UA-59651954-28 Crafty Allie: Guest Post: DIY Bookcase Makeover

Monday, January 19, 2015

Guest Post: DIY Bookcase Makeover

Hello all and Happy Monday!
I hope you had a fabulous weekend.

To start this week off right,
I have the tremendous honor of having 
Sommer Poquette
blog author of 

Today, she'll show was what a little cleaning, 
and TLC will do to an old bookcase.

Take it away Sommer!

How to Give an Old Bookcase a New Look. Photos Courtesy of Sommer Poquette

Do you have a book shelf or bookcase that is in need of a fresh look? Maybe it's been sitting in your basement loaded with junk and you've just avoided it. Heck, you can't really see the chips, dings and scratches under all the toys, books and puzzles anyhow. Perhaps you're like me and you found an old bookcase at a flea market or garage sale and you had to have it, but now it's sitting in your garage collecting dust.

An old bookcase can be a treasure, or it can collect dust and be an eyesore. I have one of the latter that I'm tired of looking at. It is piled with toys and needs a fresh new look. This was my husband's childhood bookcase, making it over 30 years old, so it's also an heirloom we've hung onto during moves. I've decided to freshen it up to match some of the weathered, vintage and distressed pieces I have in my home. I like the 'country chic' look and have old industrial lockers in my home, a farm door as a mirror and an antique wash basin as a laundry room sink, to give you an idea of the feel I'm going for.

So where do you begin if you're like me and you want to redo an old bookcase and give it a breath of fresh air?

How to Give an Old Bookcase a New Look 
Step 1
1. Clean your bookcase with a good degreasing soap or cleaner. Good old-fashioned elbow grease is in order. The bookcase might not look dirty, but it is! Scrub it down and remove any grime that has built up over the years. I recommend using a sponge with a soft scrubby side to it so you can really rub away the dirt.

How to Give an Old Bookcase a New Look 
Step 2

2. To sand or not to sand? I'm going for a weathered and distressed look, so the dings, scratches and dents will add to the look I am trying to achieve. Sanding will smooth the wood out and give it a cleaner look. I want it to look a little beat up and I'm too lazy to fill all the dings. Crazy, huh? I'm trying to give a bookcase a fresh look but I want it to look old. It will look "new," but an older type of new... this is what I'm telling my husband, anyhow.

 DIY Bookcase Makeover 
Step 3

3. Choose your paint. This was the hardest part for me because I don't want to have to paint this twice. I'm known for changing my mind or not liking the first color I pick. I also don't like to do extra work, so I needed something that would cover the dark wood and prime it at the same time. It just so happened I had a professional painter at my house painting my bathroom (because I disliked the first color) and our new barn style bathroom door and he suggested BEHR Paint and Primer. He was using it for my door and we chose Interior Satin Enamel – Cottage White (W-F-310). I decided to go with the same color, to use what I would have left over from my new bathroom door (and save money). Also, the cottage white over the dark wood would create the weathered and distressed look I like.

DIY Bookcase Makeover - 

4. Roll up your sleeves; it's time to paint! I decided to use a cheap foam roller and foam brushes and lightly cover the bookcase with one coat and then let it dry. I recommend doing one coat at a time to see if a) you like the color, and b) is it giving you the look you desire. In my case, I used two coats of paint. That was just enough to cover the dark wood and still leave some showing through the paint.

 DIY Bookcase Makeover Final Product
It's amazing what just a couple coats of paint will do to a bookcase. For me, it made something old look new again (okay, old but new to me). To help achieve the distressed look after I painted and it dried, I used light sand paper to rough up the paint on the edges where you might naturally see wear and tear. I opted to not add a protective of paint because I want the paint to chip naturally. Remember, I like the older look.

In the end, I have a "new" bookcase to match the look and feel of my home. It was a fun project that paired perfectly with some great music and a glass of wine, and I'll continue to enjoy my revamped bookcase for years to come.

Sommer Poquette is a "green-and-clean" mom blogger who writes about her DIY projects, including bookcases, for Home Depot. Sommer has a passion for all things vintage and has been known to disappear into an antique shop for hours. 

You can view Home Depot's selection of bookcases on the company's website.

Thank you so much Sommer for guest blogging today! It has truly been an honor!

Thanks so much for tuning in!
Until Next Time...


  1. Oh, it's beautiful! Totally love the new color and the chippy distressed look. Very cool!

  2. Great You're joyful

    I've got one myself since like 10 decades. I like it as well, not modded as yours however.

    At this time it does not operate, it hastens if warm. Brought into a neigbour of mine and he will get a deeper look at it.

    It seems as though a few have had difficulty with the automatic decompression valve, so does yours have this?

    Enjoy an excellent day!

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