Monday, July 2, 2012

Reclaimed cabinet door shelves

Casita Amanda, as it has come to be known, is very small.  930 square feet is plenty for one fabulous do-it-yourselfer and her furry sidekick.

But a small house from the 1960's does pose some very serious storage issues at times.  I spend a lot of time looking around my house and thinking, "I know there's more room here than I'm taking advantage of. Where can I put more storage?"So when I decided that my tiny powder room off the master bedroom needed more space to store things, shelves were in order.

For the actual shelves, I haunted my local Habitat for Humanity Restore, aka Bart's Barn, until I saw a cabinet door that had been sliced in half.  It was dark and glossy and too wide, so I took a trip to my dad's table saw to cut it down to size, and my mom diligently sanded away the finish so that it would take the paint.  Thanks mom and dad. I like it because it's got a lip on it, so my round things like lipstick won't roll away.
Pfft! Like I ever wear lipstick. That's a laugh. 

I applied two generous coats of white paint, also procured at Bart's Barn, which I didn't know was oil based at the time. Pro tip - if you're covered in oil based paint half an hour before you're supposed to be at a dinner party, regular old canola oil will dissolve that stuff right off your skin.  And it leaves your hands nice and soft.

I inherited the shelf brackets from the previous owner.  She had them close to the ceiling, and they were covered in dust and gunk. I used the pine shelves elsewhere in a closet, but I kept the brackets, knowing that they'd make throwing up some shelves pretty simple one day.  One coat of fuchsia paint later, and they're ready to attach to the back of the shelves.

I held the shelves in place and leveled them, and then marked the holes with a pencil so I'd know where to drill.  I drilled pilot holes and inserted molly bolts into them.

They're called ribbed plastic anchors on the package, but I've always called them molly bolts so molly bolts they are.  Use a hammer to gently coerce the bolts into the holes.  Don't hit too hard or you'll bend or break the plastic.  You always want to use these if you're screwing anything of any weight into dry wall.

Then I used screws to attach the brackets to the wall.  I was able to use my power drill to screw the bottom screws into place, but the top ones were in an awkward position due to the bracket's shape, so I did those by hand.

And TA-DA!  Storage!

A quick aside.  I love to shop at Bart's Barn, because not only do they have all kinds of neato reclaimed everything, not only is it generally much cheaper than anyplace you'd buy it new, not only are the staff friendly and helpful, but every time I shop there I'm donating money to an organization that gives people the dignity of owning their own home, of building wealth and getting out of poverty, of saying I live here, as opposed to I stay there. And that, well that means something.

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