Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Revamped bookshelf

Over the last few weeks, I have disassembled a bookshelf, then reassembled it to the same bookshelf. There are some extraneous steps in my life.

This bookshelf lived in my brother's room for many years, then in the hallway for a further few. There used to be a door over that panel on the left, but I think it became firewood. My mum was sick of the sight of it, so asked if I wanted to sand it down and revarnish it and take it to my room, because it is years since I have had enough room for books.

I was going to make the legs shorter, but in the end I just pulled out the carpet protectors and sanded down the ends to neaten them up.

I sanded down every side long enough with a borrowed power-sander. I had a headache for most of a day after this, probably from inhaling the powdered dust + varnish + wood combination. Masks are for wimps, I'll avoid giving myself long-term respiratory problems when I'm dead.

I realised the prospect of doing the sides too short for the sander by hand was unpleasant, and that I wouldn't do as good a job as the power-sander, so I dismantled the whole thing. I wasn't sure when I started whether this step would be helpful, but given that it worked out in the end I stand by it.

The dismantling allowed me to sand everything down properly. Hooray!

I glued everything back together with wood glue

and then I varnished it. Given how much darker it made the wood, I'm very glad I went for the clear varnish rather than a stain. Also, while the photos don't show it as well as real life, the varnish really does make the wood look beautiful. It's the first project in a while that I've thought looked beautiful, and that's a pretty fantastic feeling. It's also the first time in a long time I've responded to "That looks well!" with "It does, doesn't it?" instead of, "Oh. Thanks!"

And then I got a paint marker and wrote lines I likes from books and lines from books I like all over the top and sides. (This idea was shamelessly stolen from Cornflower Blue Studios). I have tiny little hand-writing so I had to keep going back for more quotes. My writing isn't actually as round and childish as it looks on this, I was just trying to make spaces in the middle of letters more obvious.

The writing on the lower mini-shelf says "Ben the dog went down the hill." That was the first sentence in my first primary school reader. I'm secretly sentimental, and couldn't find anything else short enough to fit.

I decided to put a layer of varnish over the writing to protect it, and it caused the paint to smear. It was very distressing. I've written over it, but it's not the neatest, which is disappointing.

Here it is in my room! I haven't decided what books go on it yet. It's a weighty decision.

And here is my to-read bookshelf! Some of them are books I saved from being thrown out because I hadn't read them yet, so I don't feel guilt over not having gotten to those yet.

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