Thursday, September 19, 2013

Furniture Facelift: Low Bookshelf Edition

Another free score for the house! This bookshelf, like the hutch from a few posts ago, only needed a couple of coats of paint to make it room-ready. My dad did replace the back, although it didn't necessarily need it. Not a huge deal when it comes to getting free stuff, right? The story behind the shelf, however, is pretty neat.

First, painting the shelf.
bookshelf, with new back (courtesy of dad)
The shelf is about 5 feet long, 32 inches high, and 10 inches deep, with three shelves. The middle shelf is the "shortest," the other two are roughly the same height. It was a light yellow color, with a layer of dust, bird poo, and grime from being stored in a barn for several years. As much as I love the color yellow, I wanted a more neutral color as the bookshelf is currently living in the reading nook, which eventually will be painted brown. A good scrub and two coats of paint later, it's as good as new.
new coat of paint
first load of books, plus some old magazines
I gave it a few coats of Wheatfield, from natureSecret, a recycled paint company based in Canada (Recycled paint? Go earth!) I had seen the paint at the Paris Farmers' store over in Middlebury and at Bisbee's here in town, and wanted to try it out to see if it is something that I wanted to use in the house. I bought a gallon of Wheatfield, which is their version of beige, to try on the inside of my kitchen cabinets (post coming soon!). So far I like the paint; it's less stinky than normal latex paint. They have a limited, pre-made palate (made in batches - so match the cans before you buy!), but a good variety of colors for what they're offering - the color I used came from their "Parklands Collection." With plenty left over for other projects, and not wanting to over-do it with the green from the hutch and side table, I thought it would be good for the bookshelf.

Now, the story. . . As I mentioned, the bookshelf was a free score this past summer, and came from a house around the corner and down the road from my parents. My mom had called and said she'd seen "some doors and a bookshelf at Susan's house," so dad and I stopped on our way to moving some other things. It seemed in good condition, so we grabbed it. Fast-forward a few hours and we unload it from the truck. It is then that I notice the unmistakable "teacher handwriting" on the two labels on the shelves:
And underneath the top, a crossed-out name and a classroom number:
A-6. . . sounds vaguely familiar. .  .
At which moment I said to my dad, "this must have come from a teacher at Mary Hogan!" (my elementary school). To which he replies, "well yes, it's from Susan Ward's house." Mrs. Ward was not only a teacher at Mary Hogan, but she was my 4th grade teacher. Of course, I hadn't made the connection that she was who my mom was referring to (and I'm not sure I knew at the time that she and her husband lived there). I can't remember explicit details from my 4th grade classroom, but I am fairly certain that she was in classroom A-6 when I had her, and I do remember there being low bookshelves along the wall under the windows.

I'm a little excited that the shelf has come back into my life 21ish years later!

A kitchen post will be coming soon, as well as an update or two on other crafty things going on. . .


  1. I really like your bookshelf story of what goes around, comes around. Your paint reminds me of helping Lydia refurbish a dark basement room in an old house when she lived in Portland (OR). We went to a recycled paint store and the selection was decent in terms of color, although very muted. Nice memories...

    1. I was super psyched to realize it had been in my 4th grade classroom - I get nostalgic like that sometimes!