I was looking to brighten up our living space, so I decided this dark shelf needed to be off-white, and organized a bit better. Here’s how to organize & remodel large built-in shelves.
How to Organize & Remodel Large Built-in Shelves
Remodeling is a fun task that I love to do. We have this sizeable built-in shelf in our den that has become an eyesore. It needs some love and care, especially some organization. It’s not going anywhere, so something different needs to be done. It being right in our family space where we see it every day, I wanted something that was pretty and nice to look at – NOT a storage area. Yep, these shelves were mainly used to house things like my son’s toys, drawings, puzzles, crayons – you name it; anything was game. So here I go planning on my remodel.
Painting the shelves was not even in my thoughts until I saw a well-organized white shelf in one of my home decor magazines. It wasn’t as big as these shelves here, but it looked so lovely and pretty and was something I could do myself.
Remodel Large Built-in Shelves
First, I sanded the whole shelf with a mild sanding brush. This is a crucial step, because later after I finished, I realized I didn’t sand it enough, and I didn’t get all the varnish off. How do I know? Because the paint is already coming off when I set something down on it, ugh. Be sure to sand down your shelves, and I would go with a rougher sanding brush or block. Don’t be afraid to sand the varnish all away.
Second, as you can see one coat is not enough. The store clerk talked me into buying paint that already had primer in it and said this would save you a step, and that it should only need one coat. NOT. The next time I paint something like this, I’m using a primer first, like KILZ.
I chose an antique white, but after applying this first coat, I realized the color might be too light. After the second coat was applied, I was right – too white for my walls. UGH.
I had some light brown paint leftover from when we painted the kitchen, so I mixed it with the antique white, slapped on a third coat only to find it’s still too white. So off I go to Ace Hardware to see if they can match the brown color I had so that I could mix more of it with the antique white. Ugh…this is taking way longer than I expected!! The clerk said it might not be a good idea to mix our paint with what I had because they use different chemicals. Well, hogwash, I did it anyway!
Organize & Remodel Large Built-in Shelves
After four coats of paint, here’s the final color. Not even sure what to call it. A little off from what I wanted, but it looks nice, and my husband likes it.
Now to gather up all my favorite things. I was trying to keep the colors white, off-white, & ivory, but as you can see below, it didn’t work out that way. Right now, I’ve got Christmas cheer up and will change it all after the holidays. I love to find vintage decor to mix with new decor. I’ve got plenty of small pieces to use first; then I will go shopping for modern decor…that’s the fun part.
White Shelf with Off-white & Color Decor
I’ve included a few family photos, my best decor, and vintage items I already had. A picture of my dad when he was just a boy (we lost him this past Sept, so this picture means a lot to me), several vases, stands, plates, candles, etc.
Well, my mom came over for the holidays and said it was too busy! After the holidays it will look different. I’m sure I’ll always be changing things around.
How to Organize & Remodel Large Built-in Shelves was something I’ve wanted to do for years and finally did it! What do you think of my shelf remodel? Are you working on any remodeling projects?
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