Sunday, 26 February 2012

My $4 Shelf

I've been meaning to add a shelf over a little electric fireplace in my office and came across one in a thrift store that I thought was about the right size.  The price was perfect at $1.99. ~

I will be so glad when I repaint this room and get rid of the huge, black gouge I put in the wall when I whacked it with a piece of furniture!  You'll have to ignore the mark as this is the best light I could get on a rainy day.  Anyway, this is a the kind of floating shelf you see everywhere and the finish was sort of a shiny maple.

I also picked up this package of Carved Magic composition ornaments for
99 cents. ~

The shelf gets a light sanding ~

My primary colour is going to be home made chalk paint, which seems to adhere to anything without priming, but I'm also using a sample bottle of Martha Sterwart paint in a grey called Crevecour and I need to sand so it will stick.  I paid $1 each for a bunch of these sample pots when Home Depot was selling them off and there's enough inside to do a small table.

I swipe some of the Crevecour on the areas that I want to look chipped. ~

When that dries, I mix up some cream coloured latex paint and plaster of Paris to make my chalk paint.  To find out how to make your own click here.  I paint the the maple sections and lightly drag the cream paint over the sections that are painted grey.  ~

I'm being very explicit with these instructions because a dear friend told me they are not always clear to persons who don't paint anything that stands still for a couple of minutes.  Here's a close-up of the finished paint.  ~

I'm not sure what the ornaments  are made of but you are supposed to steam them and then they will bend around curves.  You can also cut them apart  to alter the design.  The grapes are pretty 80's so I cut them off. ~

The steaming process activates the glue and makes everything pliable. ~

It appears my thrift store finds had actually fossilized and I couldn't get them to do more than barely bend and had to use No More Nails to glue them on the shelf. ~

Oh well.  This is supposed to look old and a few cracks only add to the character.  I paint some of the grey into the grooves and across the leaves and leave to dry.  I have to say Martha's paint dries quite fast.  Then I dry brushed the cream chalk paint over the appliques. To dry brush, wipe almost all the paint off your brush onto newspaper.  The bit of residue left will catch on all the raised areas.  Chalk paint dries super fast and then you need to spray with a matte finish sealer or put a clear wax on top to stabilize the paint.  ~

By only painting the cream lightly on the grey areas, I don't need to sand back for a chippy look.

Here she is all done and hung. ~

I like how the grey picks up on the shadows in the watercolour of trees in winter.  Oops, I should have turned the fireplace on so you could see the little fake flames. ~

I haven't really styled this yet and will play around with some St. Patrick's Day things.  For now, its holds the little, white vase my dad made and two vintage mercury glass vases.

I'd have to say the hardest part of this whole project was hanging the *@#& shelf.  I thought I would go mad trying to get the stupid thing on the screws!!!

I'm sharing this project with:

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