yucky hand me down book case- restore

Discussion in 'General Education' started by WaterfallLady, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    i want to restore this yucky hand me down book case. It is very high quality. The problem is its been passed around for years and years. There are about three layers of contact paper on the shelves. It has drawers on the side, too. I want to restore this.

    The first thing I thought was sanding it and spray painting but that is too ambitious.

    Then, I started thinking about covering the shelves with PRETTY contact paper but it turns out that doesn't exist.

    What can I do?
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think if it's quality furniture you should take the time to fully restore it. Lots of work, but I think it would be worth it. :)

    Do you have a photo?
     
  4. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Ask Jem, she can do anything with hand me down furniture :)
     
  5. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I wanted to get one but I drove all the way to school and forgot my keys.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Is it wood or metal? You can peel off the old contact paper- you may need to score it with a 'paper tiger' or Exacto knife/razor blade to get it started. Then you'll want to rub down with mineral spirits to dissolve the remaining glue residue...Sand down, prime and re-paint. They actually make 'wood grain' contact paper if you are still considering that as an option. White or black as a main color for the piece might be nice with a pop of color inside the shelving areas: a lime green or turquoise would reallly be cool.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    HAHAHAH! Well. I FEEL I can do anything with hand-me-downs. The finished products, however... ;)

    My first instinct is to give a putty knife to a kid and dangle a candy bar in front of them. Any other teachers have kids? Maybe they could bring them in to the school while they work this summer? Or do you have any connections to kids?
     
  8. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    There is camp, and there are high schoolers at said camp, and I know they would fight over the chance to help me, but it just doesn't feel right....
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    As long as you "pay" them like a free lunch or something, then I don't see the problem. The week after the last day of school, we had some junior high kids come over and help us move our things into different classrooms. They enjoyed helping their former teachers and got a free lunch out of it! :)
     
  10. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    A principal once told me that the harnessed power of our students is a wonderful thing. If you are not using class time and the kids are willing, it's a great way to teach community. We all use the furniture and supplies. In fact, the students use them more than we teachers do!! It's a great thing to have them help out in the care of their classrooms!
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I used a lot of kid labor when we moved to our new school. They worked for lunch and snacks.

    If its good quality wood, get the kids to strip it of the contact paper, and then refinish it. I only paint "cheap" furniture. I've helped my parents refinish several pieces of furniture.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Be careful with paint and kids...the fumes can be problematic.
    I'd paint it myself= a classroom bookcase is not going to be a big job.

    In addition to the refinishing ideas I listed above, you could paint a light color and then wipe stain on it for an 'antiqued' look.
     
  13. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    How are you with a heavy duty stapler? I've used fabric to cover book shelves and cabinets that were just too far gone.
     
  14. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I would buy some orange oil cleaner and use it to help dissolve the contact paper. shouldn't be that hard of a job =) good luck!
     
  15. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I was actually thinking about that! Could I just decoupage fabric on?
     
  16. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    You can dcoupage thin fabric on, but it does peel off eventually. Just so you know. Use something quite light so the glue can really seep in, it will feel like oil cloth table covers when done.
     
  17. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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