Our Most Recent Distraction Project

Part of me not working, is also keeping myself busy. I am really bad at just sitting still and doing nothing, so I am constantly searching for meaningful things to keep me busy. A while ago, I wrote about some of my healthy coping techniques, in my post entitled How Do I Cope? So, I thought I’d share a recent project that kept us busy and focused on something other than infertility, miscarriages, medical tests, babies, etc.

So, what did we do?

We re-finished an old shelf that’s been sitting in our kitchen. The shelf was an odd purchase for us, as nothing is our house fits the style of “country”, and this shelf most definitely is country. I bought it about 2 years ago with the plan to re-finish it. It had good bones underneath a really bad paint job. This project has been on the “to-do-list” since then, but it never seemed to happen partially because we’ve been busy with miscarriages; partially because the toxic chemicals involved are not great for pregnancies; and, partially because it was a daunting amount of work!

So finally, we decided it was time since I had painted the wall a color that did match the horrible old red colour, and since we were not pregnant and were not allowed to try again until more testing was complete. So, we considered it a “safe” time to play with toxic chemicals.

When I first found the shelf, my husband was opposed to me buying it. All he saw was the amount of work required to make it look good. So, when I bought it, we agreed that it would be “my” project. Well, that clearly didn’t happen and he ended up doing a bunch of the work (some might even say he did the bulk of the work)! I quickly discovered that I couldn’t have done it without his help since I couldn’t even lift the shelf to move it to the garage on my own.

Anyways, we started by buying chemicals to strip the old dark paint. It didn’t work well, and we quickly determined that using the chemicals would take us about 3000+ hours, and we’d be pretty high the entire time from the incredibly potent fumes. Pregnancy or no pregnancy, it didn’t seem healthy. So, with the help of Google, we searched out alternative solutions for stripping paint. We discovered soda blasting, which is similar to sand blasting. We found a do-it-yourself industrial facility, and it took about an hour to take off most of the paint. It worked marvelously!

Then, we sanded it for a few more hours. Using a palm sander and hand paper sanding on the delicate edges.

Next, we used a wood conditioner and a rub on stain. This took a few hours, but definitely not too long. We let it sit for a few days in the garage to dry completely before we brought it inside for re-assembly.

We re-used the hinges, but found new handles that fit the look of the newly improved shelf.

And, here we are, with a beautiful shelf! And, now we love our “country” shelf, so it can stay in our kitchen as a unique piece.

Our Most Recent Distraction Project2 Our Most Recent Distraction Project4

Our Most Recent Distraction Project3

Our Most Recent Distraction Project5

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9 Comments on “Our Most Recent Distraction Project

    • We too really liked the character of the hinges – they are actually the original. We did replace the knobs, but looked for something to go with the hinges.
      We debated what color of stain to go with, but I think in the end we chose the right one. 🙂


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