When I was growing up, my mom was (and still is) a pro-garage saler. Seriously, she would get up early every Wednesday morning (because that was the start day for most sales where I grew up) and head out with her sister. To this day, she can’t hardly drive by a “Garage Sale” sign without stopping to look.
While I don’t have quite the propensity for garage saling as my mom does, I do enjoy it and certainly recognize the value of it. My mom has scored some amazing things over the years – from furniture, to brand new area rugs, to kitchen appliances, to home decor, and so on and so on – for next to nothing.
Full disclosure, though, she has also picked up some rather unsightly things. In her defense, they always serve a great purpose, even if they don’t look good doing so. Case in point…this bookcase.
My mom picked this up at a garage sales years ago. I am an avid reader and a bit of a book hoarder. (Full post on how to declutter books coming soon!) This bookcase was cheap and super sturdy, so my mom grabbed it for me. It has followed me through multiple states and homes, and it has definitely served it’s purpose well. It’s always nice to have a small bookcase that you can tuck into a corner, or small space, of a room. However, when we moved into our current home, I decided it was time (well past time, really) for a face-lift.
The photos aren’t the greatest, as they were taken years ago, way before I started this blog, but you’ll still get the idea.
I knew that I wanted to paint the bookcase white, and put some sort of paper covering on the inside back wall. So, I went to Target to see if they had anything that would work, and of course, they did. Target has everything, right?! I chose the Devine Color Chantilly Peel & Stick Wallpaper in Buck. I loved the classic feel of the pattern, and I thought the color would be a nice contrast to the white.
The first thing I did (okay, so my husband actually did this part) was take the back off of the bookcase. I didn’t actually realize the bookcase was built this way when I decided to jump into this project, but it made things SO much easier. The main frame and shelves of this bookcase are solid wood, but the back is just a single piece of plywood-like material that is attached in one sheet. Major time, and headache, saver.
The wallpaper that I bought was not quite as wide as the bookcase. So, first, I lined up the edge of the wallpaper with one edge of the bookcase and unrolled it down the length of the back in one piece. I thought it would be easier to do it this way, rather than cutting a large piece off to try to apply. I can’t hardly work with a one-foot square of Saran Wrap without getting it tangled, much less a 3-4 foot piece of contact paper. Then, I measured the width of what was still exposed, and I cut a strip to cover it. Truthfully, I didn’t get the two pieces lined up exactly perfect, but once the whole thing was done, you really couldn’t tell.
I don’t remember having any trouble with bubbles in the paper, but if you do, something small and flat (like a credit card) is all you need to help smooth them out. That was it for Part 1!
Then, we painted. My dad has been in the construction business his whole life, and the only paint he uses is Sherwin Williams. He always recommends using oil-based paint when painting on wood. It is a bit trickier to work with than latex, if you’ve never used it before. (Another post on working with oil paint is coming soon.) It leaves an amazing finish, though, and it’s much more durable than latex-based paint. So, while I don’t have any photos of the actual paint we used, it’s very likely that we primed with Sherwin Williams Pro-Block (oil-base) and painted with Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic (also oil-base).
Now, a lot of you DIYers may gasp and be tempted to shut your computer off when I say this, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t prep this bookcase at all. It didn’t have a lacquer finish, and it was pretty rough to begin with. So, I’m fairly certain we just took a paint brush to that sucker and went to town. Again, I don’t remember exactly, but my best guess is we did one coat of primer and at least two coats of paint. The bookcase was quite dark to begin with, which often requires a fair amount of paint to completely cover – especially when it’s white paint.
Once the painting was finished, we reattached the back and voila! So. Much. Better.
I love how it turned out, and it has held up really well. The paint (and wallpaper) still looks fantastic.