Sunday, October 31, 2010

Entryway shelf

At the end of the last post, I showed a picture of an upcoming project... Well, that project is here. In sprucing up my entryway, I decided I needed a little shelf to put just next to the door to set my purse, keys and whatever else I'm carrying down while putting away my coat. The area is small. Very small. I thought maybe I'd find a phone stand or something like that at the Salvation Army for a good price. Well, I didn't find a phone stand, but I did find this beauty:

Ah, yes. Everyone's favorite nursery rhyme line:
"Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder where you ar"
(yes, they ran out of space and omitted the "e")

Beautiful, right? I found it in the kids section, as it was obviously part of a nursery or kid's room of some sort. It didn't have a price on it, so I brought it up to the cashier to ask for a price, and she said "You want....that?" Hehe. 
Let me explain. You might be able to tell from the photos- but this papered with gold and starred WRAPPING PAPER, and I'm fairly certain elmer's glue. It was a mess. 

The first thing I had to do to this beauty was strip the wrapping paper. Unwrap it. Like a present. And that wasn't easy- the paper was thin and so it didn't come up nicely in strips. Also the glue was strange..messy. It took me a couple nights to completely strip it, using hot water, hot water mixed with some fabric softener, a putty knife and a razor blade. The hot water/fabric softener is something my mom used to use when stripping wallpaper. It smells a lot better than using vinegar (the other thing mom used), and I don't have access to a steamer. The hot water worked reasonably well, but I definitely would have needed something better if it was more paper to remove.

The only way to really get this done was just to go for it, on the kitchen floor, not worrying about it getting at the floor. I just mopped the floor really well after. This little beauty had another present for me under that wrapping paper--seriously cracking and peeling paint. After I got all the paper off, I went to work sanding. I did TONS of sanding. Tons. And after I sanded a ton, I sanded some more.
When I was finally satisfied with the sanding, I broke out the primer and got to work. The gold paint on the front was actually harder to hide than I expected, so I did two coats of primer.
Ahh, already looking better. I'll finish telling you what I did to this baby later this week!

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