Several weeks ago, I published a post on “Upcycling.“ I hope you all have been having fun scouring thrift stores and garbage piles! Just kidding. Sort of.
Anyway, I wanted to show you what I’ve done with one of my curbside pickups. Ben and I picked up this bookcase on the side of the road when we first moved to Boston. It was covered in some pretty hideous faux wood-grain contact paper, which was beginning to shred and peel all over and look quite sad.
For a while, it lived in the kitchen of our old place, since cabinet and counter space was at a premium. Then, we moved into our lovely new apartment, and we gave it a place of prominence in our front entryway, holding shoes, purses and other everyday items. But first, I had to get all that contact paper off. Boy was that a process. It took hours. I broke several nails. I was sweating like a demon. But finally, I finished.
For a time, it worked great.
But pretty soon it became apparent that the bookcase was covered in the remnants of the adhesive, and every bit of dust, dirt, or stray hair in our apartment got stuck in it. Gross. So I decided it was time to solve the problem once and for all by sanding and painting it.
I got some heavy duty sandpaper and some lighter gauge sand paper, and went over the whole thing. Once again, it took forever, and I was a sweaty beast by the end, but I finally got all of the adhesive off using a combination of sanding and paint thinner.
Finally, I slapped 2 coats of latex paint on it. I’ve had this paint forever. Before I inherited it, it lived in my parents basement forever. It’s some recycled paint from my good old home state of Vermont, and it turned out to be quite a lovely shade of turquoise-y green, which you can’t really see in the photos. But it does look a lot better doesn’t it?
Next time you consider discarding an old piece of furniture, think about giving it some new life with a coat or two of paint first!