17 April 2011

Simple stair bookshelf

We have particularly wide stairs with nice wide landings. I think they are perfect for more bookshelves, since it seems no matter how many books I donate to the library, we always need room for more.

Using a 1 x 12 pine board, I constructed this small bookshelf. It is very solid, even though I didn't use wood glue in addition to screws this time. I intended to back it, but like it so much plain, I'm going to live with it for a while before I decide whether or not to tack on a back. It's only 18" tall but it keeps with the openness of this contemporary house. I primed it and painted it with two coats of a muted sage green sample paint I had in my paint closet - one of the rejects for the upstairs bathroom. My intention for this book case was for it to hold reference books that everyone in the family uses, to get them out of the office and to place them closer to where we use them. The basket holds my Mother Earth News magazines, which I read once cover to cover, then consult over and over again.

I used the top to display some of Kevin's Air Force honors and USATF awards, which had been collecting dust in a corner, and our wedding ducks. In some Asian cultures, wedding ducks are given as a symbol of life long commitment, as ducks mate for life. They believe the spirit of the carver enters the ducks, which impart the carver's good fortunes on the married couple. The ducks symbolize peace, inseparableness, and many children. I sometimes forget they are supposed to be placed bill to bill, not tail to tail, which is a sign of a tiff.

This is the first time I primed my wood before painting it and I can't believe the difference - the paint went on so quickly and smoothly there's not a brush stroke on this piece. It looks much more professional than some of my other pieces. I guess I finally learned something.

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