The Unlazy Days of Summer, Volume 3: Making shadow box book shelves, Part 2

A quick reminder on what The Unlazy Days of Summer, Volume 3: Making shadow box book shelves, Part 1 was about:  I am working on shadow box book shelves for my daughter’s room.  I couldn’t find any that matched what I created in my head in the stores, so I decided to make my own.  The first step last week was to make the boxes.  This week, I needed to paint all of the parts.  I am loving this project!  First, I got to work with power tools, and then I got to paint!  Typically, when I do projects, they are much smaller, require acrylic craft paint and a foam brush, and I am done in a few hours.  I like instant gratification, so this project is truly a lesson in good-things-come-to-those-who-wait for paint to dry.

I needed spray paint primer and color paint for the frames and latex semigloss paint for the boxes.  So I headed back out to Home Depot.  It was a quick trip and I found great colors in similar hues (that’s saturation of color for you non-art peeps) that match the colors in my daughter’s room.  I wanted all of the frames to be a different color to add some whimsy and fun.  Check out what I picked:


Spray paint colors. The top one is primer.

Then it was time to prep an area to paint.  Since it’s been so hot outside, I didn’t want to paint in direct sunlight.  But, I also didn’t want to paint inside, because the fumes are hard to bear.  So, I set up in my husband’s garage bay – he would be gone the for the day and I would have time to paint, let dry and clean up before he got home.  So I laid out newspaper to protect the floor.  Ever paint something over newspaper, only to find out when the piece has dried, the paint adhered to the newspaper and your project and there were bits of paper that you had to remove?  I hate when that happens.  So to avoid paper parts on my frames and boxes, I laid down some of the extra garden stakes I had in the garage on top of the newspaper.  I put the frames and the boxes on the stakes so that if any paint dripped, it wouldn’t cause the newspaper to stick to the project.  Brilliant is what you were thinking, right?


No newspaper on these frames!

I sprayed a coat of primer on the frames.  The edges of these frames were dark and spray paint is somewhat translucent, so the primer was necessary if I wanted uniform color on the frames.


Light frame, dark edge.

While I waited for the frames to dry, I painted a first coat of semigloss paint on the boxes.


First coat done!

The spray paint has a fast drying time, so I was able to paint a second coat after I was done with the first coat on the boxes.  I sprayed at a slight angle toward the center on all sides of the frames so that I could get all of the edges coated on the cutouts of the frames. Then I put a quick second coat on at an angle toward the outside edges.  Once they were all dry, I inspected for any spots I had missed and gave those a quick spray.  The boxes had to wait for their second coat until the next morning because hubby needs his garage bay back.


Look at all those painted pieces!

Tune in tomorrow for Part 3 of the Unlazy Days of Summer, Volume 3: Making a Shadow Box Book Shelf, Part 3 where assembly and installation will commence!




PS  Check out my bonus manicure…


My idea of a French manicure.



One thought on “The Unlazy Days of Summer, Volume 3: Making shadow box book shelves, Part 2

  1. Pingback: The Unlazy Days of Summer, Volume 3: Making shadow box book shelves, Part 1 | goodness. gracious. living.

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