Monday, July 1, 2013

from antique to chic

On a road trip to Chicago last summer, we stopped at a couple antique malls on the way and I came home with some fun "new" items:

Well....the bowls have been used, the necklaces have been worn, and the adorable little spice rack has taken permanent residence in my bright, cheerfully remodeled kitchen. 
Read more about that process here.  (I'm pretty proud of it.)  ;)
But those two shelves.....I had something else in mind for those.
Which I finally got to this weekend.
When my sister moved out of my house last year and I turned her room into a guest room (read more about that here), I had a general idea of how I wanted to decorate it, but not enough time to do everything before the summer wrapped up.
These shelves, with their intricate design, were begging to be hung in that room.  If you look at the bedding, you'll see what I mean.  However, the colors of the shelves didn't really go with my vision, and they were pretty dirty and scratched up. new obsession with....spray paint!
I had also found this amazingly perfect picture at a small shop near my hometown (where the heart is), and the aqua-blue color in this was the inspiration for the color I decided on for my shelves.
I also found this frame at a garage sale for.........wait for it................25 cents!
Now is tiny (about 4x6 in.) and had a faded and ripped print stapled onto the back of it.
(Yep, stapled.)
So it really wasn't worth much....but for 25 cents I thought I could use this for something!
So here is the process of how I turned these from chic.
I laid everything out on a large piece of cardboard.  And, while I did this in the shade on my deck, I would definitely suggest covering a larger area than I did. 
Let's just say that I have the blue outline of where that flattened box was on my deck.
But, that's deck is in some serious need of a repainting job anyway.

Here are all the materials you'll need:
*Spray Paint
(I used Rustoleum Paint Plus)
*Sanding tools
(I had some medium-grain sandpaper sheets and a fine-grain sandpaper block)
*Plastic gloves
*Optional: safety mask 
(In other words, I didn't use this but thought it might be a good idea in the future.  There were a couple times when I had to take a break and walk away from the fumes.)

First step- prep the material you're painting. 
For my shelves, I cleaned both of them off with soap and water, dried them really well, and then sanded them. I used the medium-grain paper first, then smoothed them out with the fine-grain block.
For the frame, it was pretty clean so I just lightly wiped it down with a cloth.'s not wood so I didn't need to sand it!
I also cut a piece of paper to cover the print because I wasn't sure yet what I was going to do with the frame.  Not positive why I felt the need to "protect" it, but I did.
If you were actually spray painting a normal frame that has removable glass/ would do that first.  But mine didn't have that option. I was STAPLED onto the frame.
So strange.

Second step- set up what you're painting on something so you can get at it from every angle.
I used shoe boxes. 
Because I just bought two new pairs of flip flops.....and they were going to the recycle bin anyway.

Third step- follow the directions on the spray paint can and go crazy!
Well, not really crazy because that would be unsafe.
And unhealthy.
And.....well, crazy.
But have fun with it!  That's what I meant.  :)
I only sprayed light coats each time, to prevent any dripping, and I let each coat dry for an hour before spraying on the next coat.  I'm not sure what the standard amount of wait time is, but that's what I did and it worked so I'm going with that.

Here they were after three coats.

And a close up of the frame....just because it was so cool-looking with its monochromatic-ness.
(I know....not a word.)
A few days later....after I was sure they were dry and ready to manhandle, I tackled the next and final step- hanging them up.

These shelves had some very flimsy-looking contraptions that you might use to hang them.
If you were okay with them possibly falling off your wall and breaking.
Which I wasn't okay with, so I removed those and put on new contraptions.
Sorry, I really don't know a better word for these than contraptions. 
I'm not technical with any of my DIY-terms.  I apologize.

Here's what I bought....oh look- a technical term for them?  D-Ring Hangers.
Yep, that's what I used!
Of course they came three to a pack and I needed four.
Well played, Readyscrew company, well played.

They were super easy to install, especially since I already had tiny holes from the tiny rusty nails that were already on the backs of the shelves.

Then...I came up with a brilliant idea....kind of similar to what I did in this post when I hung up artwork in my dining room.
Only, instead of using a clear sheet of plastic, I just used painters tape.
I cut off a piece a little wider than the space between the two D-Ring Hangers (technical term- check!) and taped that over them.  Then I used a sharpie to mark the exact middle and top of each of those hangers.  Basically, where I wanted the nails to be.

Here's the one thing I am most proud of.....eyeballing where I wanted the shelf to be, sticking the tape to the wall, and...with a level on the shelf, holding it with one hand while at the same time taking a photo. 
Okay, proud might be the wrong word.  Impressed, maybe? 
I'm a really, this is impressive.

Anyway, once I had it level, I pressed down on the tape and carefully took the shelf away.
I even double checked the dots with the level a second time before hammering in the nails.
I really didn't want to have to do that balancing act more than necessary!
Then, I just slightly hammered each nail into where the sharpie dot was, just enough to see where they needed to be.  Then I removed the tape and hammered them in all the way, and then put the shelf up on the wall!

And....although this photo is slightly askew, the shelf is actually perfectly level.
I promise.

I have had the middle set of frames up since last summer, but the space around it was perfect for my two shelves, and some smaller very inexpensive frames to decorate them for now.

And that frame I spray a cute piece of scrapbook paper glued on top of the original print.  My first time using spray adhesive, but it turned out just how I hoped!
And how adorable are those miniature bird salt-and-pepper shakers?  Found them in the clearance bin at Michael's last year, along with the little white frame.
I just love when I can combine antique finds with clearance finds and make them my own!


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