Jul 8, 2011

Cheap Bookshelf Re-Do

Looking for a quick makeover for an ugly bookshelf?  Read on!

I bought this bookshelf when I first moved out of my parents house and into my very first tiny apartment about 8 years ago.  It was cheap, so it fit my budget perfectly.  Made of a whole bunch of particle board and veneer, I'm surprised this little shelf is still standing.  I've been eyeing it for awhile now, knowing I could make it a little less ugly, and a little more me.  So, with a sander, a paintbrush and some leftover paint in hand, I tackled this refinishing project in just a couple of hours.

I started by removing the oh-so-sturdy cardboard backing and the two inner shelves, then I got to sanding.  I didn't have to sand much at all, since the finish on my bookshelf was so thin.

Next I thoroughly wiped my shelf down and applied a coat of primer.  Since I was working outside and there was a gentle breeze blowing, there was hardly any drying time, score!

With a fine grit sand paper, I gently sanded my shelf, dusted it off and applied two coats of Beauti-Tone's Verone, a light taupe-y grey color I had leftover from a previous painting project.

While the shelf was drying I spray painted the cardboard backing with Pistachio from Krylon, left over from my Beer Bucket project a couple of weeks ago.

 Once the cardboard backing was dried I used a sponge brush to paint little pink and white butterfly-ish and flower-ish details.  You know, very abstract.  Basically, I wanted it to be girly, but I didn't want to spend a ton of time stenciling or detail painting or anything that involved major effort on my part.

Once everything was nice and dry I did a quick once-over with a spray on clear coat.

I reassembled and that was that!


Karen said...

Nice job Jen! Since my bookshelf is just begging to be made over I have a couple questions...what grain of sandpaper do you use for the first step? Why do you need to sand after primer? Thanks!

Jen said...

Hey Karen! I used an 80 grit sandpaper for the first sanding, and then went over the bookshelf with a lighter sandpaper, about a 120 grit. When you sand lightly inbewteen coats of primer and paint the next coat will adhere better and give you a smoother, better quality finish. It's not essential, but it'll make your bookshelf look that much better when you take a couple of minutes to do this simple step. I hope this helps! Be sure to take before and after pics of your bookshelf, I'd love to see!

Trish said...

looks really cute! I'm a new follower now! can't wait to see the other stuff you come up with!

scrapfancy said...

A great bookcase and love the back color. Nice addition.

Renee Cook said...

Found this via google as I am about to attempt the spray painting cardboard part on a bookcase... did it end up staying on well or peeling off!?