Introduction: Rainbow Mini Cube Shelf

Picture of Rainbow Mini Cube Shelf

Hunter made these Mini Cubes for her girlfriend during Pride month, so she decided to also make them rainbow-painted for extra Pride. Instructions for creating and assembling the Super EZ Mini Cube Shelf are available here.

THE BASICS
Dimensions*: 38 1/4" wide (97 cm) x 25 1/2" tall (65 cm) x 10" deep (25 cm)
Inside Cube Dimensions*: 8 1/2" wide (22 cm) x 7 1/2" tall (19 cm) x 10" deep (25 cm)
*It's really easy to change the dimensions in SketchUp before you cut these out, if you want another size.

Materials:

  • 12 x 2-oz bottles acrylic craft paint
  • 3-5 bristle paintbrushes & brush cleaning supplies (NO FOAM BRUSHES, EVER)
  • 1 roll 3/4" painter's tape
  • Electric sander or sanding block with sandpaper
  • Maybe some gloves or something, and don't wear nice clothes while you're painting

Other Considerations:

  • Space: 4 feet x 5 feet (to maneuver your cubes)
  • Smell: smells like drying paint (not a big deal for me, but I don't have roommates)
  • Noise: only as much swearing as you allow yourself
  • Time: time for setup, paint to dry, secondary setup, second rounds of paint to dry, sanding, etc.

Step 1: Tape It Up, Tape It Down

Picture of Tape It Up, Tape It Down

I started out by "taping off" of the front and back of the shelves.

This is, by far, the hardest part. Tape along the very edge of the front of the shelves. Press down firmly to create a tight seal. This will keep the paint off the front of your shelves (for the most part). Repeat for the back of the shelves.

If you don't have 3/4" painter's tape (the width of the boards in my shelves), use whatever you have. If it's a wider tape, I'd recommend taping off each cube as you work on it. I had 1" tape on hand. The second picture, above, shows how much thicker the tape is than the shelf. The third picture shows how much the tape sticks up beyond the shelf, from the perspective of the cubes next to the taped-off cube.

That 1/4" of excess tape is a total buzzkill, let me tell you. If you try to paint in the cubes with extra tape as the boundary, you're likely to end up with excess paint pooling along the inside of the tape and leaving you with a weird ledge of dried paint when you pull the tape off. Be wise - just go out and get the size you need.

Step 2: Painting

Picture of Painting

Decide which color to put on the inside faces of each cube.

It takes about 2 oz, or 1 craft-size bottle, to do a nice coat or two for each cube.

Start your painting process with just one cube. Let it dry and check how you're liking the outcome so far.

(I, for instance, started out by using a foam brush, which looked TERRIBLE and I would have been very, very sad if I'd wasted my time trying to do the whole project with those. Layering another coat of paint with a bristle paintbrush fixed it up just fine, then I used the regular bristle paintbrushes for the rest of the cubes.)

Paint the insides of the rest of your cubes. No one will shame you if you skip a second coat, but no one will shame you if you meticulously paint another layer for the finest color because you are hella classy. Let everything dry and tear off that tape!

Step 3: Sand Away Mistakes

Picture of Sand Away Mistakes

You will probably be like, "Oh no! Even though I did the tape thing, there are lil bits of color on the front of my beautiful shelves!"

Calm down, friend. Just grab some sandpaper or an electric sander and grind it down. I used a sander and had everything cleaned up in under an hour.

Step 4: Enjoy Your Fancy New Cube Shelves!

Picture of Enjoy Your Fancy New Cube Shelves!

You may want to add a layer of polyurethane if they're going to get heavy use, or at least rub down the exposed wood (BOOM-phrasing) with some oil like a teak oil or something to give it some protection. There's even some spray can poly that works well available at most hardware stores.

Finally, put it someplace where people have to ask about it, in front of a door, standing alone dividing a room, anyplace that will make the casual visitor feel forced to ask about it and subsequently compliment you.

You've earned it

Comments

Alex in NZ (author)2017-07-07

That looks awesome as well as useful. Thank you for sharing :-)

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