A high shelf near the ceiling is a great place to store things that need to be accessible but are not used very often. It’s also a good display shelf too. We gave this one a faux metal look with paint.
My family collects Legos. Lots of Legos. My kids’ favorite activity with their dad is to build and play with Legos. (We’ve even made a movie turning things into Legos).
With so many Legos, we need a good place to store them when no one is building. Especially since we have a toddler that will still, occasionally, put things in his mouth. Ironically, the best place is in his room.
We put up a shelf a while ago, but as you can see, it wasn’t working very well. We’d painted it to match the wall, hoping the shelf would blend in. It didn’t. The Legos were contained in a random mix of boxes, bins, and bags. It looked terrible.
The shelf is also built from 2 boards, and the weight of the Legos was making them split apart.
This time when the Legos came down to play, I went to work on the shelf.
First, I painted it a dark gray. The room color is Behr Planetary Silver. The darkest shade on that color card is almost black, so we went with the second darkest shade, Hematite. (The two cards are the same color because the number on the card, 460, is the same.) I think Hematite looks like dark metal, which is perfect for a Star Wars room.
I also found RustOleum hammered, that looks like dark, hammered steel. It happens to match Hematite, only in gloss. I sprayed just random spots of the spray paint on the shelf to make it look like worn metal.
When the light shines on it, the shelf looks like steel.
Years ago, I used a RustOleum kit to make my bathroom hardware look like rusted metal. I still had a small jar of the purple-red coating for dark rust. I used a rag and spread some of that purple-red paint around on the shelf. Just is some places to give more depth to the boards.
The top of the shelf was still raw wood, since it can’t be seen from the room below. I stained it ebony, which was easy and went with the metallic paint underneath. The two boards are attached together with a small bracket.
I also put some small screws in the ends of the boards to attach it to the wall. It was much easier to start the screws while the shelf was down off the wall.
To hold the shelf on the wall, we built a small frame of 1X2 inch boards below it. The frame is attached to the wall with wall anchors to keep it secure. I painted the frame with Behr Hematite to match the shelf. The screws I started when the shelf was down now go into the 1X2 frame boards on the ends. This helped with the bowing problem we had before.
The shelf also partly rests on the door frame.
One day when my son is older, he can display his own Legos on this shelf. So, we tried it out with a few of his dad’s Legos to see how it looked.
And it’s fun to take pictures of Legos.
The shelf would have been finished there, but we need to store Legos right now, not display them. And Legos are heavy. Plus I wanted to get rid of the odd assortment of boxes and bins.
I bought some black Tjena boxes from Ikea. They are inexpensive because they are just cardboard, but they look really good. I taped around the inside to keep any small parts from falling out.
To add an interesting design to the boxes, I decorated the fronts with vinyl squares. I used pre-cut squares by Mozaikit, but it would be easy to make your own. I started my pattern with a square in the corner of the box.
Then added more squared in a grid pattern. It turned out looking a lot like Minecraft.
I put in three large brackets above the shelf to hold the weight of the Lego boxes. These brackets also connected the two boards of the shelf together better too, so they won’t bend apart. Since they are above the shelf, the won’t be seen much.
The shelf holds 8 boxes and leaves space for the HVAC vent in the wall. We always keep this vent closed, but I didn’t want to take any chances putting a box in front of it. So, I put Star Wars Legos there instead.
The shelf looks much neater with all coordinating boxes, and the vinyl squares add some nice color.
Our family’s entire Lego collection, including Lego Friends, Lego Super Heroes, Lego City, Lego Star Wars, and lot of other sets all fit into those boxes. That’s pretty impressive (and a little embarrassing to admit we own that many Legos).
The shelf stores them safely, keeping them easy to reach, while matching the Star Wars theme of the room.
I really like how the faux metal paint turned out. I think I’m going to do something similar with the wood dresser/changing table below. And we’re working on getting better lighting too.
Now that I’m looking at the pictures, the does not look good, but I’m not sure what to do about it. Paint it to match? Chalkboard paint? Cover it in fabric or wallpaper? Please, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, leave them in the comments below. Thanks!