Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Check My New Étagère

This is a project that has been a while in the making. I started working on this before we moved in, but it quickly got put aside (and completely blocked in by other furniture) when we moved in as I had to make our moving mess livable. After things got a bit more settled, I pulled this out and started up again. I am so thrilled with the results! You'll see why...
I got this étagère on Craig's List months ago for $35. It's solid wood and the shelves are removable. I liked it for its spindly legs and knew it would be perfect in my sewing room ... with the right makeover. Nice as it was, it was just big and dark and opressive - certainly not the vibe I have going in my "zen room" (which is what my husband calls it). So, I decided to make it white.
Look how dinged up it was!
The first step was filling in all the holes and crevaces. It looked great when I bought it, but that was just because the stain was so dark you couldn't see all the imperfections. On a stained piece, the natural nicks and weird spots added to the texture and looked nice, but I knew as soon as I painted it white they would all show up and I didn't want that. If I'm going through all this trouble, I at least want it to look smooth like it was supposed to be that way. So, I brought out the wood putty and started filling.
I seriously spent hours filling, sanding, filling again. Once I thought I had them all filled, I primed it with Kilz Original spray paint. I knew I needed something that would block the stain, especially since it was going to be white and I didn't want it to yellow over time. So, I sprayed. And sprayed, and sprayed. I went through 4 cans of Kilz just on the body of the piece! After the Kilz, I could see a few more imperfections that needed filling, so I just used DryDex spackle and it worked great. I primed over all the spackle spots again when they dried. Kilz spray paint leaves a gritty texture, so I lightly sanded it as best I could - it was really difficult to get around all those spindle pieces.
Next I repeated the filling and priming steps on the shelves. This shelf was the worst - those scratches you see were really deep and much more noticable in person. But they filled in pretty well.

After everything was filled and primed and sanded, I started to spray the actual paint. On my desk I recently did for the same room, I just left it the Kilz white color. I've kind of regretted that choice now that I've used the desk since it tends to look gray-ish sometimes, so with this piece I wanted to use actual paint. I used Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2X spray paint in Flat White on the whole thing. No joke, it took about 6 cans to do the body and the shelves of this piece. I was starting to worry about the cost, but I was so far into it at that point that I had no choice but to keep buying more cans and go with it.

After the paint, I did another light sanding to get it more smooth feeling (again - those rounded pieces are really hard to do that to), and then I coated the whole thing in 2 coats of Minwax Poly-Acrylic spray in Satin finish. I used a whole can of the Minwax, which wasn't cheap, but it's so worth it to have a piece that will hold up to daily use. I would rather spend a little more now than have it get all chipped up and look awful after a few months, you know? Also, the poly-acrylic is water based, so it won't yellow over time.

So, after waiting the full 24 hours so the poly coating could fully adhere, we moved it upstairs (no easy feat!) and put it in its new spot.
I absolutely LOVE how it came out! Sure, there are a few places I wish I had filled better, but you don't notice them unless you are really looking it over and I am ok with that. I do realize that there are no doors on the bottom - I had a hardware removal issue with them so I haven't gotten them painted yet. Those are next on my to-paint list. In the meantime, I didn't wait to fill it up and help house some of my stuff.
Those purple bins aren't staying - they are just what I've used until I find something better. Just for the record. It holds the tv perfectly (it just barely fits and only on that particular shelf) and I love to watch movies while I make things, so I was pleased it worked out so well.

So, how much did this beast cost?
  • Étagère - $35
  • Wood Putty - I'm calling it free (I bought a tub and have used it on many things around the house)
  • DryDex - Again, I'm calling it free
  • 6 cans Kilz Original Spray Paint - $34.68
  • 6 cans Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2X - $22.62
  • 1 can Minwax Poly-Acrylic - $11.97
 Total: $ 104.27

So, it certainly wasn't as cheap as my desk I just did, but it certainly is cheaper than if I went to a furniture store to buy a solid wood étagère (google search if you don't believe me), so I'm happy with the price. I now can't wait to finish not only the doors, but also the rest of the furniture for the room. It's really starting to come together now and I can't wait!

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