Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Saw Rabbit Speaking with the Devil!

We're in the midst of building shelves and such, which takes a bit more work than we expected. Actually, Bear is in the midst of it and getting greatly annoyed, so he stopped for a bit. That left me, after a very bad week that I won't get into, taking my time and keeping the pace down by replacing that ugly pantry blue/white grid with something more down my alley. It's still vinyl covering, but at least I like the pattern more than the old one.

What I really wanted was a chicken pattern, but upon being able to find none I went with a scrolled black and white design that was marginally more agreeable than the faux wood, fiesta, or plain white options I had at the Dollar General. Why did no place have an ugly, ridiculous, and lovable chicken pattern? I have no clue. This stuff is primarily used for kitchens, and I only accept chickens as adequate kitchen decor. Everything else is sub-par. So there.

This vinyl covering for shelves is called Magic Cover. I thought this was merely a marketing ploy to emphasize the easy application of said vinyl. After working with it, with the knowledge that I am not a smart woman, I am convinced that what I have participated in is indeed a form of witchcraft. It was too easy to apply the first shelf's worth, and the second shelf's problem was that I am a firm supporter of "measure once, cut twice."

First, I pulled up the old vinyl covering after wondering if it would come up and picking at it. Turns out, it comes off easy and revealed the original, unpainted shelves that are quite nice, but just not okay enough to be left alone. Someone painted the edges white, and they were sticky from what I'm guessing is years of vinyl covering. Just not really acceptable for the time-being, although Bear took a look at it with that glimmer in his eye and stated vaguely that "it's gonna be a summer thing," which sends a shudder across my entire body and makes me wince. With the way the shelves are going, I may have to stave him off. He really is capable, and has a natural knack for woodwork (genetic...his grandfather did a lot of woodwork in his time, and his great grandfather built a church or two). The problem is that he is impatient. This will be covered in another post on the battle between Bear and the Oak.

 After peeling that up with great ease, I started cutting the vinyl. They provide a nice little grid on the back for straight cutting, and my shelves are a simple rectangle that made measuring a breeze. No shelf parts to cut into the vinyl and such.

With the cutting done, I peeled about 4 inches of the backing away, folded it under as I laid the vinyl right-side up, and started laying down the exposed vinyl. As I smoothed the sticky vinyl down with my left hand, I continued to peel the backing away bit by bit with my right hand, making my work a constant study of "did I screw anything is obviously witchcraft."

With the top completely down, I marveled at my pretty decent work. I did manage to have about 1/4" hanging out over the front edge of the shelf, but taking a hard-cover book spine and rubbing it along the vinyl really hard (but slow) got it to finally stick down firmly. The second shelf was the problem.

Let me just say, the magic was still in effect. Magic Cover was doing its sorcery just as it should. I was short in measuring. God, was I short. Instead of doing what I did originally--laying it down in the roll on the shelf, pressing down firmly at the end so that it made a crease in the paper backing, and then cutting 2 squares up from the crease line--I decided to just use the ruler provided on the backing (goes from 0-18" repeatedly)! How (not) smart of me! Little did I think, the roll doesn't necessarily start at 0. It obviously didn't, because I was 6" off from my "last" cut at 17.5" for the first shelf. I ended at 18" just to be safe for the second shelf...and yet I was 6" short. Yup. So I botched that one. Oh well.

All fixed! The overhang was later tamped down and I might actually cut it with a straight razor because if it pops back up I'm not going to deal with that.

That's right. Oh well. I'm totally okay with it. Why? Because I'm going to cover that slip up with Bear's soap making supplies and it will never be seen by the eyes of company. Oh sure, you'll see it here, and I'll see that damn overlap in my nightmares, but visitors at my house...if they really need to look at my pantry for some reason, will not be able to see it. And that will make me very happy, because I love to fool myself a lot of the time.

Bottom shelf: Bear's soap supplies. Top shelf: more cooking stuff. Within 10 minutes of taking this photo, I put a hole into the vinyl with a cutting board edge.

So, the bottom pantry shelves look a lot better to me (they may be hideous to you, but get your own pantry if you don't like it!) even though the house is an absolute wreck. Things are moving slowly. After this awful week I've had, though, I'm going to start measuring success not in how much closer I am to the finish line, but in the things I see along the way.

I put a spell on you, but you're free to go now!

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