paint it black

I recently caught the painting bug. It all started with a cheap bookcase and the urge to refresh my love of my apartment. I didn’t realize that by painting that one thing that I’d all of a sudden look at every single piece of furniture that crossed my path differently. As soon as that bookcase was dry and I saw what a huge difference it made in my living room, I knew what my next project would be…

I have this little display case that holds the majority of my tooth collection. My dad won it at an auction for me three or four years ago. I was all “bid whatever, it’s perrrrfect! I need it!” Auctions make me really nervous, I hate the uncertainty. So I paced around another part of the building while he tried to win it for me. The winning bid? Ten bucks! It’s a little bit more dinged up these days than it used to be but its still the perfect way for me to display all my weird things (and not have to worry about dusting them ever!) After seeing my bookcase painted, this display case NEEDED to be black too.

Something I noticed right away with the bookcase was that I was scratching off paint when placing some of my items with pointy edges. It’s not a huge deal, especially when there is stuff on the shelf. It’s just that I really like my display case and I plan on keeping it for a long time so I wanted the paint job to be something a little bit more permanent. I had, of course, helped my parents paint things when I was little but this was my first time as an adult painting anything by myself so I wasn’t exactly privy to the fact I’d need primer, especially when painting fake wood items.

I went to Home Depot, told the woman all about my project, and she pointed me toward Valspar Bonding Primer. It was twice the price of the paint I was buying and only came in a gallon which is way more than I needed but I went for it anyway. It sounded like exactly what I needed, and the lady couldn’t say enough good things about it!

One coat of primer, and two coats of black paint later? I’m in LOVE. Just like with the bookcase, the black makes all my things really pop. I really don’t know why I never though to do this sooner. It’s so simple and it makes such a huge difference. The sense of satisfaction from knowing that I did it myself is pretty darn awesome too.

It’s amazing what a cheap can of paint and a few hours can do for ya! I don’t really think I have anything else I can paint but I’m sure I’ll find something soon. 😉

PS. If you’re curious and would like a before shot to compare these after shots to check out this post!

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  • Looks great, your collection really pops against the black! It's amazing how a simple coat of paint can refresh an entire room. 🙂

  • The black really does make everything pop! I noticed you took the glass doors off too… I imagine things are getting dustier because of this? I have a really hard time with displaying my various collections on shelves because I'm not as vigorous of a "cleaner" as I should be. Do you have any tips for keeping the dust/pet dander at bay? Or do you just wipe everything down regularly? 😉

    • Whew. Neither am I! I haven't had my collections displayed in this apartment because I just didn't want to deal with it. Dusting the bookcase is bad enough! Our new apartment has a little glass cabinet embedded in the living/dining room though and I already told Shawn I'm claiming it for my collections!

  • Isn't the not dusting part of glass cases AWESOME!?? I love my curiosities but it's awful dusting–especially when you have pets (all that dander!) I splurged and bought an ikea medicine cabinet a few years back for some of my "collection". It's great keeping things on display but behind glass. I love the new look in black–so chic! You can tell how much fun you are having with paint! 😉

  • Something else you can do to keep paint from chipping off stuff like that is to get sand paper and give everything a a quick sanding, then paint it, and then once that's dry you can paint a coat or two of clear coat over it. Clear coat is like half the price of primer and you can get it in smaller sizes. I've painted just about everything in my house and I haven't used any primer.
    Also I love how the shelves you did look! 🙂

    • I read how you shouldn't sand laminate or any kind of fake wood because you'll just end up ruining it. I don't know how true it is but with this display case I wasn't willing to take the chance.

      And noted about the clear coat! I barely made a dent in the gallon of primer so I won't need to be buying anything for a while! 😛

  • Question! I believe you may have mentioned it before (unless I weirdly imagined it?) that your cats don't bother with the plants. However, my three nuggets are KILLING all the plants in the house (save the one in the bathroom, I'm killing that one all by myself somehow). Have you heard of any tips to keep cats from nibbling my potted plants? Also, where did you happen to get that stand with the three plants and the globe? It's perfect and may help with aforementioned feline problems.

    The Glitter Babe

  • Hi,

    I'd love to know if you have any tips for painting/repainting furniture in an apartment space without making a mess and getting paint everywhere? All I can think is to use a cheap tarpaulin underneath and/or take furniture outside to paint it, but especially the latter isn't always an option. Thanks so much even if you don't wanna get into answering this thoroughly or don't feel like you have enough experience with it to advise me. I don't comment often but I read your blog semi-regularly and it's always enjoyable 🙂