Home ยป Style ยป House/Home ยป The Great Home Makeover: Our New Favorite Piece of Furniture: Before and After Plus Tutorial for Bookshelf Refinishing

The Great Home Makeover: Our New Favorite Piece of Furniture: Before and After Plus Tutorial for Bookshelf Refinishing

We learned a valuable lesson redoing our cabinets things made out of wood can be changed drastically to turn from something you’re not in love with to something you are in love with.
While remodeling we weren’t so in love with the idea that most our stuff was in the garage and we had to park outside in the hot sun. So I decided it was time to do something about the boxes of books in the garage.

Tip: When someone says they are getting rid of a bookshelf, and you ask if it is at least mostly solid wood, if it is- TAKE IT!

We got this baby from Camille’s parents. It is probably only a few years younger than Camille and was very used and loved by cookbooks for years and years.
Camille saw potential!

Redoing an old bookcase.

If you have a bookshelf hiding in a back room that you think is ugly why not experiment with something a little risky? The worst that can happen is it will be uglier and go right back to that back room.

So she ripped the doors off, even the top came off eventually.
Bookcase redo.

And thought she’d copy some furniture once seen at Anthropologie, and a similar model at Kirland Home.
Martha Stewart’s hummingbird blue seemed to be the perfect shade.
There was no sanding done on this one- if you’re going to paint over the top with a color just go for it and use a small roller to paint the whole thing. Semi-gloss is awesome because you can wipe it down easier after painting and glazes well, but flat look great if you’re just going with a solid black or more classic color. BTW, a quart is plenty and all you need to buy for your project. We used 2/3rds for this project.

It was already showing potential at this phase
Painting an old bookcase.
BUT, we really like the antique glazed look, and it’s easy! You just use 1 part paint to 3 parts of glaze you can buy at any home store. We did one plastic spoon of paint and 3 of glaze and it was more than enough for the whole project. We already had a dark brown and glaze from cabinets, so low and behold, they were mixed and applied to the corners.

Painting an old bookcase.

All you have to do is get a medium paint brush and brush all the corners with the glaze mix. Get an old t-shirt (knit fabric works best) and dip it in water. Wipe off the glaze. You will see it leaves a lot of glaze behind. If you want it more glazed barely wipe with a barely wet shirt. If you want less get it wet and wipe fast. The water also helps disperse over the parts that aren’t corners to make it look old and antiqued. Practice with a small area and you’ll see it’s easy and you can go on do the whole project, which we were definitely happy with the results!

Turquoise bookcase.

After a $13 can of paint at home depot and everything else being free, we decided to splurge on some cool hardware. We did go to Anthropologie for the knobs. We planned to spend $8 a knob like they usually are, but found these babies on sale for $2.95 a piece and decided we could live with knobs that matched perfectly instead of popped. We thought they were pretty cool.

Fun hardware for a bookcase.

We were so happy we promoted the bookshelf to the loft area in our kitchen since it coordinates well with our blue/turquoise kitchen accents. There will be more before and after pics of that room to come, but for now this piece of furniture is front and center.

We tossed quite a few old books as we recently become Kindle users. However, for a family with a wife with an English undergrad it’s hard to give away all of them, some are like friends you just can’t part with.

And after some serious thinning we have it looking like this:

Old bookcase update with paint.

Shabby chic bookcase redo.

Bonus points to any bookworm or foodie friends who can name a book on the shelf just by looking at the spine without zooming in on the picture. Leave a comment, we’re curious ๐Ÿ™‚

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One Comment

  1. Marianne and Devin Seale says:

    So great!! I can't believe what I started… you guys have really gotten good! I bought a few wood items for the nursery this past weekend. So my painting projects will soon begin as well. $10 for a dresser and a changing table… I'll send ya picts when I get to them. ๐Ÿ™‚