Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Need Your Help

I got this set of book shelves off of Craig’s List for 25$.  But once I got them in the new office area, they really emphasized the dark windowless-ness of the room.Shelves

Plus, the only place for them is next to another big book shelf (in a lighter stain) that my father made years ago. That factor also emphasizes their darkness.  So I decided to experiment with one shelf. 

First, I took the whole cardboard piece off the back.  My theory:  Let the wall color show through the shelves and it will look built-in.

I quickly confirmed my hunch that doing so would necessitate my putting some braces in the corners.  Having it rack from side to side isn’t a good thing!  Lol!

And even then, it needed something more to stiffen it up.  So I compromised.  With the help of a (wonderful) visiting girlfriend and her (equally wonderful) daughter, I took the back, cut it at the level of the middle stationary shelf, and only removed the top portion.  Experiment

Resecuring (ack!  I sure wish this program would cooperate with my highly appropriate made-up words!  Red underlines are so distracting!)—Anyway, as I was saying.  Resecuring just the bottom portion of the back with extra tack nails seemed to make it plenty rigid.  

So I did the same thing to the other shelf.

Open shelves

The dark shelves don’t look quite as dark, and I think the lighter wall color shows off my husband’s World War planes much better.  What do you think?  Does it look silly to have part of the shelves backed and part not?

Also, every once in a while I’m catching a smoky smell.  The shelves must have been around smokers in their past life.  Any ideas for limiting the smell?  They’re particle board, so I’m guessing the smoke penetrated the particles.  :(  Maybe painting the open backs of the boards to seal them up?


The Real Me! said...

I think it looks just fine! It really does lighten it up. As far as the smoke smell, maybe try rubbing a little lemon pledge or something like that on them. Once it's in there it's usually hard to get that out.

Anonymous said...

Great find!!

Regarding the smoke... I have heard several ways. Murphy's Oil Soap. It may take a couple of washes but follow up with the lemon oil.
Also, heard vinegar/water mixture. Let it dry. Of course, you may be dreaming of pickles that night, but it's better than an ashtray!! ;)

Christina said...

It looks great! If you decide to go with painting the open backs, make sure you use a good quality primer first because the smoke (parts of the smoke?) can actually come through the paint.

Keetha Broyles said...

Not silly at all. I like it. SOOOOOO much better than PAINTING wood - - - which is what MANY folk do nowadays.

It reminds me of a room with dark wainscoting, a look which I happen to really like.

Kathy said...

Great idea to take part of the backs off. It really opens it up. I don't have any ideas for taking out the smoke smell, but it sounds like you may have some good ones already.

By the way, I happened to check on one of your earlier posts, and I'm looking forward to hearing how your updating projects in rooms are coming along. We just moved about 5months ago, and have so much purging to do that it's hard to believe. Blessings, and have fun!

Wally said...

I think it looks great! I have no idea about the smell though.