Here at VENT Fitness we like to ReinVENT stuff; ourselves, our members and our decor. When we got our cool new double cooler in Latham, we had to get rid of this old, grubby shelving unit to make room for it. I took one look at it and thought, “This thing has potential!”

I decided I could “ReinVENT” this unit into a fixture for our PRO Shop which, let’s face it, could use a little freshening up as you can see from the pics! Knowing that we had a bunch of rad new styles, items and designs launching, I wanted something eye catching to display our new inventory.

Here’s what I did:

First, I prepared the wood. Cleaning thoroughly with a degreaser (formula 409 works great) was my first step. Then I sanded all surfaces to be painted with medium to fine sandpaper. I used 220 but you could go coarser if that’s what you have on hand. I sanded just enough to remove the shiny surface coating to help the paint adhere.

It’s very important to clean off all of the dust from sanding otherwise the paint won’t stick. I used a damp, clean rag to do this.

If you try a project like this, EXPECT TO PUT 8 TO 100 COATS OF PAINT. In other words, patience is important for a project like this. Particle board takes a bit of finessing to get paint to adhere to it.

Because I was using commercial paint and because my piece started out a light color and I was painting with bold colors, I skipped a primer. After deciding on my pattern, I used blue painter’s tape to tape off my edges and started painting. For the sides, I was able to use a paint roller. For inside the cubbies, I used standard 3-4″ brushes. I painted all of each color, one at a time and let the paint dry completely between each coat. I ended up needing 3-4 coats of each color to get the bold color I was looking for.

Once all my cubbies were painted, I peeled off the painter’s tape and used an inch wide paint brush to finish the trim in dark brown for high contrast.

I let the whole thing dry for a few days, (just to be sure) and then placed it into its corner in our pro shop to artfully display our brand new accessories and free up space on the wall for new shirts, bags and running tights.

If you find yourself in Latham, take a look and tell me what you think!

Written by: Melanie Stevenson, Team Leader, VENT Fitness – Latham