Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Drabulous to Fabulous!

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!   

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