Bookcases in the basement

I mentioned in my previous post that there would be a new post about our most recent acquisition, another bookcase. This is it.

The bookcase on the left is the new one. Cindy found it in one of those shops that sells used furniture. We already had the one on the right. I bought and assembled it while we recovering from the flood last year. Both are merely pressed board with a veneer finish.

The one I had previously purchased has a black finish, while the newer (used) one had an oak finish. Cindy said, and I agreed, that we could paint the oak veneer black. Simple enough, right?

We bought the bookcase for 10 or 15 dollars less than I spent on the black bookcase, loaded it into the back of Cindy’s SUV, took it home, and unloaded it into the garage where I would paint it. I figured that the bookcase would be ready to go into the basement in two or three days.

The next morning I drove to a home improvement store and bought a quart of paint that boasted that it was a combination of primer and finish paint. Only one coat was needed. I had the helpful clerk mix the black tint into the base paint, and took it home.

I figured that it would only take about an hour to paint the bookcase. I was wrong. As started to apply the paint it immediately started to bead on the surface of the veneer. There was no way that one coat, let alone two or three coats would be sufficient. Rather than waste my time, I went back to the store to explain the situation and ask fr assistance.  I approached the friendly young man who was working in the paint section and told him that the paint I had purchased was beading on the veneer finish. He said, “Veneer? What’s veneer?” I sensed that there was going to be a problem. I explained to him what veneer was. He nodded wisely and said, “Hmm” turned to another young man, obviously his superior, and said, “He needs paint that won’t bead on veneer.” 

His superior said, “What’s veneer?” Yes.There was definitely a problem.

After much discussion they brought in a third helpful young man who thankfully didn’t ask what veneer was, and they decided that I needed to put on a coat of primer before using the black paint. One of the young men took me in tow and we wandered the aisles of paint looking for the appropriate primer.

At last he found what he felt was the correct paint. I paid for it, went home, and started to paint. The gray primer started to bead on the veneer, but not as badly as the black paint had. It was going to take more than one coat of primer.

When all was said and done, and done again, and again, It took two coats of primer and three coats of black paint to get an acceptable black finish. I say acceptable, but if you look at it and don’t smile, it starts to peel. I can live with it. The basement is kind of dark.

In case you’re wondering bout the books, the top three shelved of the painted bookcase hold biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs arranged alphabetically bu author. The next shelf is mainly graphic novels.

The other bookcase holds books on historical subjects, also alphabetical by author. The third shelf holds books and magazines with reprints of newspaper comic strips.

Neither case is full yet, but I have plenty of books on those subjects in my to-be-read bookcase. Someday they will be full. Oh, and the silver box holds DVDs of old movies.