A Shelf for Toys DIY

I found a fairly solid shelf sitting in a thrift store. The thing was ugly. Someone had tried (and failed) to paint it black. You see, you cannot simply paint furniture a new color. You have to strip it. Paint doesn’t stick to finish – I wish it did. This poor shelf had paint streaks all over it.

Time to take it home and show it some love. 🙂

First step is to always strip or sand it down to create a surface to which paint will stick. If you’re going for a natural wood finish then it needs to be done, then you have to get into all the little grooves, etc. (Always wear the appropriate safety gear: safety glasses and a mask!)  I’ll wipe the surface down remove any spider webs, etc. Then I get out my husband’s hand sander and use large grit sand paper for the first pass, gradually working my way to finer grit paper with each pass.

Once stripped I use some gesso as the first coat and outline the characters that I want to paint on the shelf — in this case my son’s favorite cartoon characters: Blaze and Paw Patrols.

Since I was not going to do a wood finish, I did not worry about sanding every spot to bare wood. My goal was to create a surface to which paint would adhere, so, I just scraped the black paint off with a scraper and sanded the finish a bit

For the Blaze side I used some paint markers that claimed to be for all surfaces. I really didn’t like them. The tips would shred really easily making it difficult to get good detail work done. I had to make a trip to Michael’s where I found some sturdier tip markers that I used on the Paw Patrol side.

I painted the cartoon characters first to avoid multiple coats since my plan was a black shelf. Once the main shelf was complete, I painted the shelf back blue. Finally, both parts of the shelf got a polyurethane finish. When everything dried, I screwed the back onto the front and my son had a new shelf. I did let my son paint a portion of the shelf – he had a blast!

This was definitely a fun project.

Have a fabulous day!


Upcycled End Table

Quilting is only one of my many hobbies – granted it’s my favorite. Every now and then I find a furniture piece that speaks to me at a garage sale or at a thrift store. Some pieces need a little bit of TLC; others a lot. If it has good bones, I’m known to drop the $20-$30 for it. It takes time to sand and paint, but, eventually, I have a furniture piece updated and painted artistically.

Now don’t get me wrong. When it comes to furniture, I am a minimalist. The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to clean. I prefer to spend my time with my husband and son, quilting, painting, or running – not cleaning. 🙂 However, I do need things to paint and I’ve found that I like to bring new life into something old.

I was walking through one of the local thrift stores and I found this beat up and scratched end table. I could use an end table, since, I currently own 0 end tables. (Furniture Minimalist – Fabric Hog – at least I have my priorities straight 😉 ) I put my weight on it and wiggle it – it feels nice and solid – sold. I said good bye to my $20-ish and went home with an old end table.

Two of the center panels in the door needed to be replaced and asked my husband to cut 2 rectangles of replacement wood. I’m not staining it, so, it didn’t matter what kind of wood – just not particle board. I sanded it and applied a base coat (ignore my tea cup in the picture – it’s usually glued to one of my hands). I painted the top (my son helped).

Then I grabbed a pencil and free handed a quadrant of a design. I used some tracing paper to help repeat the design in the remaining 3 quadrants and grabbed my paints. Don’t ask me how I come up with a design – I just draw to fill a space.

A couple of coats of sealer and a trip to Home Depot helped to upgrade the hardware and I declare this project complete. I enjoy completed projects. (And so does my husband – mostly because it means more space for him in the garage.)