Yucky Thrift Store Bookcases to Gorgeous Built-Ins!

5 Materials
4 Days
I really wanted to give our main floor hallway a makeover. It was pretty dark and drab. The hallway is wide and I knew that built-ins would look great along the wall, plus they would be very useful. Custom built-ins are pretty expensive to have made - hence my idea of DIY thrift store bookcases!
Here is the hallway "before". As you can see, there is space for built-ins along the wall. I decided the create my own DIY challenge and do it myself for under $150.00.
With my idea of built-ins in mind, I went thrifting and found these two bookcases that were exactly what I had in mind.
The bookcases were $12.99 each but were in pretty bad shape. One had an old and dirty plexiglass paperweight melted into its bottom shelf - yuck.
I decided exactly where I wanted the bookcases and my husband and I removed the baseboard and shoe molding so they would fit tight against the wall.
The bookcases obviously needed help! After sanding and priming, I painted the bookcases in Behr Semi-Gloss that I had mixed in a Benjamin Moore color, Cloud White. I think purchasing Ikea bookcases would have been easier but hey - I love a challenge! Plus, they are solid wood and were very inexpensive.
I measured and went to Home Depot to have the trim cut to size.
Using a miter box to miter the corners, I then adhered the trim and used a caulk gun to seal it. The trim was then painted in the same white (Cloud White by Benjamin Moore) as the bookcases.
I also found this great rug for $14.99 at the thrift store. Score! I painted the hallway in Benjamin Moore Guilford Green and added white curtains and a gallery wall to complete the makeover!
Here is the hallway "after"! Please click on over to the blog for more pics! It was completed for less than $150!
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The Painted Drawer by Suzanne Bagheri
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Evil Evil on May 28, 2016
    I have a 1960's long, narrow, low ceiling, dark hallway 4 doors 2 sliding closet doors T's at one end, dead ends at the other. It has one (UGLY) gold recessed light in the middle. 10 years ago I put a solar tube at the dead end to add light. During my upgrade I painted walls and trim (putting lipstick on a pig) and replaced the dirty carpet with River Red CoreTEC flooring. Still it's dark. I then added privacy glass to the 4 doors to bring the light in from the 3 bedrooms and bath and painted them white. I broke the light (oh darn) and replaced that with an LED (OMG can you see now, I didn't realized my paint had SO much color in it!) the 80x63 closet doors I replaced with mirrored doors and put a mirror at each end of the hallway. . . I have done everything I can to lighten, brighten and make it LOOK bigger..... But I need help with decor. I've wanted to do what you've done (I have tons of music memorabilia but am afraid it will make it look like a tunnel if I line it with photos. I also considered cutting into the sheet rock and recess scene between the studs and placing my autographed guitars..... HELP ANY IDEAS PEOPLE?!?

  • Mia Mia on May 28, 2016
    I love what you did with these bookcases! I also have a question about your rope stool, which I can't take my eyes off of :). I looked on your blog post which says you found it at a thrift store, but I'm wondering if you (or anyone else) knows where it might originate from, as in which store? Or if anyone knows where else I might find one? I just love it!

  • Dianne Daleske Dianne Daleske on Feb 25, 2018

    Why was the the hallway so dark in the beginning and so full of light in the end? I love the design but where did the light come from?

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