Before & After: Transforming an Old Ikea Bookcase

by Melissa
I have a few pieces of Ikea furniture lingering from the days when my decorating style was much more contemporary. One includes this Ikea bookcase, which I basically liked because it functioned well as both a bookcase and a low console that I could use for display. However, it's obvious Ikea-ish appearance no longer suits my style, which is very Country French-English Country-Traditional these days.
Rather than going to the expense of replacing it, I decided to see if I could give it a more aged/distressed, Country French look with a couple layers of chalk paint, vintage-style stencil, and some sand paper.
Please read on to see how I went about transforming this tired old Ikea bookcase.
First step, aging and distressing....

I randomly painted the edges with a mix of Annie Sloan chalk paint colors (Aubusson Blue, Antibes Green, Duck Egg, Provence).

I applied Annie Sloan clear wax once the paint had dried and painted the entire thing with Coco (also an Annie Sloan paint color). The wax allows the final coat of paint to be easily sanded away, but protects the underlying paint colors.

I then applied a wash of 50/50 Old White (Annie Sloan color) to all painted surfaces.

Once the paint dried, I sanded the edges and other areas likely to receive wear with a medium grit sandpaper to reveal the underlying paint colors.
Next step, stenciling.....

Before stenciling directly onto the ends of the bookcase, I transferred the pattern to a piece of paper using a colored pencil, cut out the colored patterns, and taped the pieces to the bookcase end. This 'mock-up' step allowed me to make adjustments to the pattern placement and confirm that I would actually like the end results.

Once I was happy with the pattern placement, I stenciled the pattern onto the bookcase end using Annie Sloan Old White. Once the paint dried, I sanded the stenciled areas lightly with a fine grit sandpaper to give the stencil pattern an aged appearance.

I find that using a 'dry' stencil brush yields the best results (less bleeding under the stencil). This is accomplished by dipping the stencil brush in the paint and then blotting it repeatedly on a piece of paper before stenciling.
Final step, 'new feet'....

Rather then buying new feet, I spray painted the existing ones. I used Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze; this gave the feet a more old, Industrial look.
Re-capping what I started with and where I ended up, here are before-and-after photos......
Here is the 'new' bookcase sporting some recent Christmas styling....
Thanks for visiting!

Please visit my blog, Dancing Dog Cabin, for more details on my Ikea bookcase transformation project.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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