One of the first pieces of furniture that I bought for my vintage shop was a bookshelf. As a book lover, I love a good bookshelf. This bookshelf was a great size and nice and sturdy. The top was a bit scratched up and the back had a crudely cut hole in it, but I knew that I could make it shine again. I learned some important lessons during this bookshelf makeover.
Tips for a Bookshelf Makeover
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- Prep is key for a bookshelf makeover. Sand and prime before painting. I know that a lot of paints claim to be no prep, but I would never take that chance with a bookshelf!! Bookshelves get a lot of wear and tear, so good prep work is important. Sanding will smooth out any imperfections. Priming will seal any stains that may bleed through. Sanding and priming will ensure that your paint will stick to the wood. I recommend this primer because it’s heavy duty!
- Use a good paint. For this bookshelf makeover, I used chalk paint, which I don’t love. It showed brush strokes and took too many coats of paint, plus needed to be sealed. Instead I would recommend this paint. It goes on easily, doesn’t show brush strokes and doesn’t need a top coat. Plus, the finish is so smooth and hard once it’s dry. A little goes a long way, so you get your money’s worth!
- When picking a wallpaper, keep in mind that a repeat makes lining up your wallpaper tricky. You will also need more to match the repeat. For a first time user, I would recommend an easy pattern with no repeat, like this beadboard wallpaper. I like that it’s pre-pasted as well because that makes it easier to use too.
- Use a new blade in your utility knife when cutting your wallpaper. I like to use a straight edge and cut along it. (Edited: My newer preferred method is to measure and cut. I line a lot of drawers and the process is very similar.)
- For a top coat, I love the ease of a wipe on poly. It really is as easy as wiping it on. Wipe on poly does yellow a bit, so only use on darker colors and or colors where it will look nice when it turns a bit yellow. (It can turn a too-blue paint a bit more aqua.)
- Let your piece cure for several days before you use it. Even though paint feels dry, it can take several weeks to actually cure. Few people want to wait that long, so I recommend a few days.
If you’re interested in this piece, it is for sale!