Closet Update: Wood shelves are finished!

I can see the light!

I spent two whole days this past weekend bouncing back and forth between putting coats of polyurethane on shelves and scrubbing the slime layer off of my steel pipe parts.

The shelves look "badass" in my husband's terminology... They're rich and deep and shiny, which is pretty cool. The gloss was actually unintentional; I wouldn't have minded a matte finish on these, since the vibe is industrial to start with, but I just grabbed whatever gallon of polyurethane we had lying around in the basement. It just so happened to be a semi-gloss (not sure where we got it from) that we used on our floors about six years ago when we moved in. Lucky for me it was still good, and I was able to save some bucks and help put a dent in the clutter.





Poor "90's Junk" spent the weekend outside...

I laid the shelves out, tops up, propped up on random jars, boxes, etc. on the garage floor. I used a smooth foam roller to apply the poly to the tops, sides and ends, making sure to get a nice thick coat to fill in the knots and cracks. I went over it a second time before the first coat was dry (about a half hour later). I came back in six hours and did an extra-thick top coat, after a bit of smoothing with a green scrubby pad.  Hubby wanted the surfaces nice and glassy so our clothes don't snag on them... his poor t-shirts and jeans! Ha ha.

The next morning, I made sure the shelves were good and dry, and flipped them over to get the bottom sides. I did two coats on the bottoms as well, making sure to roll off any drips that accumulated on the other side. I'm less worried about a glassy finish on the bottom sides of the shelves, as our clothes won't really be touching them.

Between coats of polyurethane (and some gardening!), I soaked the pipe fittings in water with a good dose of parts cleaner/degreaser. I think if I were to use pipe fittings in a project again (and I plan to!), I would shop around and make sure to find a supplier that doesn't wrap stickers and tape around EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE. It was a pain to scrape off the tape, and all the pieces had this weird slimy, oily coating on them (although some had more or less than others). I ended up using a scraper to remove the gunk from each piece, which gave them all a neat "brushed" appearance. I also made glitter sludge water, so that's neat. But... while the pipes look a lot prettier now, I may have to either clear coat them or wax them to make sure they don't oxidize over time.

And a bonus picture! We were the masters of multi-tasking over the weekend... shelf-building, gardening, home-brewing machines! A perfect weekend to be outside! I am sufficiently sunburned...

Apparently a raised garden bed doubles as a 3-tier brew system...


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