November 1, 2011

Office Project: Bookshelf

So here is what our office bookshelf used to look like....

...and here is what it looks like now!

I still need to rearrange some things on the shelf, as well as find some baskets I like, but so far I think it's turned out great! I love the crisp light feel it has (and I wish my books were prettier - AKA matched the room). This bookshelf was a hand-me-down from Michael's parents when we moved into our apartment, so all I had to buy was the primer and paint!

First thing I did was sand the entire thing - outside, inside, and shelves. It took a lot of work but the paint would not have stuck to it if I didn't. As I sanded I realized it was particle board... which I found out after finishing the project that it really didn't matter! It still turned out great, and when it's painted you can't even tell it's particle board.

I wiped it down with a damp rag to get all the sawdust off before spray painting the primer on. I probably did about 2 coats on all the surfaces. I also sanded in between coats and before painting to keep it smooth.

I highly recommend spray painting your primer! It is a huge time saver, money saver, and brush saver. I went through 2 cans, at only about $3 each (I probably could have actually used 1 more can to thicken the coat, but I didn't feel like going back to the store).

While I painted, this is what one corner of our office looked like:

Because the bugs were eating me alive while I painted in the evening, I moved it inside to the only non-carpet space that was big enough - the kitchen. We lived with this for about a week (not cool, but worth it).

Once I started painting the gray on the outside, I realized that it wasn't quite as dark as I hoped. I ended up having to go back to the store to get them to add some more color.

The white took the longest to paint, because the wood kept soaking up the paint and leaving streaks. This is why in the future I will probably spray paint more primer on before beginning to paint.

All finished!

For the frames I used a swatch of fabric in the one on the left from the fabric I made pillows with - those are coming soon! I got the idea from my yellow umbrella, a great DIY blog I follow. The art on the right is one that I painted with basic acrylics on white paper. The silk flowers are from Michael's, and sit in a <$2 glass vase.

I love my new bookshelf! I'm so glad that I took the time to fix it up and do something different than the traditional wood. I'm hoping to bring these colors into the rest of the room's furniture soon.

What do you all think?? Do you like the gray and white two-tone idea?


  1. This looks so pretty! I love the white & grey - it looks a lot better (and fresher like you said) than the wood. It definitely brightens up the space! And the art above it looks great! I also like the simplicity of just a vase with flowers on top. Usually the tops of bookshelves seem a little crowded.

  2. This looks so good, Laura!! Love it!! can't wait to see it all this Thursday :)


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