old shelf – new shelf

We’ve been in need of some shelving for Finn’s reading nook… It’s a very small nook at the top of the stairs (it used to be my office) and while its been his ‘space’ for the past year, it was in need of a little re-do. It needed shelves and it needed white paint on the floor (it had been a dark red not a nice red).

So I re-painted the floors (with floor paint we already had) and then hoped for some type of shelving or bookcase – something to keep books and toys on, while keeping things organized and easily accessible…and as luck happens, I found one. In the wood pile. At the dump. The very next day…

shelf - before

shelf – before

Now, this was certainly no beauty – obviously… Oh no. Typically I wouldn’t even had noticed it, but as I was walking past the wood pile – I thought, “I wonder what a coat of paint will do for that?” Then I thought, “I do need shelving for Finn’s reading nook…” My next thought was, “If it fits in the back of my car, I’m taking it.” And it did.

As I was unloading it and hauling it across the lawn, Michael says, “Wow, that’s nice…” Can you hear the sarcasm…? My immediate response was, “I know, I know – it’s not my style (at all) but just wait and see!”

So I got right to it. I scrubbed it, bleached it, lightly sanded it and then asked Finn to help me paint it and he was so excited to help, that we finished both coats, in one day (don’t worry, we were outside and it was a VOC free paint).

finn painting

finn painting 2

So two coats later and some gingham contact paper ($2.00 for the roll) and we now have a (useful and sturdy) ‘new’ shelf in the space.

shelf - after

shelf – after

Too bad it didn’t fit next to the window, instead of being slightly over the frame…

reading nook

Oh well, things don’t have to be perfect to be lovely…and in the end, it was free, useful and needed.  It didn’t end up in the wood chipper (see here for the other shelf I saved from the wood chipper). I didn’t drive all over looking for the ‘right’ shelving and I’m going to use the rest of the contact paper to re-cover the interior shelves in my pantry; money (and time) well spent I’d say.

contact paper

Added bonus, the shelf is not only useful now, but it could (at some point) be used elsewhere in the house (thinking laundry room), or we could add more shelves to allow for varied storage abilities or even paint the sides with chalkboard paint or magnetic paint and Finn could play away…free, versatile and useful, what’s not to love?

What have you turned into treasure lately?


17 thoughts on “old shelf – new shelf

  1. Love the space that you’ve made for your son. Reading is sooooo important for the little ones and you have said to him, by having this wonderful space, that you think reading is important.

    • Thank you Ly. We read a lot! Most of his books are in his bedroom and downstairs in our living room…time to move a few more up to his nook I’d say…
      I agree – reading is so important. Reading of actual books, with pages…(:

  2. I love it! It’s such a great feeling making something lovely out of something that’s just been cast aside.
    I was given some old french doors last week (for the RUC) and when I started scraping the paint off I realised they are red cedar and are now looking absolutely magnificent. I’ll put up a ‘before and after’ pic on my blog when they’re finished 😀

    • Yes, I agree! I can’t wait to see your doors – I know you’ve already posted about them, though my dial-up prevents me from seeing the photos!! UGGHH! I look forward to seeing them (later this week) and congrats on the RUC being UP! Yahoo! (: Good times ahead!

      • I had problems seeing pictures before I got my updated internet connection – it’s really annoying, particularly when you go into a post and are asked what you think of the picture – do’h!

        I haven’t actually put the before and after shots up yet, but I’m hoping to later in the week 😉

      • Good to know I didn’t miss any before and after shots yet…I remembered reading about your doors and assumed the photos were there since the little icon was and the photo was unable to load! I can check out them out now though! (in town with wifi (: )

  3. What a transformation! I love the gingham shelving and Finn’s nook is lovely:) I am in complete agreement about there being nothing as good as an actual book with pages!

    • Thank you! I was surprised (pleasantly) by the transformation myself – it’s far from perfect, but it’s sweet all the same…Glad to hear from someone else who agrees real books are vital for children (and adults!).

  4. Pingback: these old drawers | Ripe Red Berries

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