As we were getting our basement finished, we asked our contractors how much built in shelves would be on either side of the fireplace. They quoted $2000.
Yikes. No thank you. We are at the end of our budget.
A few days later, I was in Walmart, and saw these Better Homes and Gardens 5 shelf bookcases on clearance for $50 each.
They were all gone, but the brown and black floor models were sitting there. I tracked someone down and asked if I could go ahead and just buy the floor models. They said yes, I ran home and measured, ran it by my husband, and then came back and picked them up that night, fully assembled.
Then, the wonderful Kate gave a tutorial on how she painted her laminate entertainment center white, and I knew we could pull this off.
Since they had to box out the fireplace anyway, we had them leave just enough room for the shelves to slide in so it could kinda look like built-ins. No extra money involved.
And since 460 of you said, “Girl, I don't care about giveaways! Just show us some more before and afters already!” in my giveaway poll here is your before:
And here it is today:
It’s pretty much a sea of brown, but I’d like to eventually (when the prices are right) add a rug, some fabric, and color…the lamp is a start.
Oh, and yea…my family room is always this clean…my kids sit on the couch all day and watch Max&Ruby and don’t touch a thing…
(you can hear the sarcasm, right?? you never know in the virtual world…)My favorite part of these shelves are the globes. I’ve found them at thrift stores and I love that one lights up. It was all broken, we glued it together, put a new light in, and it’s all better. It doesn’t turn right, but it makes a perfect little night light.
Now, I have to tell you that I was a wicked monkey and did not follow Kate’s instructions exactly and I’m paying for it now. She’s like the one that builds a house of bricks that lasts forever and I’m like the one that slaps up a house of straw.
You’ve gotta use oil based primer.
I didn’t. It was a Saturday afternoon, boys were down for naps, girls and husband were gone, and it was a perfect time to prime the shelves, but I only had Zinsser latex primer. Because I am so patient, I went right ahead and primed it with what I had. If you scratch it too hard, the paint comes right off. I don’t have a great picture to share, but just trust me, I’m constantly having to touch it up. Use the oil based primer.
Okay, moving on.
I am so on the ball, I have my fall pictures in the frames already! (ok, they haven’t been changed since 2 falls ago, but now they work!)
I don’t know, because y’all like to see what is on the shelves?? I think…
Still…lots to do, and blank walls to fill, but we’re on our way…
Moral of the story: $100 for bookcases, plus about $50 in paint and some accessories from thrift stores (most I already had) is better than $2000 for custom built-ins. They may not look as custom, but they work for us.
Happy Tuesday and holy long post.
Have you ever painted laminate and made it work? (and saved lots of $$$?)