Check it out!

Taking my anticipation and motivation to the next level, I spent my weekend painting and varnishing some trimmings to finish off Stage 1 of my library-renovation-on-a-shoestring. Up until now, I had not spent any money. My budget for 2008 is exhausted, so if I can’t get this amount approved next year, I guess I’ll consider it a donation to the school, but I’m sure I’ll have a dedicated “renovations” dissection in my 2009 budget.

Firstly, I need to show you what a few Kaisercraft MDF (wooden) letters from Spotlight, a 250 ml jar of burgundy Derivan “Matisse” paint @ $11.99, polymer matt varnish ($12.99) and a tube of wood glue can do for the circulation desk I worked on last week. (By the way, large MDF letters were $3.99 each, smaller ones were $1.49 each.)

I chose the burgundy colour as we have bright green fraying carpet, and there’s always a possibility that some future carpet will turn out to be vibrant blue, and at least then it’ll be reminiscent of our school uniform colours. In a flash of brilliance, I painted the previous teacher-librarian’s terracotta pot to match the lettering. The pot used to hold an indoor aloe vera plant – but I’d brought the pot home after I managed to kill it off through neglect. (I had intended to repot it with some of my own aloe veras, which do extremely well in my garden.)

While I had the counter tilted over today, I suddenly realised that I could use more burgundy on its wooden base! Here’s the final result:
Circulation finished
Well, it beats spelling out something obvious, like “Circulation desk”!

Total cost of this renovation: $60.30.

Remember when it looked like this?
circulation reno

Next up, I’ve been working on replacing the dusty, fading, teacher-made paper frieze, illustrating the children’s picture book, “Fox”, that dominates the area over the photocopier, a storeroom and my offce door. Since the frieze was specially commissioned by the previous TL to fit an unusually-shaped strip of bare wooden panelling, it’s not ever been replaced by other annual Book Week artwork. (I checked tonight: “Fox”, by Margaret Wild & Ron Brooks, was the CBCA Picture Book of the Year way back in 2001. Definitely time for a change.)

I’ll reveal the details of the final stage of this project tomorrow, but here are the first few stages:
Wall - mural and copier
I can’t believe the library was plastered with so many random bits of paper…!

Wall - mural of Fox
Dusty old “Fox” mural…

Wall - mural gone
A blank slate…

Burgundy paint: it’s claimed to be waterproof, flexible and lightfast – and the brush washes out in water. The paint also requires no undercoat, and dries to a satin finish.

And the promised preview of tomorrow’s entry:
Preview: The final result! More details here!

Note that, after seeing the sequence online, I realised at the last minute that the little photo frame (on the right) could be painted burgundy, too, so I did that today. And that we had other pencil holders, already covered in burgundy hessian, so why was I putting up with one covered in white and 70s print “Contact” adhesive? An easy swap.