Remember those thrift store shelves I blogged about forever ago? Well, I'm finally took the "after" photos! I paid $5 for them at a thrift store this past summer, and I'm pretty sure the reason I paid so little for them was because they were pretty awful looking. You can see the previous post and all of the before photos here. Here are two before photos for a quick comparison though:
As you can see, they were pretty ugly! The first thing I did was clean them. They were really dusty because that had been in the thrift shop for so long. Next, I sanded them. I used 100 grit sandpaper with my orbital sander (is it weird that I love my power tools? I use this one by DEWALT and it's great), which really helped even out the texture. The shelves are particle board and the top layer was really bumpy. It almost looked like there were little bubbles under the finish. The faux bamboo part is real wood and I used a sanding block to smooth those down by hand.
Next, I wiped the whole piece down with a wet microfiber cloth so that they were free of debris.
I just went the spray paint route because painting with a paintbrush scares me. I love the Rustoleum spray paint I used on Jack's campaign dresser and our Chinese Chippendale dining chairs, so I decided to use it again on the shelves. It has the primer built right in so two or three coats of white paint plus two coats of a shiny top coat did the job easily.
I say this on every furniture makeover post, but it's amazing what a little paint can do!