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was specially commissioned by the previous TL to fit an unusually-shaped strip of bare wooden panelling, it’s not ever been replaced by other annual Book Week artwork.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.

7 thoughts on “Check it out!

  1. Hi Ian,
    That is all fantastic. I’m about to wander around my Library now, with ‘new imaginative, creative eyes’. Thanks for your great ideas and photos. I eagerly await future instalments.
    Sue Bright

  2. You have done a wonderful job so far, Ian – looking forward to seeing more of your efforts next year. Have a happy Christmas.

  3. Hi Ian
    Congratulations on your wonderful efforts! The Circulation / “Check It Out” Desk looks fabulous! It’s amazing how each little change can impact so much on the Library decor. Well done! Enjoy the holidays.

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