Worth Quoting

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bookshelf with Commitment Issues

Wow! I can't believe it's been since the first of the year since I posted something. Time goes so fast. Even though I haven't posted, I have been busy doing things with the family and some DIY projects.

I might have mentioned the bookcase that I've needed to finish for like 10 years. I really struggled with making a commitment to the bookcase. Does that sound crazy? Since we move so often, it has been in so many different rooms and since we don't know when we're actually going to settle somewhere, I hated to "tie" it down. Sounds like some kind of crazy relationship issue!! I wanted to go with a bit of color but without limiting it's future. So, here's my compromise.

I started by sanding down the entire piece, moving from a low grit paper to a higher grit to make it feel as smooth as a baby's butt. Once it was all sanded and smooth, I wiped it down with a tac cloth. This is really important to remove any lint or traces of dust so they don't get stuck in your finish. Once it was all wiped down and clean, I started applying the maple color stain. I only did one coat of the stain because I didn't want it to be too dark. I was trying to bridge between darker and lighter wood that would be in the room. Again, with my commitment issue...I wanted it to be able to work wherever it ended up.
As I stained it, I would do a small section and then use a clean rag to wipe with the grain until the entire piece had been covered in stain. The most difficult part was getting the underneath of the shelves. It was hard to get to without bumping what had already been stained. The rest was a breeze. After it was stained, I moved the piece into my bathroom. Sounds wierd? Well, my bathroom has an empty wall and the bookcase needed a place to rest and dry before I put on the clear coat. The following day, I wiped down the piece with the tac cloth and put on the clear finish. I used a polyurethane product that came with the purchase of the bookshelf. It required a 24-hr drying time between coats. Before I applied the 2nd coat of poly, I lightly sanded the entire bookshelf and wiped it down again with the tac cloth. Here it is stained and with 2 coats of poly. 
Remember I mentioned I wanted some color? I had seen several built-in bookshelves that were painted in the back to either match the wall or to stand out against it. It was the look I wanted, but didn't want to permanently make the bookshelf my color of blue. I was going for a sky blue with lime green accessories. So, I bought a sheet of hardboard from Lowes and they cut it in a couple pieces so I could travel home with it. Then I got my jig saw and cut the pieces to fit between the shelves.
I didn't want to have to include any type of adhesive, because again it would be permanent, so I made sure  the backing was a SUPER tight fit. Once I made sure all the pieces would fit, I took my craft paint (yep, from Hobby Lobby) and put a light coat on the hardboard. Since the hardboard is so dark and my craft paint is a light paint, some of the brown from the hardboard showed through, which was the exact "weathered" look I wanted. Once the hardboard backings were painted and dry I pushed them inside the shelves. They were super tight, so it was an effort to get them in. With a few accessories and a few more left to purchase, here is the end result.

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