Painting Built In Bookshelves {if you want something done right…}{21}

I know.  I’ve been a bit quiet this week.  Did you miss me?  What can I say?  School began on Monday.  You might think that I’d have all kinds of free time with the kids out of the house for the day.  All those free hours stretching out between drop off in the morning and pickup in the afternoon (ha ha) . . .  There should be blog posts (and projects) just spilling out of my computer and jamming up your inboxes. . .  Ha!!  Or if I were, you know, a good blogger, I would have a stockpile of posts put aside for those times when I get extra busy and can’t get to the computer for a few days.  It just doesn’t work like that around here.  You get my progress as it comes – or as it doesn’t, as the case may be.  At least you know I’m being honest about it.  And honestly?  The first week of school is crazy busy!

first day of school 2013 -- 6th and 4th grade!

So summer is over (I’m dealing with it) – we are getting back into the swing of school – I am getting up at (gasp!!) 5:30 in the morning – and we have been ON TIME every day so far.  Every day.  All four of them.
(i don’t know why the print is all tiny here.  i’ve fixed it eleventy-four times and it just keeps coming back like this) 

Aside from school stuff I have continued my work of whipping the house back into shape.  I’ve shown you some pictures of the progress in the dining room and how I fixed up the front entryway and today I spent some time in the upstairs hallway.  This space is directly above the front entryway – with the window (upstairs) being in the same location as the front door (downstairs).


upstairs hallway before starting the project

If you’ve been following along you know that we recently hired someone to do a bit of plaster repair and painting.  The thing about hiring a job out is that you can’t always be sure that it’ll get done the way you want it done.  The list of things that got done a little. . . cockeyed. . . is pretty long but we are just moving forward.  Here is a little example of what the wall inside the bookshelf looked like after he “finished” the painting.


that looks totally awesome, right?? yeah. . .

There are so many little places like this one throughout the areas that he “painted”. . .  So, as I am doing the work of sorting through and putting things back where they belong, I am also doing a little touch-up.  I’m painting built in bookshelves.  Obviously, I couldn’t put anything back on those shelves with the walls looking like that.

Here is a question – Previously, the walls behind the shelves were painted in the wall color – Benjamin Moore’s Philadelphia Cream (which is yellow, by the way) and this time around we decided to paint them with trim paint.  The idea is that it will make them look more like built-ins.  They really are built in – so I don’t know if they need to look more built in. . .  In either case – the deed is done.  I decided to skip repainting the shelves themselves.  They are a little banged up but the paint on them is still in pretty good shape.  They were painted with our trim color (we have worked over the last few years to make all of the trim in the house the same color) when we built them about 6? years ago.  The driving factor in the decision to leave them alone?  It’s sitting on my bedroom floor!


i know you love a good "disaster area" photo . . .

If I paint them now, I’d have to wait another 2 weeks (or more!) to put stuff back on the shelves.  I find it takes a loooong time for latex paint to fully cure.  Only in  my house?

Which brings me to my next dilemma.  These shelves were jam packed with books.   Everyone in my family exhibits an almost unnatural attachment to books.  We can’t seem  to ever get rid of them.  And we all read.  A lot.  The issue has been alleviated somewhat by all of us getting “readers” over the last year or so. . . but still. . .  The dilemma is that I would kind of like to “style” these shelves a bit.  Make ’em pretty.  Don’t get me wrong, I think books themselves are smashing.  But I have so many other collections (besides books) that would like a little time to shine. . .  And then what do we do with the books??  Sigh. . . I know they can’t stay on my bedroom floor.


you don't have to go on the shelves, but you can't stay here. . .


For now, I’ve got this great blank canvas.  Here is what the shelves look like at this moment.  My vision for this space (and the way I’m feeling these days – for ALL of my spaces!) is more open and “display-like”.  You know, something I want to take pictures of!  I’m actually feeling like most of the books don’t have to go back on the shelves. . . I will just hoard them in the room over the garage!!  Isn’t that why we built the garage??


Ah!  A wonderfully blank canvas!  What should go on those shelves??  Old tools?  Scales?  Yardsticks?  Enamelware?  Signs?  School Bells?  Seltzer bottles?  Or …books?

Please, put in your two cents!

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