Bookshelf makeover

Considering all the work I put into this, it’s not really that dramatic of a change.  But I’m still happy with the results, and even just respacing the shelves and all the crap on them gave me some space to move some stuff that previously didn’t have a home onto the shelf.  Better organization is awesome!

This project actually ended up having a couple of small projects in it that I tacked on, so it ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would.  If you look carefully at the before and after photo you’ll notice that I added a mirror and painted the book end, so I’ll include photos of that as well.

Tools used:

  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Masking tape (because I ran out of painter’s tape)
  • Pliers (you may not need these depending on your bookshelf)

Step 1:  Nekkify!!!  (your bookshelf, not yourself!)  Take off all of your crap, remove your shelves, and those little metal peg thingers.  In case you’re wondering, my bookshelf is the Billy bookshelf from Ikea.  I may or may not refer to it as Billy in daily life.  If you don’t talk to your furniture, you may disregard that comment.  Wipe down the back to get rid of any dust (and cat hair since your cat has been exploring this new monstrosity on the floor) to make sure the paint will go on nicely.

You can tell I have a hard time finishing projects.  Notice the two unfinished paintings in the background.  The big one has been there at least 2 years in that same exact state.  (I’ll finish them someday!)

This is where your pliers might come in handy to remove the shelving pegs.

Step 2:  Tape up that suckah!  Make sure it’s right against the bottom without any bubbles.

Step 3:  I can’t tell you how excited I was for this part.  PAINT!  I couldn’t wait to open my can of paint (which I got free from Ace Hardware!) to see how the color turned out.

Lex was excited to see the color too!

Pretty!  But it needed to be stirred, something that I hadn’t thought of ahead of time.  I opened the paint to see it all oily on top and almost smacked myself in the forehead.  Whenever people use cans of paint they always have stir sticks!  It’s okay, don’t panic.  You’re creative.  How about a chop stick?  Perfect!

Neither you or your cat are going to be pleased if he jumps in the wet paint… so keep an eye on him.  (You’re welcome for the pro tip).

So guilty!  Caught blue bellied.  Luckily I was able to grab him before he started running around all over the floor with his blue paws.  He was so NOT happy with me when I scrubbed his paws.

Step 4:  Wait for the paint to dry.  It might take a while, so keep your paintbrush damp by wrapping a wet paper towel around it and placing it in a plastic bag.

Go do that laundry that you’ve been trying to avoid doing while you wait.  Or not…

Once the paint is dry, throw on a second coat.  My first coat of paint took about 3 hours to dry.  I waited overnight after the second coat, just to be on the safe side.  Second coats always take longer.

Step 5:  Denekkify.  Throw everything back on the shelf!  But do it with more consideration this time.  Now that you know exactly what you’re going to have on your bookshelf, you can base where you put your shelves on the height of the books and crap that you’ve got.

It’s a little more interesting now.  But still not quite special enough.

Step 6:  Add points of interest.  I’ve been wanting to hang things on the shelves to hang over in front of it, I’ve always thought it’s looked pretty neat when I’ve seen other people do it.  I immediately thought back on a mirror that I saw at the dollar store that I didn’t have a reason to buy at the time.  Luckily, they still had it when I dropped back in.

It was this awesome tacky plastic mirror with a gold finish.  It was perfect!  It had these awesome inlays just like you always see people age and distress on those home decorating shows you watch all of the time.  I couldn’t just leave it as is though, that’s not very DIY.  I really wanted it to stand out so I decided to paint it red.  First, tape up the mirror around the inside and maybe a piece of paper depending on how crazy of a painter you are.  Paint a dark base coat.  I just added a bunch of black to my red paint to use.  With the base coat, paint everything and make sure you get into all of the crevices.  Once that drys, put on the your lighter color, in this case, red.  Paint the top coat on lightly just on the highest parts, you want the mirror to have a nice sense of depth, so leave all the crevices that darker shade.

I applied mounting pads to the back of the mirror to stick it to the bookshelf with (also picked up from the dollar store).  I managed to unintentionally match the mirror to the basket I use to store my yarn into, which was a neat surprise.

The last touch I made on the bookshelf is I wanted to make sure the bookend that I had really popped out.  I’ve had it forever, my mom gave it to me when I was younger.  As it was the wood was a little bit too dark and it just ended up blending in.  I decided to paint it a lighter color.

For now, it’s all done.  I would like to eventually tack on some more things in the front though…


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