Stenciled Bookshelf Makeover

7 Materials
3 Hours

Want to take a plain wooden bookshelf up a notch? After salvaging a vintage wood dresser, I used chalk paint and a stencil to give it a fun farmhouse style makeover.
stenciled bookshelf makeover
I started by giving the bookshelf a quick clean up and sand.
stenciled bookshelf makeover
I removed the back board of the bookshelf and used a ruler and pencil to create a grid. You will need to make your grid large enough to fit the stencil you will use for your pattern.
stenciled bookshelf makeover
Paint along your pencil lines and carefully stencil in each square. I added an extra step and sanded over the stenciled pattern to give it an aged/rustic look.
stenciled bookshelf makeover
I grey washed my shelves with 1 part grey paint and 1 part water. Then quickly sanded over the paint so that the wood showed through in a few spots.
stenciled bookshelf makeover
When the grey dried, I used a white wash of 1 part paint to 2 parts water over the grey. Paint this mixture over the grey and then wipe off with a rag. Sand again, focusing on the corners and edges where normal wear would occur.
stenciled bookshelf makeover
Once you are done sanding and painting your shelves, seal your whole piece and reattach the back.

Find more detail photos and steps here on my blog.
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Heather Cammack

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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  • Really nice I love it

  • I started doing this 20 years ago! It was a suggestion on Oprah to match the back of your cabinet or bookcases to your wall so that it didn't look like a big brown hole in the color! It just blends more attractively!

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