Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nesting: Painted shelf project step by step

As I mentioned the other week in a nesting post.- I have a new Home project I would like to get done before the baby arrives in the fall. I decided to use the shelf seen above- that once housed art and knitting supplies, for storage for the baby. We aren't doing the traditional nursery thing and so I wanted to have at least a dresser and this shelf to carve out a little area for our new family member.

We went to Home Depot and had fun selecting a Martha Stewart Paint from her huge collection! We chose "Heavy Goose" a lovely neutral gray. **A little word on Martha Stewart Paint. Each paint card has a symbol in the top corner- a citrus, a snowflake, etc that allows you to match up your paints for an entire interior! So all the snowflake paints "go" and all the citrus symbol paints "go" together. What a fun way to help the weekend warrior coordinate their painting projects!**

The shelf in its context. As you can see the wooden shelf is really visually heavy and dark compared to the brightly painted dresser (which I got 4 free on craigslist & added the yellow knobs!). The shelf also blends in with the dark woodwork. Thus the need to paint it, to make it cheery and to clean it up a bit to store and display baby stuff. Eventually I think this shelf would be lovely in a bathroom, or some fun nook of a hallway etc. Hence our idea to paint it neutral to keep our future options open for the placement of this piece. (click on images to view them larger)

The Shelf- pre sanding.
 It really is lovely, has great lines and details (love the paneling). And the best yet I bought it from my boss for $20! (ps it's not dusty- just stained that way- hence another reason to sand and paint!)

Love the details.

The Shelf after sanding.
We used a harsher 100 grade sandpaper to knock off some of the stubborn areas, the odd paint splatter and to smooth out rough nicked edges. Then we used a finer grade of 120. We bought 150 grade sandpaper for between coats of paint.

The sanded back of the shelf.

The Husband, who has worked as a cabinet maker and furniture restorer, had the idea to use our little dyson shop vac to clean up the sanding dust. In the wood shop he worked in- they had an air gun that would blow the debris off the wooden surface and then they would follow up with a resin-type coated cloth to ensure all particles were clear from the wooden surface. Ah we can dream to have a work shop like that of our own someday! But in the mean time the dyson, a brush and a cloth helped clean the shelf in prep for the primer.

Next step- PRIMER.

We propped the shelf on top of four pint size cans of paint and laid out three trashbags as our tarp. This allowed for a tiny bit of added height and to make painting the very bottom of the legs easier and free of grass etc. The painting process took my pregnant self a good chunk of the afternoon as I wanted to cover every little dark recess and funky area with a smooth layer of paint. One coat of white primer- and the shelf already looked cleaner and brighter. I let the primer dry for 3 hours (that's two hours longer than the label suggests) before sanding the shelf with the 150 grade sandpaper. This smoothed out any rough brush strokes or unseen rough areas. Then a combo of weather, and my fatigue helped me decide to wait 24 hours before painting the first coat of our gray paint.

After 2 coats of "Heavy Goose" the shelf is complete and ready to house lord knows what for the baby...

The gray we chose really is a neutral, but it's nice to have a balance amongst all the other color we have. Plus we figure our future house wont have white walls, so this piece will pop and it provides a great background for displaying colorful objects.

And the shelf- back in its context, so much brighter and cheerier.
We are very happy with the final result and really love the color!

hmmm what to work on next!?


Mrs Robinson said...

What did you think of the Martha Paint? I read a review that said they would not use it again, but would color match in a better brand...

abigail said...

I liked it. Although I will say I'm not a paint expert... but overall I really like her wide range of colors, the color matching system with the symbols and the names are fun too.

I just used it on a piece of furniture so I know there are always bigger issues/disappointments with painting a room.

The shelf has only been complete for 24 hours and hasn't received any use yet- so the durability that the reviewer came up against with their mattress... we haven't experienced...

I would use Martha's paint again, but after reading that review, maybe not on an interior....? But I gotta say- I love her colors!!!!

Mrs Robinson said...

Yes, her colors are great! And your shelf looks wonderful too!


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