Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Floating Shelves makeover

Floating shelves come in very handy and look pretty awesome. I have several of my own and I got my mother into them when they moved into their new house. Even got my dad into them, which is saying something. =)
I believe it was the weekend after Christmas mom and I went to the ARC store closest to them and we found 5 of them all in good condition. They were all on sale (not like it mattered because they $2.99 for the 3 smaller ones and $3.99 for the two larger ones. The total of all of them is still less than paying for ONE of them in a store) so of course my mom got them. The only downside was that two of the smaller ones were this NASTY burnt orange, one of the large ones was a dark purple, and the other large one was gray. I told mom I could make them any color she wanted, so we settled on white.
Now I knew I could do this because I did it already. I happened to find a white one at an ARC store, but I wanted to match the other stuff in my room, so I wanted it to be espresso brown.

It is actually surprisingly easy to make them into any color you want. I am working on all of moms right now.

All you need is primer (if it a dark color), and whatever color you want it to be, varnish, and some paint brushes. I would also suggest using paint tarps to protect the surface you are painting on.

First you prime the shelves. I do about two coats depending on how dark the previous color is, as its easier to paint if you prime it better.


Obvious let it dry before you do another side, which can take a while if you did a thick coat. Once you have primed it to the best of your liking (i.e. you can't see the other paint through the primer coat) you can start painting it the color you actually want. In my case its going to be white, so the primer acts as a real bonus for me. So far I have coated the small ones twice and they are pretty much done. I just have to check for random spots I missed.

I am going to VERY lightly sand down the edges where some of the paint pooled on the tarp and created little "extra" walls. The large ones are going to take longer and normally another coat. Not sure if they are just made of thicker wood that doesn't take as well, or what, but its a pain some times. I'm on the final coat on the large ones. I should be finished by the end of tonight. You don't need to coat the back, unless you really want to. I did simply so that the ugly orange doesn't some how rub on the wall.


Once everything is completely dry  (I am going to let them sit over night) you can do a coat of varnish. Now this step is done to seal the paint and also to make it look more "real", or like it was always meant to be that color. Once its been painted and dry you notice the dull look to it. The varnish will make it look shiny. (the above picture reflects the varnish.) It looks like it came from the store this way now.

So if you come across a shelf (does not have to be just a floating shelf) and you would like to change the look, this is an easy way to do just that.

K

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