Painted Bookshelf

A few weeks ago I posted about this lonely white bookshelf.  It’s not an old piece, but I was drawn to its beadboard detail.  Unfortunately, the details just got a little lost but I knew I could make it shine.  My sweet friend and neighbor also shared my vision and had me customize it according to her daughter’s decor.

Bookshelf before front view Bookshelf After Right Bookshelf before side view Bookshelf After Left View

To add a little life into the piece I started by sanding it, then followed up with 2 layers of primer.  Next, I taped off the back of the shelves and sprayed the remainder of the piece with 2 coats of off-white spray paint.  Once it was dry, I taped off the back edges so I could get a straight line while I painted the back of the shelves pink.  I actually used latex paint I had on hand and applied it with a 2″ paint brush.  I know I used an odd combination of different paint mediums, but the colors worked together perfectly.  Painting furniture with latex paint isn’t my favorite because you tend to get more brush strokes, but since the pink is just an accent the lines aren’t as visible.

Bookshelf After 2Bookshelf After 1 Cropped

(Don’t judge my silver polishing abilities…or lack thereof).

Finally, I added 3 coats of water-based spray-on Polycrylic protectant.  (NOTE:  Starting with primer, I lightly sanded the entire bookshelf with a 220 grit sanding wedge after each layer of primer, paint and poly.  Before sanding, you must wait for each coat to dry first).

The finishing touch was the glass knob I added to the drawer.  I found it at Hobby Lobby for only $2 and the knob added that “something special” the piece needed.

Bookshelf Drawer Before 1 Bookshelf Knob After

What was once a washed out bookshelf now doubles as a bright bedside table for a precious 4 year old girl.  I think it has the perfect combination of whimsy and sophistication that will work well even into the teenage years.  I hope my friend’s daughter enjoys the shelf as much as I enjoyed working on it and I look forward to seeing it soon filled with books, toys and trinkets galore!

Bookshelf After Front View

Zinsser Spray Primer
Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Spray Paint in Heirloom White Satin
Pink paint is Lighthearted Pink in Satin by Sherwin-Williams (Same color I used to paint the walls of my daughter’s room)
Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic Clear Satin Spray
Painters Tape
220 Grit Sanding Wedge
Shop-Vac & Tack Cloth (to remove sanding dust and the dog hair my black lab seems to purposefully get everywhere)


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