This project started with the fact that I wanted to replace this Ikea shelf in my living room:
My children did a number on it with their toy baskets. I was also bothered by the fact that no big books and decor items fit into the cubbies. It's just a big bulky square that I originally chose for it's abilities to store my toddlers toys and to be able to get screwed into the walls for safety.
Well my kids aren't toddlers anymore and I was so ready for a change and when I spotted this 80's brass and glass shelf at the auction I knew I could turn it into something that I would love. It has the perfect size. I bought it for $35! Great price!
|original auction website photo|
I had screwed the Expedit to the wall and cut the molding to fit it in. I also painted around it several times. So there was a big mess to clean up and fix.
I think everything that could go wrong went wrong from this point on and a small project turned out to be a long process. Did that ever happen to you?
- I cut the molding wrong several times and had to run back and forth to Home Depot to get more
- I lost the original screws to the brass shelf on one of those runs because I wanted to replace several stripped ones. Of course they were metric and hard to find
- I cut my foot on the half finished floor molding and I was barely able to walk.
- Lowes mixed the paint wrong that I used to paint over the messy wall, so I had to paint a second time.
- I wanted to build chunky white shelves. Yeah how about those? Do you remember? Well I changed my mind after finding out how much the lumber was and I couldn't find a cheap alternative. I was thinking the white Ikea Lack floating shelf, but they weren't deep enough. Why spend extra money if I had perfect glass shelves? So I did a little somethin' somethin' with them. I'll explain later.
- And last but not least: Fixing the shiny brass on the frame. I really didn't want it to be shiny. I wanted the golden look of the mirror that I have hanging over my small secretary desk. I bought Rub 'n Buff. Which took quite some time to get to my house and it wasn't as easy to apply as I had expected.
I used my $1 brass bookends as guinea pigs.
My first try was to just take the sheen of the brass and maybe have it age naturally. Well the sheen didn't come off and I tried several potent things. I tried lacquer thinner (paint thinner) and even heavy duty stripper right onto the frame but nothing worked. The shiny brass remained.
Check out Kelly @ViewAlongTheWay's brass Rub n' Buff lamp makeover here or my silhouette giveaway winner Andrea @OakRidgeRevival's brass Rub n' Buff lamp makeover here. Their lamps look great. My shelf is in the cursed corner though so it didn't work for me and this is what the finish looked like for me. I tried diluting it with deglosser but didn't like the results. I even sprayed the shiny brass with a mat clear coat and I tried liquid leaf. NO likey likey either.
|The left side shows the blotchy Rub n' Buff, the right side shows the mat clear coat|
|This is 2 coats of Rub n' Buff on the actual frame. Very uneven!|
I had researched Rub 'n Buff on other blogs and the stand out blog for it is the queen of Rub 'n Buff Sammy from ReNew ReDo. She has used it on all kinds of surfaces. Check out her ideas and Q&A here but she also mentions that shiny brass is tricky and that Rub n' Buff doesn't work well with it.
So I ended up priming the frame with metal primer spray paint. The first time I didn't wait the full 48 hour drying time and the Rub n' Buff ate away the paint. So I had to fix the primer again.
BUT finally the Rub n' Buff stuck to the frame. Yippie!
It was hard to understand for my husband why I primed the gold shelf frame to just paint it gold again. Haha, but he doesn't need to understand it ;)
Now we come to the glass shelves and this is where the bracelet from yesterday's post comes into place. I loved the jade and gold of the bracelet. Since the glass was tinted green, I decided to try painting the underside of each glass white to bring out the tint. It worked! And I really like it. It doesn't mean that I might not change them out for my first choice, the chunky white shelves, down the road, but for now I'm really happy with this result. I used water based primer to paint the shelves.
|Sorry for the bad photo but it was late and dark outside!|
And the hubby doesn't think that the shelf is hideous anymore. He said: "I never pictured it looking like this!" and I'm doing a happy dance. Mission accomplished!
I finally like my "cursed corner".
What do you think?
(Next I will have some small projects coming up with the new white picture frames and the $1 brass bookends)