Recycled Office

My tried and true bookshelves were in great shape, but my office felt so boring and I have really been craving some inspiration.  Instead of throwing everything out and starting from scratch, I used two of the cubie shelves as the base for a project table, and refurbished all of my bookcases.  Fun project plus a new space?  I'm in!


The first project that we tackled was the project table.  I already had the cubbies and was using them as storage.  I searched online for project table specs, secured some wood scrap from a local construction site for the tabletop, added backboards to the cubbies, and voila!  To finish the project, I sanded, primed, and painted the table.  Now we refer to this desk as my "nerve center".  We throw stools on the back side of the table and three or four people can comfortably work there.


Build desk2   Office1


With the project table ready to go, I needed to tackle refurbishing the bookshelves.  The process was a bit lengthy and took a little grit (c'mon, I'm Fit to Garden, of course I can handle this!), but the good news is that the steps are extremely simple to follow.  Here are my tips for painting laminate:


Step One

If possible, take apart the furniture and prep the space with a drop cloth.

Desk before  

Step Two

With a 220 grit sandpaper, sand every square inch that you will be painting  Sand until you start to see little white flecks on the shine of the laminate is removed. Be careful not to sand down too far and gouge the laminate, but make sure everything is scuffed or the primer or paint will bubble.


Step Three

Next, take a tack cloth and wipe down the sanded pieces. You’ll want to make sure you remove all of the sanding dust so that it won’t ruin the paint job.


Step Four

Now it’s time to prime the pieces.  Choose a primer that is low VOC and is formulated for all types of projects, including laminate.  I gave each piece one coat of primer  You will need to let your primed pieces completely dry and cure before you move to the next step. The primer that I used stressed 7 days curing time; other brands may recommend a different length of time. Your pieces will be dry to the touch within a few hours, but they will not be scratch resistant until the primer is fully hardened.  The curing stage is crucial, do not be tempted to paint too soon!


Step Five

Finally, it's time to paint!  I chose a non-toxic paint with an eggshell sheen and a quality brush, then applied two coats of paint.  I allowed the first coat to dry overnight before adding the second coat.  It feels good knowing I rescued the tired furniture, and I love working in the spiced up space!


Learn more about Stacy Walters, RKT at www.fittogarden.com


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