Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm a junk junky

 Entering from stage left, two abandoned bookshelves. They were ruthlessly left to brave the elements on the curb. Sure, they weren't real wood, and yeah, they were dated. But they were sturdy (and reeeaallly heavy). So heavy in fact that a good Samaritan guy stopped when he saw me trying to shove one into the back of my van all by myself. As we hefted the second one into place he looked at me incredulously and said, "How in the world did you get that one in by yourself?" I told him to never underestimate the adrenaline rush of a junk junky. I probably could have been like one of those people who lift cars off of people...but for furniture.
 I actually remembered to take before pictures. Granted they were with my cell phone, but it's all good. I was quite concerned about these doors and their funkalicious seventies vibe design. I thought they would look bad no matter what paint color I used, but then I remembered they were free and I hushed my mouth.
 I had been looking for a china cabinet to go in my front dining room. I felt like it would finish off the space a bit. China cabinets are expensive my friends. So I thought these were awesome. Since they were wood veneer, I decided to try chalk paint. Real chalk paint is quite expensive (around 45 dollars for a QUART people) so I decided to try a make-it-yourself recipe I found online. It worked fantastically well. I seriously think I am hooked. No priming, no sanding, no worries. I do think I would invest in a nicer wax next time. I just about waxed my poor fingertips off. I will also invest in a wax brush next time. But I would definitely DIY the paint. It was great. The recipe I used is here.  Also, for great info on waxing I would suggest both Miss Mustard Seed's video tutorial and Perfectly Imperfect's info on chalk paint.

I did a lot of reading up on chalk paint, can you tell? And no, it's not chalkboard paint. Despite the similarity in name, you can't write on chalk paint with chalk. It's just what this type of paint is called. (maybe because of the chalky consistency?)
Here's another bad cell phone, but here is what they looked like all painted. Now this is how they look in my house.

 No, your eyes do not deceive you, and no, the shelves did not multiply and replenish my dining room. I put the two shelves in by themselves and they still seemed too small for the room. I was bummed for a while and then realized Grant's bookshelf was about the same height. I traded out his bookcase for the bookcase that was previously in this room and voila, the trifecta of shelf awesomeness.
 Let's face facts, I'm not the best at putting pretty stuff on shelves. I just worked with what I had around the house. Most of the cute stuff I have for shelves were gifts. I realized this as I was putting things in place. My sister and Mom have good taste.

 I was lazy and didn't want to change out the hardware. I actually think that was a happy happenstance because I really like the painted over hardware.

 because every home needs a defunct rotary-esque phone on a pedestal
 I like that cute little table in the corner, but it seems kinda lonesome without anything on top of it. However, because the table is so low, anything placed thereon would become a baby toy. I have found very few baby toys that also work as home decor. This is a missed market for sure. I would love to find a squeaky toy that also happens to look like a vintage typewriter or whatnot.
So, I'm pretty pleased with my free shelves. Thank you to the person who's junk became my treasure. Too bad my fingers and hands are killing me from painting them (those shelves are TALL in case you can't tell by the pictures. They took a good long while, and many coats to cover). Good thing free is such a good motivator.


Emily Foley said...

I REALLY like it. Really really a lot. I kind of like the funky '70s style cupboards. Also, I thought chalkboard paint was paint you could write with chalk on. Huh.

I laughed out loud at your squeaky vintage typewriter comment and my husband asked what was up, so I read it to him and he did not laugh. But I still thought it was funny.

Pretend Fancy said...

emily, i just re-read the chalkboard portion of my post and realized that I said that part really awkwardly. what i mean to say is that chalk paint and chalkboard paint are different things completely, because you're right, chalkboard paint you can write on with chalk.
also, i read my post aloud to my husband to see if he would laugh at that part and he just kinda polite chuckled. he laughed at other parts. i guess we're the only ones that think squeaky typewriters are funny. ha

Tricia said...

You are AMAZING!!! I absolutely love the shelves! And, I thought the squeaky typewriter was funny - maybe only a mom gets it! :-)

Bree and Me (Jessi) said...

Those look FANTASTIC!!! I love free stuff too! :) I'm gonna try your diy chalkpaint too. Not only is the real stuff expensive, it's not sold anywhere near me so shipping is out of the question!!!

Teagan said...

I love the white! At first I seeing the old shelves I wasn't convinced that just paint could make them awesome. But you did it again! I'm wow-ed.

KristenG said...

I love your shelves. I also love your comment about making baby toys that look good to leave around the house as decorations as well. Then it won't matter if there were toys left around the house.

val said...

pretend fancy you're my hero. (said like in ferris bueller)
SERIOUSLY. SERIOUSLY. you would never know those things were bum ugly on the side of the road. they turned out beautiful. great job!
lol on you shoving one of those by yourself in your van...that's another reason i need a van. oh, i'd get in big trouble bringing home random finds all the time.
i like the threesome with the bookshelf in the middle.

RaeLynn said...

You're a genius. Period. I have a veneer bookcase that I want to paint because I don't like the brown. I definitely want to do it white but I'm scared that it'll look crappy and then it'll end up worse than what it looked like when I started. Hold my hand and walk with me...

liz said...

Love it. Seriously come fix my house!!!!

Tara, Doug, Isaac, and Lucy said...

Jenn, it's all gorgeous. And I am so impressed. And you have more anxiety over what to do with your blogs than I have ever seen. I love writing, and you do too, so can't you just let your fingers type what they want to, and you can keep deleting if you feel too insecure? Then, at least you have expressed yourself. You've got a gift for writing, among millions of your other gifts, and I love benefiting from it.

The Luckiest said...

They look incredible! I love the trifecta and can totally see how they'd seem a little incomplete without the third piece. Embarrassingly, I think my parents have those EXACT shelves in their house!! They were my step-dad's back in the day and they actually kept them. Haha, well at least I can now offer them advice on making them presentable again :)

Britta said...

Your house is so pretty! Been going through your posts- new follower!

Britta @ The Handmade

Carrie said...

I didn't realize that it had been so long since I had read your blog!'ve added a lot since I was here last. Everything looks so nice. I like the shelf in the middle looks more finished with it and the two ugly painted shelves look awesome.

I like the blue bead board in the living room. Beautiful colors together. Very nice. Maddy's creative table and turntable is so clever!! You little smarty you =D

And look at you and that slip cover! Way to go! And of course the bathroom is awesome too. Where is my towel hook?