Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Garage Chic: Cheap Shelving DIY

At the back of our first floor we have a small extra room that can technically be counted as a bedroom, since it has a small closet and a bathroom nearby.  We don't really have much need for another bedroom at the moment, and honestly it's too small and awkward to lend itself to that use on a daily basis.  Until recently it was a catch all space for my painting supplies, wrapping paraphernalia, and even a few boxes that I just couldn't find the energy to unpack (yes, from two years ago!).  

Thankfully I knew once the rest of the house had been pretty much finished I would inevitably feel a surge of motivation to tackle this random little room and turn it into an office and painting studio area.  The first step was clearing out whatever junk had accumulated over time from laziness, and then I realized exactly what we needed: storage.  My painted gray desk from our Vienna days helps organize quite a bit of office materials, but it wasn't enough.  Not wanting to spend a bunch on mediocre bookshelves for this room, and also not interested in a two hour drive to IKEA this time, I decided to stop by our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore center, which sells a huge range of second hand home items.  This place offers a treasure hunt, with plenty of junk to rummage through but also the possibility of finding a cool light fixture, old french doors, a fireplace mantel (like I did here), or in this case, a shelving unit.

These basic metal shelving units you'd see lining the walls of a garage or basement seemed more interesting to me than a basic wooden bookshelf, so I brought home the largest one-- for 10 bucks.  

The whole thing was pretty grimy, and some sections of the shelves and the side rails had been rusted over time, so first off I used dish soap and water to scrub each piece well to remove any residue or dust.  I decided to spray paint it, and it's always hard for me to make myself do the cleaning/prep step in this process, but it's important!  So I waited (im)patiently while all of the pieces dried before beginning to paint.

Normal spray paint is wonderful at covering a multitude of problems, but with this much rust, I decided to bring in the big guns.  Rustoleum makes a special primer for rusted metal that seals in the problem and protects from further corrosion.  So all of the rails and shelves got a good coat of primer first.

I wanted to play with a more formal look as a foil for the industrial nature of the shelves, so I settled on a black and gold color scheme.  For the shelves I used a basic Rustoleum black matte spray paint, and for the rails I decided to go metallic with Krylon's "18k Gold Plate." 

Once everything was dry to the touch I tried to remember how to reassemble everything (the before photos I took were key here!), and I'm happy with the result.  I now finally have a place for our stationary and my oversized painting supplies, and our printer is no longer on the floor!  

The whole project took me a couple of days since I spread out all the steps, but you could definitely finish it all in one day, including dry time.  With all the spray paint I used up, my total came to about $35, including the original $10 for the shelves-- a pretty good deal!  And if we ever don't need them in the house, they can always glam up the garage a little:)



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