Leesa Osborne
Leesa Osborne
  • Hometalk Helper
  • West Columbia, TX

Old Wood Bookcase

7 Materials
2 Days

A friend dropped off an old beat up bookcase. She asked me to refinish it and make it pretty. I sat and I would stare at it trying to figure out where to start.

If you're in the Houston area, you can Team Up with me to redo a piece of your furniture. Just click here to go to my profile page and message me to get started!

old wood bookcase

I sanded first with a medium grit sandpaper. The ugly black latex paint was coming off. Yay!!

old wood bookcase

I then removed the cardboard type backing from the back. It had a few holes and just wasn't going to look good with the vision I had in mind for this bookcase.

old wood bookcase

the sanding was taking forever, I knew i had some citristrip stripper so I used it to peel the ugly black paint from the pretty dark wood underneath.

old wood bookcase

Making progress, yes it's kind of messy but if you wrap a plastic trash bag around the project with your citristrip stripper is usually pulls most of the paint off without having to scrape. Sorry I didn't take a photo of that step.

old wood bookcase

Once most of my black paint was removed I wiped it down with an old tshirt dipped in a little mineral spirits. It helps get rid of the tackiness. Then I started sanding with 150 grit sandpaper. once I had it smooth I started staining with mini wax special walnut colored stain. I stained the Cabinet and shutter doors. Once it was dry I waited about 4 hours. I added few dabs of Vaseline where I didn't want my paint sticking and then started painting with homemade chalk paint in a cream color. Meanwhile i have already measured the length of this bookkcase to add my shutter doors. My husband trimmed them with his jigsaw. That's the only saw we have. I painted two coats of paint and let dry. Once it dried I sanded by hand and the areas where I put Vaseline did the distressing for me.

old wood bookcase

Once these were the correct length my husband had already cut some old fence boards for me to use as a new backing. I couldn't get the boards to fit evenly and flush we had to space them a tiny bit.

old wood bookcase

after we made sure the shutter doors were the right length we used hinges and put them on the bookcase.

old wood bookcase
old wood bookcase

I had also stained and painted the old fence boards with the same colors I used on the bookcase.

old wood bookcase
old wood bookcase
old wood bookcase

Before and after

If you're in the Houston area, you can Team Up with me to redo a piece of your furniture.  Just click here to go to my profile page and message me to get started!

Resources for this project:

Citri-Strip QCG731 Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel, 1-Quart
SUNNYSIDE CORPORATION 80332 1-Quart Mineral Spirits
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Sootie
    on Jul 26, 2017

    So beachy and chic. Love it. What did you add to the top of the shutters and what hardware for the closure? I noticed in the first photo you added little feet, really a nice touch.
    • Kathy Joyce
      on Aug 2, 2017

      There are hinges that automatically close doors, Don't know what sizes are available.

  • Valh20man
    on Jul 27, 2017

    Did you wax it afterwards? Most people do.
    • Leesa Osborne
      on Aug 2, 2017

      I poly it all
      it doesn't seem to absorb, it gives it a nice shine.
  • Barb Edlen
    on Apr 25, 2019

    Wow!!! This turned out amazing!!!!! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful solution.

    • Jewellmartin
      on Apr 26, 2019

      I have been working on a bookcase cabinet for a year. Today I got two good suggestions from your project. Maybe I will finish mine. Thanks!

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