So I finally wrapped up and finished the brass shelf in my “cursed corner”.
(The shelf was brass plated metal by the way, NOT solid quality brass. Click here if you want to see how you can tell. You know that type of brass that is chipping off in certain places and makes the entire piece look like junk. I would have left it in it’s brass glory if it would have been a solid brass piece.)
This is an older post of mine and the shelf styling has changed since then. Here are some updated photos before you get to the old tutorial:
And without colors:
And here it is what it was styled like two years ago:
If you haven’t been reading along and are wondering why I call it the cursed corner, let me explain again.
This project started with the fact that I wanted to replace this Ikea shelf in my living room:
My children did a number on it with their toy baskets. I was also bothered by the fact that no big books and decor items fit into the cubbies. It’s just a big bulky square that I originally chose for it’s abilities to store my toddlers toys and to be able to get screwed into the walls for safety.
Well my kids aren’t toddlers anymore and I was so ready for a change and when I spotted this 80’s brass and glass shelf at the auction I knew I could turn it into something that I would love. It has the perfect size. I bought it for $35! Great price!
|original auction website photo|
Now it appears a simple project, right? Remove Ikea Expedit shelf and put up brass shelf. That’s what I thought too but it just ended up being such a hassle.
I had screwed the Expedit to the wall and cut the molding to fit it in. I also painted around it several times. So there was a big mess to clean up and fix.
I think everything that could go wrong went wrong from this point on and a small project turned out to be a long process. Did that ever happen to you?
- I cut the molding wrong several times and had to run back and forth to Home Depot to get more
- I lost the original screws to the brass shelf on one of those runs because I wanted to replace several stripped ones. Of course they were metric and hard to find
- I cut my foot on the half finished floor molding and I was barely able to walk.
- Lowes mixed the paint wrong that I used to paint over the messy wall, so I had to paint a second time.
- I wanted to build chunky white shelves. Yeah how about those? Do you remember? Well I changed my mind after finding out how much the lumber was and I couldn’t find a cheap alternative. I was thinking the white Ikea Lack floating shelf, but they weren’t deep enough. Why spend extra money if I had perfect glass shelves? So I did a little somethin’ somethin’ with them. I’ll explain later.
- And last but not least: Fixing the shiny chippy brass on the frame. I bought Rub ‘n Buff. Which took quite some time to get to my house and it wasn’t as easy to apply as I had expected.
So this post is to explain what I did to get rid of the chipping brass layer and what I did to the glass shelves.
I used my $1 brass bookends as guinea pigs.
My first try was to just take the chippy shiny brass off . Well it didn’t come off and I tried several potent things. I tried lacquer thinner (paint thinner) and even heavy duty stripper right onto the frame but nothing worked.
Then I moved to the Rub ‘n Buff. I tried to apply it right to the brass and it got blotchy and uneven. I have seen several bloggers do that and for them it worked. For me not so much. My shelf is in the cursed corner though so it didn’t work for me and this is what the finish looked like for me. I tried diluting it with deglosser but didn’t like the results. I tried liquid leaf. NO likey likey either.
|The left side shows the blotchy Rub n’ Buff, the right side shows the mat clear coat|
|This is 2 coats of Rub n’ Buff on the actual frame. Very uneven!|
So I ended up priming the frame with metal primer spray paint. The first time I didn’t wait the full 48 hour drying time and the Rub n’ Buff ate away the paint. So I had to fix the primer again.
BUT finally the Rub n’ Buff stuck to the frame. Yippie!
It was hard to understand for my husband why I primed the gold shelf frame to just paint it gold again. Haha, but he doesn’t need to understand it 😉
Now we come to the glass shelves and this is where the bracelet from yesterday’s post comes into place. I loved the jade and gold of the bracelet. Since the glass was tinted green, I decided to try painting the underside of each glass white to bring out the tint. It worked! And I really like it. It doesn’t mean that I might not change them out for my first choice, the chunky white shelves, down the road, but for now I’m really happy with this result. I used water based primer to paint the shelves.
|Sorry for the bad cell phone photo but it was late and dark outside!|
After this long post (if you made it through the entire rambling) you can understand why a seemingly easy project turned out to be such a long process.
(I painted the artwork a while ago)
And the hubby doesn’t think that the shelf is hideous anymore. He said: “I never pictured it looking like this!” and I’m doing a happy dance. Mission accomplished!
I finally like my “cursed corner”.
What do you think?