It’s been a while since I have posted. I hope this update and project finds everyone well!! I have started a part time job in a neonatal ICU in addition to my full time flight nurse job, so I have been working almost every day for the last two months to get through the orientation process. It has seriously cut into my project time! 🙂 But, I’m a huge believer in always continuing to learn new skills and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to make you better. I knew this would be a challenge for me mentally, to be at work so much and have so little time to ‘project’ and reset. I picked up the book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” hoping for a little encouragement or reminder that I could make it through this short period in my life.
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The book didn’t necessarily help me stay focused on my goal of powering through the last two months, but I really enjoyed it anyway. I think we can all use a little encouragement or motivation from time to time. She also wrote “13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do” and “13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do.” I haven’t read either of these yet, but the first was fantastic.
Finally, I had a few days off and wanted to spend some time at the ski chalet to make my heart happy. I have been doing so much demo lately, removing paneling, and taking trips to the dump, I just wanted to do something pretty this weekend. So, I decided I was going to revamp the built-in shelves in the dining room. This is the perfect place to store my pretty dishes and crystal that I like to use for entertaining.
Here is the before photo. Kind of dull, but a lot of potential! (Also, check out the cool lead windows!)
Over the last few months, I have removed all of the paneling, the fabric cloth that was tacked to the walls and plastered with wall paper and paint, along with the 5000 tacks in the wall. Behind this paneling is gorgeous ship lap!! It makes me so eager for the final product!
My built-in shelving came out of the wall really easily. This is something you could do with them in place, but I used it as an excuse to stand outside and get a little Vitamin D while I worked on the project. So, here is what I have to work with. Plain plywood with an orange-y, brownish stain/paint on them.
Prepping the built-in
The first thing I did was coat them in a deglosser. This is like liquid sandpaper and is a fairly new discovery for me and I LOVE it!! Time saver and lung saver. I have applied it with both a paint brush and a rag and either works. This works really nicely on something with a lot of texture or details that you wouldn’t be able to sand, such as my dresser that I made over recently. You can see that project here. This particular project probably wouldn’t have been difficult to sand, but I wanted to take the easy route this time.
Adding trim to the shelves
Next, I wanted to add trim to the front of the shelves for several reasons. It gives the shelves a little bit more of a substantial look and makes them stand out better. I also want to add lighting to the built-in shelves, so this gives me something to hide the lights behind. Lastly, it covers up the plywood edge of the shelf with a little bit classier of a look. These little wood strips are at Home Depot for less than $2 each.
I measured the width of the shelf that I wanted to cover.
I cut the strips with my compound miter saw. Any saw will work, but aside from my drill, this is probably my most used tool. If you don’t have one, I’m certain that you need one!
I used my nail gun to attach the strips to the shelves. You probably need one of these too. I never would have imagined that I could get this much use out of a nail gun! I have the Ridgid (Home Depot) brand and it has been wonderful! It runs off of a compressor and these little pancake compressors are around $100 and will also surprise you with how many uses you can come up with for them!
This is the compressor that I have. I love my recoil hose that I bought like this blue one. One of these accessory kits comes in handy when you need a different tip or connector. Or, you could just buy them all at once…. (live and learn I guess? 🙂 )
After attaching all of the trim boards, I filled my nail holes with wood filler. This purple wood filler that turns beige when it’s dry is my favorite kind and I always keep some on hand. It helps to keep my A.D.D in check and I know when I can move on with my project.
Then I used my favorite sanding blocks that I also always have on hand to sand off the excess wood filler. I usually keep a box of fine grit and medium grit sanding blocks in my tool box. On most projects, I would start with a medium grit and then finish with a fine grit for the smoothest finish.
Next I used caulk in all of the seams. This isn’t totally necessary, but it’s an easy and cheap way to give any construction/project a really clean and seamless look. I just buy this Dap brand caulk at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Do make sure that the caulk tube says it’s paintable. I may or may not know from past experience that if it doesn’t say paintable, it is NOT paintable. 🙁
I applied caulking around all the edges, in the cracks, and around the bottoms of the shelves.
You can run a wet finger along the bead of caulking to smooth it out, but I have also discovered this nifty tool that leaves a perfectly shaped caulk line.
Painting the built-in
Adding lights to the built-in
Re-installing the built-in
I am so excited about the final look of the built-in shelves!! I’ll be looking at that and dreaming about entertaining at the Ski Chalet while I’m up there completing my demo over the next month or two!! And….now I know that I have a little bit more room in there and I can keep up my antique shopping hobby. 🙂