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I’m so excited to finally share the big reveal! If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen how we installed the lower cabinets and built a wood countertop, so what’s left to do? The last step in the process, but probably the most annoying one, was building and painting the actual shelves. My dad to the rescue again in helping us cut and hang the shelves in no time at all. Hey Dad!
We built the shelves out of common board. We planned to paint the entire bookshelf white so aside from needing a few coats of primer and paint, it was probably the most cost-effective option for us. The one trick to buying common board is ensuring the pieces are all pretty straight with relatively few knots. We learned this lesson the hard way in building our countertop from 2x4s. After cutting and hanging the shelves, we used unfinished trim to cover the front sections and at the ceiling (we didn’t have room for crown molding or I would have done that).
The priming and painting was definitely the most tedious part. Since I didn’t want to cover my entire upstairs with plastic in order to spray, I had to do it all by hand. Because the shelves go to the ceiling and you can see the undersides of them, I had to paint EVERYTHING! I ended up doing three coats of primer and three coats of paint with TONS of nail hole filler and caulking. I literally think I went through twenty tubes of caulking to fill all the cracks and gaps at the back of the wall, because evidently, our wall isn’t straight, what the what? I just assumed all walls were created straight. However, caulking is amazing at making everything look so finished and well, built-in. And for paint, we again used Behr Marquee Ultra Pure White Semi-Gloss paint. It goes on beautifully and looks super smooth and shiny!
For added protection, I put a coat of polyacrylic over everything. With three kids who run into everything, I want these to last. Make sure you use polyacrylic and not polyurethane for this step since polyurethane can cause white paint to yellow.
And at long last, four months to be exact, these babies are finally finished!
I absolutely love how this turned out! It completely transformed our cold and empty loft. My husband quickly claimed all of the shelves, but all of the cabinets are mine and make a great storage place for all my crafty stuff. Someday I will actually finish the loft and be able to enjoy the entire space, but for now, we feel pretty accomplished!