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Hello!

My name is Erika. I'm in love with making art, collecting old things & chasing after my two kiddos. This blog is a peek into my happy accidents & plots of total world domination.

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DIY- Operation Bookshelf

I wanted to find a thrifted bookcase that I could really transform.  I wanted to distress the bookcase and then do some color blocking in the back to make the objects stand out in the suitcase.  Distressing furniture is where you give age to furniture and it looks beat up.    The only part of the process that was a little bit hard is literally waiting for the paint to dry.  I didn't think it would be that hard in finding a bookshelf but it was! I think I went to about 10 thrift stores before I started looking on craigslist.  Since Borders went out of business- they donated all the bookcases to Habitat Humanity which they were $20 bucks at the Habitat Humanity Restore :).   If you are looking for a bookshelf and had a Borders close by you- you may want to check Habitat Humanity.

Supplies:
1.  Bookshelf
2.  Sand Block- Fine or Medium
3.  Candle
4.  Wood Stain- Small- I used a Java color but you can use any color you want.  This adds the old to the bookshelf.
5.  2 sample sizes of orange paint.  I got the sample sizes from Home Depot, but you can use craft paint- because we will put a seal on the top. 
6.  1 quart purple paint- If your wood is already a dark color and don't want to change the wood underneath the top layer of white paint then you don't need a dark color underneath. It doesn't have to be purple- it can be whatever color you want :).
7.  1 quart of white- I picked a white that was tinted orange- sort of like a creamsicle.  I really wanted to do a range of orange for my bookshelf.  But there are million whites- so have fun with picking something you like.
8.  tack rag
9.  old towel or rag that you don't want anymore.
10.  varnish- clear- as matte as you can get.
11.  butter knife/hammer/screwdriver/old chain/wrench- beating supplies for your book shelf :) Just use tools you have around your house.
12. painters tape
**Optional Supplies
13.  Wood Putty- If you want to repair any holes.  No holes? or like the holes? skip this.
14.  1 quart of Primer- If you are painting a dark color on top of the wood then you will need this.  This book shelf was part wood and part board- so primer is important to make an even look.  If you look your wood color and want the original wood color to show through- skip this. 

Are you ready?
Step 1.  Clean your Bookshelf. This one from Borders had all the plastic tags on it indicating the section of books.  Mine was from the 2 year old section. :) I know fitting right? I removed all the plastic/staples.  There were a lot of holes and I filled in the holes with wood putty.  If you don't have any holes or you like the damage already done to your book shelf... then skip the wood putty.  Let your book shelf dry.
Step 2.  Take your sand block and sand your book shelf. Take your time and really sand the crap out of it.
Step 3. Use Tack Cloth and wipe your book shelf. Tack cloth removes all the particles and dust from the shelf.
Step 4.  Prime Your bookshelf. and let it dry.- If you like the color of wood of the book shelf- then just prime the part of the bookshelf you are color blocking.
Step 5.  Tape off the back of your book shelf- for your color blocking.  
Step 5.  Paint the purple paint on your bookshelf. I picked purple because it is the complimentary color for orange. and let it dry.  Skip if you like the color of wood and want to use that color for your base.
 Step 6.  Remove the painters tape.
Step 7.  Take your candle- and rub along the edges of the book shelf.  This makes it easier to peal away the paint.
Step 8.  Paint your bookshelf the white you picked out. let it dry.
 Step 9.  Take your butter knife and scrape the edges- your dark paint will show through.
Step 10.  Beat up your book shelf.  Less if more- so go slow. This adds the wear to the book shelf.
Step 11. Use tack cloth and wipe your book shelf.
 Step 12. Use your old towel and put a little bit on your book shelf and rub it in. Less is more- You can always add more. let it dry.- over night if possible.
Step 13.  Time to do the color blocking. Tape around the edges where you want to do the color blocking.
Step 14.  Paint your color blocking. let it dry.  I wanted a few drips on the white- so don't be afraid to not be perfect.
Step 15.   Varnish. let it dry- over night.
Step 16.  All done! Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done :) and admire your hard work.

20 comments

Sarah said...

Ooooh I like how you did this. I love the splashes of paint to add character. And those Toms. Totally cute. The little vintage fan is the cherry on top =)

- Sarah
http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/

Alexa said...

Love this, it's amazing what a transformation it is! :)

Jenny Taylor said...

I love my local Restore--most of our furniture is from there. I've been wanting to get a new bookcase, too, so I may just have to try this.

Yours turned out so cute!!

Cindy said...

it looks terrific! i love the color blocking (so smart to use sample sizes for some of it) and your fan is fantastic! i'm a fan of both!

Let It Be Raw said...

Those are some lovely shells, you picked some nice orange shades. I spray painted my shelves when I was 17 and now I'm not so sure I like them anymore, so I might have to try this out.

Jessica Wray said...

I've really been wanting to do this to a very blahh bookshelf I have. Yours turned out great!

sarahjanepeck said...

Cute.. I love your little fan!

YeamieWaffles said...

That's amazingly well played. Good job done on this, it looks absolutely awesome.

Ajax said...

Much much much improved over the orignal condition. I'm guessing it will go nicely with either mustard or toothpaste blue??

Elizabeth and Kyle @ Love Is the Adventure said...

I love the finished look of this. And those colors are so fun and bold!!

Angela said...

OMG -- LOVING it!!

Heartfire At Home said...

Great post Erika, and great info on how to do it! I love the colour you chose for the back of the shelves.... how fab! I put pretty wrapping paper on the back of my 2 biggest bookcases (took the easy way out - lol). Congrats on the fab way it turned out!

Linda. xox

Huckleberry Creative said...

I love all of your DIYs! This one is no exception! :)

CSD Faux Finishing said...

This came out great! Terrific colors and really good color choices that play well off each other. Love it!

Breeanna @ a brilliant melody said...

what a great idea. I never thought about doing the background a different color, but it really does make the items pop. I need another book case ( i love books!) and may consider this when I find one.

Thanks for sharing!

The Dainty Doll's House said...

Looks fantastic, love the colours you chose!! xx

Mandy Crandell said...

So cool! Love the color block idea!

http://mandycrandell.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/MandyCrandell

Gaby said...

looks great! good on you!

Michelle said...

Ha, I did a furniture makeover on my blog, too. :)

Love the color choices. The oranges really pop against the white.

ckscribbles said...

I love this so much!

xo
Christine

© Erika Lee Sears