Today’s post is about my new little black dress shelf. Every woman needs one.
You may recall that one of the items I snagged when Naomi and I pillaged that local school (totally legally) was an adorable wire shelf with awesome lines:
We found it in one of the science classrooms, and I was immediately smitten. Here I am making my escape with it, while Brad tries to push a wheelbarrow with a flat tire full of garden tools and logs:
And here it is balancing totally securely on top of the car:
After all that effort, though, it’s been sitting patiently in the basement-hoarding-pile-of-doom waiting for some attention. Fortunately, I finally decided to get my act together and paint it.
The first step was to sand down the wood handles (which I planned to stain) — they had a few different colors of paint flaking off of them:
Here they are sanded clean, which you could see if I knew how to focus my camera.
Next was the joyful tasks of sanding off the 3+ layers of paint and rust on the rest of the shelf. There was red, gold, silver, rust spots, and I even spied green in a few places.
The rungs on the bottom had some metal burrs on them that were too tough to sand off:
I decided to use my dremel and a grinding attachment to smooth them out, which worked pretty well. It was also a great way for Sam’s sister to learn pretty quickly what things are like at our house — she had just moved in a few days earlier, and when she came into the sunroom to see what all the noise was she found me sitting on the couch wearing safety goggles with sparks flying off my dremel.
With those steps complete, it was a relief to have finally exposed all the metal underneath.
Next I used painters tape to cover the wood handles, and gave the metal a coat of primer and then a coat of some bright green spraypaint that I had leftover from the two-tone cane chair project. I thought that a bold color would look cool with the details on the shelf.
But I changed my mind after one coat — the color distracted from the amazing shape of the shelf, and I realized I needed to go much simpler (which Naomi had suggested all along…she always knows best).
So I followed up with a few coats of high gloss black spraypaint instead:
And then finished it off with a coat of clear glossy spray. Now the details of the shelf can be the star of the show.
Lastly, I stained the handles a dark brown with some minwax stain I had on hand (“Espresso”).
I will say that this project took a lot longer than I was expecting — sanding and then painting all the thin rungs took so long. But in the end, I’m so happy with my (free!) little black shelf.
I love all the little details and wanted to photograph every single one from every single angle.
So what do you think, is the Little Black Shelf (LBS) the new must-have item of the season?