First step was finding a display that was the right size and right look for what I was going for. Instead of going out and buying a shelving unit, I chose one that has very personal and significant meaning to me: a shelving unit that once belonged to my grandfather, someone who was like my surrogate father, someone who was the one of the most important people in the world to me.
Our house is filled with many people and many boxed memories. We found the shelving unit in our garage, and it just so happened it was the perfect measurements! I was excited and overwhelmed. I know that my grandpa is immensely proud of me.
Next step was to clean it up and make it unique! Cleaning the metal was a simple process of my mom and I scrubbing it down in our front lawn. She was so excited to know I was using this specific unit.
The shelves were made of pressboard. The unit is probably from the 1960s at our best estimate. Years of storage and use means the shelves were slowly starting to disintegrate. Keeping those boards was not an option!
Mom and I measured the boards and went to Home Depot, which turned into quite a fun trip. We purchased plywood, not too thick but very sturdy. I chose a paint from the Martha Stewart collection, black with tiny flecks of gold in it. The paint wasn't glittery, but it was was shiny and unique.
I spent a few hours over two days, painting the boards. They turned out fantastic, especially considering I haven't painted a single thing, art or otherwise, for quite a few years!
The end result was a beautiful upcycled shelving unit that would look beautiful as a standalone piece in our house, and also looks amazing as a display unit that shines but lets the pieces shine brighter.
The display unit looks beautiful in the store! You can stop by and see for yourself at BeachCrafters, 4244 Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach CA.
What has been one of your favorite upcycling projects that you've done or you've seen?