Stenciled Bookshelf Makeover

Heather Cammack
by Heather Cammack
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.
I started by giving the bookshelf a quick clean up and sand.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Cait Cait on Oct 25, 2018

    How did you get the dresser to a book shelf?

  • Paulette Polly Hunt Paulette Polly Hunt on Oct 25, 2018

    How about Mod Poding scrapbooking cardstock or calendar pages?

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2 of 42 comments
  • Lori Ward-Laatsch Lori Ward-Laatsch on Jul 27, 2020

    You could just order the stick on tiles or wall paper from amazon to do the back. I actually have been planing to do a small bookcase I have similar to this except I was going to use a pretty contact paper I found, it is black and white. I was going to try to find a picture of it and went to the contact site look at all the new designs they have so many options.

  • Mary Russell Mary Russell on Jul 28, 2020

    I have a book case that looks very similar to this in construction, however mine is still finished in the original wood,which is douglas fir that has had 7300 ton submarines sitting on it.I made the book case many years ago when I was the dockmaster on a drydock that used this wood then threw it in the dump to be burned.I would say my book case is a conversation piece,at the very least.