A Change of Plans for the Girl Cave Bookcase

Project #4 on my 2015 Project list is “Paint Small Bookcase in Girl Cave Purple”.  The scope of this project recently changed, in part because of something that will be revealed in a forthcoming post, and in part because my parents would love to have it back.  So today I completed the project as far as I can in terms of the new scope, so I’m calling it DONE!

In 2013 I inherited this adorable little white bookcase from my parents:

girl cave bookcase

In February 2014 I painted it dark purple to match the motif in the girl cave:

21b

…before realizing it had originally been painted [by my Dad] with oil paint.  I always use latex.  And this is what happens when you paint latex over oil:

21h

The latex slides off.  Nightmare.

Sanding the purple off, priming it, and re-painting it has been on my “to do” list for 2 years.  However, now that the bookcase’s plans have changed, and it will be traveling back to my parents’ house, I decided to spend this afternoon prepping it for it’s approaching journey.  I took it down to my basement workshop and got started with the palm sander:

157a        157c

And spent 40 minutes with my palm sander removing as much purple paint as possible.  Their plan is to restore it to it’s original white finish [with a new coat of primer and paint].  You would think the latex would just peel off, but it wasn’t that easy.  Maybe I left it on too long before removing it?

The first step with any sanding project is proper eye and respiratory protection:

157b

After 40 minutes of power sanding:

sanding the purple paint off the small girl cave bookcase        sanding the purple paint off the small girl cave bookcase

You can see how much dust is on the work table and floor by this point, and how much is in the air by the amount of orbs flying around!  So much dust:

sanding the purple paint off the small girl cave bookcase        sanding the purple paint off the small girl cave bookcase

After taking a break [which included a LONG hot shower], I hauled the bookcase outside for some hand sanding.  After 45 MORE minutes of hand sanding, most of the purple was finally gone!!!:

sanding the purple paint off the small girl cave bookcase        sanding the purple paint off the small girl cave bookcase

It’s not perfect, but my Dad can take it from here!  Mom & Dad – next time you guys swing by it’ll be waiting in the dining room for you!

PS – today wasn’t all about work, I did relax with my boys this morning as I sipped tea out on the front step:

darwin on the front stoop on his leash        darwin on the front stoop on his leash

Hooray for SPRING!!!

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10 Comments

  1. Is this not the same bookshelf as the one here: https://charlieandjo.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/paint-a-bookshelf/ ? It was a pain to paint also. You’re a really good girl to do all that work on something you’re not going to use. Hoo-rah! Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Oh WOW!!! yours totally looks the same! My mom used to have it in her room growing up and she’s brought it with her through countless moves. That would make the one I have circa late 1940’s early 1950’s.

  2. Oh, dear … I have to laugh at the comments!! So much work!

  3. What a lot of work! It is too bad that you will not be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I was looking forward to seeing a purple bookshelf. You know how I love purple!

  4. WOW, Thank you. We owe you big time. Does Hart House come to mind? Luv, Dad

  5. omg Alison – we never expected (or asked) to have it back. I just said that if you ever decided you can’t use it, don’t discard it, we’ll re-adopt it. But I never, ever wanted you to spend the most beautiful day you’ve had in six months, sanding all that *#&^#^ purple paint off. omg! Thank you, thank you – but that was waaaay beyond the call of whatever. Now I owe you – BIG TIME!

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