Save the Cow Shoe Shelf

Shelf for shoes – leatherized and burnished with red-gold metallic leaf.

We’re still in the kitchen. It’s where we keep shoes, near the back door, where we put them on.It propitiates our natural (and well-developped) sense of laziness.

PART ONE: Leatherizing

Step 1: Find an old bookshelf. Dents are good. Have you ever met a perfect cow? (No mother-in-law jokes permitted).

Paint the whole thing burgundy. Let it dry.

The inside of two shelves are already completely “leatherized” in this picture.
Step 2: Paint a large section brown.

Step 3: Immediately (before it dries) take a plastic bag, crumple it, press it into wet paint and pull it off. Voila! the rich textured look of leather without the misty image of sad cow eyes keeping one awake at night.

Pulling it off
PART 2: Burnishing. I must have been a crow in another life. If it gleams or sparkles, I want it. When in doubt, add glint. It’s our motto. For the house. For the business. For life. (A sure sign that a person finds life amusing is the simple adornment of a glint in the eye.)

Step1: Brush on a thin coat of metallic leaf adhesive.

Step 2: Wait an hour. This lets it become tacky. And it stays tacky for 12 hours. So . . . if you run out of metallic leaf and have to go get some more and while you’re out, you stop at the grocery, go to a girl scout meeting, take your afternoon yoga class, attend a Cirque du Soleil performance (where you contemplate the surreal aspects of your life), get a flat tire (thus erasing the destressing benefits of your yoga class), you still might get back in time to finish burnishing.

Step 3: Apply metallic leaf. It comes in lots of colors; gold, silver, copper, variegated red, variegated green. It’s pretty stuff. I, uh, IT also comes in flake form. We used variegated red leaf for this project. We burnished all the edges of the shelf.Burnishing

Step 4: Brush off the excess leaf with a soft brush. Gently. This creates a small shower of tiny red gold flakes. Magic in motion.

Step 5: Seal it. The sealer can be brushed or sprayed on. Let it dry. Do this 10 times. Metallic leaf is fragile. The more coats of sealant the better.Burnished.

Step 6: Place shoe boxes in starting position. We keep shoes in photo boxes. They’re prettier.

Step 7: Don a too cute pair of shoes and step OUT!

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