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.
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.
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?