Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Husband to the Rescue

Isn't this why we get married?  Because while most of the time a girl can hold her own, every now and then we turn damsel-in-distress and need our knight-in-toolbelt to help us out a little.

I had planned on taking an old, cheap DVD shelving unit that stood vertically and turn it on its side, slap a few coats of paint on it, add some feet, and slide it under one of the living room windows (to still hold DVDs... just more cuter-er).  However, neither Alex nor I thought about the fact that this particle board shelf was designed to stand vertically, not horizontally.  While very cute, it began to sag, the feet got all wobbly, and I got all teary-eyed.

Enter Alex.  He grabbed some 2x6s, glue, and wood screws and got busy.  Shelf saved.  The full story (how-to) and before and after shots are below:

Here is the original DVD shelf.  I drug it out to the garden to sand it so that I could also hang with Alex while he worked out there.  The location of the sanding is not important; sanding is.  Otherwise the paint will bead up and not stick (much like when you use a Crayola marker on a slick surface - doesn't work).

(Notice the sexy half-naked beast gardening away.  Pics (of the veggies) here.

Here it is all nice and sanded.  I used my daddy's electrick B&D sander with 60 grit pads.  The back isn't sanded because it's just cardboard with laminate on it and I'm replacing it with luan.

The board on top was the base of the shelf, which was deeper than the rest (larger foot = stability), so I had to remove it and trim it down with my skill saw.

At this point I've painted the outside red, the inside beige, and I'm working on the red trim.  I ripped out the cardboard on top to make painting and sanding in the corners and back edges easier, but it got waaaaay wobbly, so I only did the top.

Oh - and I should mention that since this was a smaller project, I went to Lowe's, picked my colors (Valspar brand), and asked for the sample jars.  They're only $2.49 each and were the perfect amount for this project.

I meant to snap a few pics of the luan (really thin plywood) as I painted it, but I forgot.  Here, I've painted the whole thing beige (after priming it), taped off a chevron pattern, and painted red over that with a sponger roller.

Here it is with the tape pulled off.  I have to admit, it looks pretty ballin'.  The key I think is to have the angles of the pattern more than 90*.  That way you can use the edges/corners of the painter's tape strips to make crisp points.

Here it is, all painted, with the luan back nailed all along the back edges.  The feet came from Lowe's (I painted them the same beige color) and were installed using T-nuts.  Tip: DON'T buy the pronged t-nuts.  The prongs didn't hold up.  They dug into the particle board a little, then gave up on life and started to bend and be pansies.  So I went back and got t-nuts that required nails.  Much better.

So at this point, I'm pretty stoked.  I'm thinking, "Man, this looks good, and I did it on my own.  A skill saw, drill, hammer... Sweet."  And then I noticed that the feet were all wobbly, and the joints of the shelving unit weren't strong.  I may have cried a little at my husband.  Maybe.

And like any good husband would do, he got in on the project.  A 2x4 on the bottom, flush with the back of the shelf, was installed with wood glue and wood screws.  A 2x4 on the back, flush with the "new" bottom of the first 2x4 was installed the same way.  I painted the edges and stopped crying.
I installed the feet myself, using a drill for the nut to drop down into, and a smaller drill bit for the nail holes.  (I picked a drill bit slightly smaller than the nail shaft - it was sized so that I couldn't physically push the nail into the hole, but I merely had to tap it in with the hammer.)  I did this so there wouldn't be pressure from hammer banging.  I was a little paranoid at this point, lol.

So here it is, loaded with Alex's DVDs.  I have quite a few, too... in the shed, maybe.  Hope they all fit!