Yes, that's the title. I can't say Fab, nothing could contradict my personality more than saying fab. Saying drabulous is totally acceptable.
Let's start with the finished product!
My brother in law posted a free shelf, and I'm a sucker for free stuff so I said I'd take two. I got these suckers home and had no idea where they'd go. My hubby and I decided on where they'd go (had to decide so I knew what colour or stain to go with) and then I got to work!
I needed larger areas for big picture frames so I knocked out two of the shelves. Don't worry I saved the wood to make stools for the kids table!
I spent a little under two hours sanding, wood filling and sanding again. I bought a mouse sander a few projects ago to help with little sanding jobs. I'm all for elbow grease, but my hands cramp so badly it makes me not want to sand anything! Solution - electric sander! Feel free to judge me, but my hands are happy and I'm happy. I have too many little people to leave sharp edges so I sanded every shelf edge and the corner edges as well. There were quite a few dings and ink stamp marks (from the lumberyard) that needed sanding off as well. Once the initial sanding was done I filled in all the nail holes with wood filler and sanded it again once it was dry.
Yes, I needed a ladder - this shelf is over 8ft tall!
Once it was ready for stain I got a nice grey stain (Pepper Mill by Cabot) and got to work. You can't stain in direct sunlight so I waited until the sun was off the deck and applied (and worked in) one coat. This took about two hours. I like to do the fussy work first, leaving the easier large portions for last so my head doesn't explode.
The back is a different wood (mahogany sheeting) so the stain showed up a little differently. I decided to put in an accent on one of the larger areas and bought a roll of wallpaper from Habitat for Humanity. I cut the wall paper larger than I needed so I could trim it right in the shelf with a box cutter knife. This kept the edges really neat and clean and gave me slack on my terrible cutting skills. Full disclosure, I can't cut a straight line to save my life.
That's it! Free shelf, two days with two hours work each day - and voila!
Don't turn down free stuff because it's ugly or needs work. Putting a little work into something makes it unique and you can be proud of yourself for turning someone else's trash into your treasure!