Quickie Makeover: Etagere and Side Table

Since I’m still sick as a dog, I’ve been taking it easy which means staying at home, and resting.  Unfortunately, I’m not very good at that (you can only take so many naps) so while loafing around the house yesterday, I decided it was time to do a little sprucing up around here.
Right now, our nedroom is very dark.  Not only does it not get a ton of natural light since it faces another tall building (love city living) but the bedroom furniture is also dark (remember my struggle to refinish my armoire and nightstands last fall?)  Anyway, it’s bugged me for months, and since a total bedroom makeover hasn’t been on the agenda (or in the budget) just yet, I want to start making a few small changes to help lighten things up.

Which brings me to this black shelving unit, aka: the etagere (well that’s what I’m going to call it).  This beast was one of the first things I bought when I moved to San Francisco over five years ago… perhaps I thought it was elegant at the time (woof), and as much as I’d love to give it the heave-ho, we need it to house all the things that we simply don’t have storage for – aka, my jewelry, accessories, books that don’t fit in our bookshelf, etc.
These are the few “before” pictures I could find of this cheapo metal shelving unit.  I didn’t want to put a lot of time or money into this project since it was dirt cheap to begin with, and it may not even be here three months from now, so I grabbed a can of spray paint from the home depot (Rustoleum’s metallic gold) and went to work.  
I also did a small side table that goes in our living room – here are the before pics of that:
I dragged these bad boys out to the garage, and went to work.  The guys at home depot took pity on me (granted, I probably looked somewhat lost in the aisles of power tools in my leopard print flats), and they sent me off with a super cute face mask and gloves.  Double score! Aside from the fumes which would have made me hack up a lung from this sexy cough, I would have ruined my manicure – a true tragedy (I mean, look how cute the neon pink is):
Anyways, back to the point… here are the “during” pics – super exciting:
And finally, the afters.  The whole project took maybe 45 minutes from start to finish – from dragging the furniture to the garage, to the actual spraying, the dry time, and clean-up.  
Not bad right?!  Keep in mind, I snapped these pics with my iPhone, so they aren’t the best quality…
You might look at the “etagere” and think, “Storage? What storage“, but it looks somewhat dwarfed in this photo – there are two boxes on the second the bottom shelf, and they hold all my jewelry that doesn’t look very nice on display (bangles, long strands of necklaces, chunky earrings, etc) along with hair “stuff” (headbands, pins, velcro rollers, a bump it – don’t ask).  I also have a tray that holds my pretty statement necklaces (below) and another dish for my dainty pieces (studs, rings, and small chains).


This was my first time spray painting, and aside from feeling like a badass (I totally wanted to tag the wall with some white girl graffiti… perhaps a knee jerk reaction from holding a can of spray paint??) I learned a thing or two for next time…

Key Learning #1: Hold the bottle far away from the piece, to avoid heavy coats
The shelves don’t look so hot close up because I didn’t hold the can far enough away – they are blotchy. There are also a few drip marks from being too close.  This stuff dries fast… really fast, so by the time I noticed the drips it was too late.   Oh well, live and learn.

Key Learning #2: Spray multiple thin coats.  
This ensures even coverage, and fast thorough drying time.

Do I care that I messed up?  Not really… Is that bad?  Eh… not at all!  They were both dirt cheap finds to begin with, (the shelf was originally from Ikea, and the table was from Craigslist) so the mistakes don’t faze me at all.  My guess is that within the year, both will be either left on the street corner for some other 22 year old to find, or back on Craigslist for $5, but while they are still here, I think they both look one-hundred-million times better.

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