I’ve wanted a pretty white bookshelf in my room for a long time; a place to put some special things, my favorite books, out of the reach of grubby little fingers. And at the end of the post I have another little project to show you that I’m sure what to do with. Maybe you can help.
But first the bookshelf. My goodness particle board bookshelves are expensive! I shopped around online and didn’t find any actual wood shelves in my price range. So I decided on Craigslist. I found this one for $40. It’s seven feet tall and well-constructed, so I’m happy with it.
It was a little beat up, but that’s ok. I wanted to paint it white anyway. Some of those spots on the before picture were from me sanding and then I realized I forgot to take a before picture!
I love these brass praying hands. They were my grandmother’s — as well as the bird and pear below. I will always remember the bird sitting on the mosaic coffee table in her house. Didn’t she have great taste?
I’m crazy about photos and keeping memories. That gets in the way of my minimalist streak, so I keep things to six boxes or so and make photo books to save space. But these two albums I have kept because they are special.
One contains photos from the two trips I took to Italy before we were married. Marcello had to stay in his home country until our fiancé visa was approved. We ended up having to move the date of our wedding because it wasn’t approved in time!
The other one is an antique photo album. I found this during the same waiting period before we got married. I had been very sad, missing Marcello, wishing we could be together during our engagement, stressing over the decision to change our wedding date. I bought it thinking it would be fun to put our wedding photos in.
When I got in the car with my friend and examined it more carefully, it had a photo in the back from 1907. It was taken of a family in Rome, in front of a church. My heart sped up and I couldn’t speak. Marcello and I got married in 2007 (exactly 100 years later) at a church, and Marcello was living in Rome during that time.
God gave me a great present of hope and assurance that day. It would all work out. And it did.
So now you’ve seen the shelf and why I wanted a special place for some of my treasures. This is how I painted it, plus another little project I’m not too sure about.
It started a little roughed up, but not so bad.
1. First I sanded the whole thing.
I sanded out the nicked edges and did the shelves separately. I did a good job on the edges and spots that will get more wear and tear, and then did a mediocre job everywhere else. Can’t beat this little sander for $17.
2. I got some cheap manual labor and did a vinegar/water wash.
3. I painted the case, shelves and even the metal base with enamel.
Save a brush trick
My favorite brush-saving trick is wrapping them in plastic wrap. I wrap them and stick them inside a plastic bag overnight. If you are going to continue the next day, my opinion is this works better than washing them out and leaving them to dry. Mine always harden that way and leave streaks. Plus I’m always looking for a shortcut.
The project I almost like
And now for the project I’m not sure what to do with.
I have this very cool trunk I bought years ago at an estate sale. I use it as a “treasure box” to keep kid prizes in. You can see the inside here. The problem is that I don’t have a good place to put it. I thought if it were a little taller I could use it as a little coffee table in our room.
So I bought these spindles at Home Depot and the corner fasteners.
I used leftover samples to paint them. This was a brown sample that looks like it belongs in a baby diaper so I added some black acrylic paint to darken it. I think the color blends well with the trunk. I wanted them to sort of disappear.
Ok, now I’ll show you the after.
I don’t love it. I think the spindles are too tall. It looks like it belongs in a Beauty and the Beast movie and will come to life and start running in circles. Doesn’t it? What do you think? Cut them shorter or take them off all together and figure out another spot for it?