orange and stencil it with a moorish trellis pattern. (Again, a story for another day.)
DIY dog feeder

So, I had a gallon of three year old orange paint. I can't remember the exact name of the paint color, but it was something like Birds of Paradise. When I opened the can and stirred it up, I realized the paint was the actual color of melted cheese. Seriously, I could've staged the paint with some Tostitos or elbow macaroni and no one would've known the difference.
DIY dog feeder
Despite my misgivings towards painting with a can of queso, I plowed ahead and got it done. It's not perfect, but it still looks decent:
DIY dog feeder
(What doesn't look decent is the state of our lawn...)

And most importantly, it's functional! Banjo and Gravy can both eat comfortably now:
DIY dog feeder

DIY dog feeder

I'm happy with the finished product. Tell me again, why didn't I finish this project sooner?!
DIY dog feeder
DIY dog feeder
Also, it's a HUGE improvement over the "feeding station" we were using before, which was putting the dog bowls on an old Igloo cooler. The following photo may turn your stomach:
old feeding station, ewwww!
BEFORE. (Alternate caption: EWWWWWW!)

DIY dog feeder

The fact that our old system was unattractive was the least of our problems. The bowls would move around on top of the cooler and get knocked on the floor. There were bits of dog food everywhere. The grossest part was that brown smear on the wall at bowl height: dog food mixed with dog slobber. Ewwwww! And we kept the water bowl on the floor so that Banjo, our shorter dog, could reach it which led to sloshing and gross floor tiles. The whole set up was just nasty, and I'm glad to be rid of it in favor of our new custom-built cheese-colored dog feeder. It's more ergonomic for the dogs and cleaner and more attractive for me. And it's done!

DIY dog feeder
"Hey lady, how about you stop messing around with the camera and put some food in this dish?!"
(I love how it looks like he has a nose ring in this pic! Goes well with his tattoos!)

Another summer project (finally) complete!


Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

It looks great!!

1. WHen the dowels don't go in, just remove them and drill a little more in each hole to make them deeper :)
2. You can always use caulk to hide the imperfect seams

That is all in the way of advice :)

Pickles and Dimes said...

That feeder is awesome - love the color!

And I totally thought Gravy had a nose ring! HA.

Unknown said...

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