How To Paint A Bookshelf DIY

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Do you want to know how to paint a bookshelf? I found this shelf unit at a garage sale for $5. I wanted to try my hand at some more furniture makeovers and this price allowed me to give it a go! In the beginning, I wasn’t sure where I’d use this piece because there are so many places we could use shelves. Who doesn’t need more shelf space right? How to paint furniture with chalk paint 1300

Here's the original shelf. The picture just doesn't do it justice. It had been painted a couple times, there were drips, uneven paint, etc.

Here’s the original shelf. The picture just doesn’t do it justice. It had been painted a couple times, there were drips, uneven paint, etc.

How To Paint A Bookshelf DIY Video

I started by lightly sanding the piece.

How do you paint a wooden bookshelf?

I started by lightly sanding the piece with my Black and Decor Orbital Sander.

Next I cleaned the entire piece with a mixture of denatured alcohol and water.

Next I cleaned the entire piece with a mixture of denatured alcohol and water.

I had intended for this unit to be in my bathroom for storage, but my daughter as I said ... swiped it for her room :) She picked the color she wanted as the base. I added 2 coats of Home Decor Chalk Paint in the color Castle. I let it dry between each coat.

What kind of paint do you use on wood bookshelves?

I had intended for this unit to be in my bathroom for storage, but my daughter as I said … swiped it for her room ๐Ÿ™‚ She picked the color she wanted as the base. I added 2 coats of Home Decor Chalk Paint in the color Castle. I let it dry between each coat.

I let the entire piece dry before moving on.

I let the entire piece dry before moving on.

My daughter loves stars and her favorite color is blue. We picked this fabric out. I measured the shelves and made a paper template for how much fabric we'd want on each shelf. I cut the fabric to match the template.

My daughter loves stars and her favorite color is blue. We picked this fabric out. I measured the shelves and made a paper template for how much fabric we’d want on each shelf. I cut the fabric to match the template.

I painted on a layer of Mod Podge onto the shelf where the fabric would go.

I painted on a layer of Mod Podge onto the shelf where the fabric would go.

I placed the fabric onto the shelf and on top of the Mod Podge and smoothed it out.

I placed the fabric onto the shelf and on top of the Mod Podge and smoothed it out.

I added another coat of Mod Podge on top of the fabric to protect and seal it.

I added another coat of Mod Podge on top of the fabric to protect and seal it.

I added a few layers of Mod Podge letting it dry between each coat. We also found some baskets that fit on the shelves so that we could store some things in them.

I added a few layers of Mod Podge letting it dry between each coat. We also found some baskets that fit on the shelves so that we could store some things in them.

I found this shelf unit at a garage sale for $5. I wanted to try my hand at some more furniture makeovers and this price allowed me to give it a go! In the beginning I wasn't sure where I'd use this piece because there are so many places we could use shelves. Who doesn't need more shelf space right?

How To Paint A Bookshelf Video

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Find out โ€œWhat Exactly Does It Mean To Repurpose Or Upcycle“, save money, and create the most amazing things.

More things to consider for a DIY project like this

  • paint color
  • are you done with the first coat of paint, or will you need a second coat of paint
  • you’ll need grit sandpaper in a few different varieties
  • depending on your paint you might need a primer
  • do you want to use a paintbrush, spray paint, or paint sprayer
  • honor dry times and cure time
  • do you want to use a stain instead of paint
  • what paint finish or sheen do you want, matte finish, satin, gloss, etc
  • what type of paint – latex paints, oil-based paint, interior paint
  • if you have laminate you’ll need a special coat of primer

What other materials might I need for a furniture makeover?

  • foam roller
  • damp cloth
  • painter’s tape
  • drop cloth
  • paint brush
  • wood filler
  • rag

With these tips and tricks you’ll transform that bookcase in no time.

Check out some of my other furniture makeovers!

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27 Comments

  1. Chas, I’ve been wanting to try fabric like this for awhile now! Your shelf turned out so lovely I’m definitely going to have to try it myself!

    1. Thank you so much Tarah – I’ve done it a couple times now and love the texture it brings to a piece. Plus it really helps when a surface is a little messed up and you can’t necessarily sand it down.

  2. You people with your creative side!!! I wish I had that. You did a great job on this table. #trafficjamweekend

    1. Thank you so much Tracy ๐Ÿ™‚ You are so very sweet.

  3. I love the idea of taking what is old and making it new again. I can not really say that is my talent but it is pretty great. Thank you for sharing with the Blogger Pit Stop.

    1. Thank you Elise, I think anything we can do to take old things and give them new life is great.

  4. That was a clever design on your shelves. I am always a fan of stars. Thanks for sharing. HUGS

    1. Thank you so much Anne, I’m thrilled you like it – hugs back

  5. Such a beautiful shelf! I’d love this in my office!

    1. Thank you so much and I’m flattered you’d like to have it in your office ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. You’ve done a great job on this little find and several others I see. I love the DIY projects and repurposing old furniture.
    Stopping by from the Traffic Jam link party.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

    1. Thank you so much Dawn and thanks for stopping by

  7. Great project, Chas, and you’re right. Everyone needs more shelf space! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.

    1. Thank you Ann, I’m glad you think so too ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Antionette, and I’m so flattered to be chosen for your weekend warriors – thank you!!!

    1. Thank you Anita, it really helps when you don’t feel like you can sand it down and make it level.

  8. That turned out great. You can NEVER have too much storage and bonus points if it is pretty!

    1. Thank you so much Julie, I’m glad you think so too.

  9. Marilyn Lesniak says:

    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next weekโ€™s party too! Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    1. Thank you very much Marilyn, and I’ll see you at the next one.

    1. Thank you Kim, and yes, Mod Podge is fantastic for so many things!

  10. Louise Dahlgren says:

    You have awesome talent. Your ideas are an inspiration. I love finding deals when out and about. There are times I will grab something off the street.
    I have a question. I have a laminate chest of drawers. The top is peeling off. I would love to do something with the top. Can I use a regular sander?
    I did find an antique sewing machine table and had fun painting it with chalk paint. It is my go to piece for crafts.

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