Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Bookcase Redesign

Hello, friends!

As published in an earlier post, I am walking you through the process of redesigning my office on a minute budget.

This time we are examining a bookcase I hated.  See it to the right, and you will hate it too.  It is an old, laminate bookcase that has been beat up.  Upon first glance this fella doesn't have much hope.

I was inspired by Emily Henderson (she is my style idol) and her redesign of a bookcase. Yes, hers was with good wood and great design, but I learned that if you paint only the back of the shelf, you help the design of the case pop!  You notice the shape of the shelves and its contents rather than the color.  Your eye goes through the case to the objects, so your design of the objects better be interesting as well.

1. I started by cleaning the bookcase, scraping off any residue. This part is doable by everyone.

2. Sand down! I didn't mention this in my earlier post because laminate is not quite as important to take off prior finishes.  For this project especially, because nothing is sitting on the painted area (the backing) it isn't as important that the paint be ultra durable.  Just that it looks even and pretty.  I used a medium grade sander by hand because I can't yet afford a professional sander.

3. Prime! For large, flat areas I cannot express how much you should use a roller.  It just makes your life easier and the paint looks amazing afterwards (I know this because there are some areas that I skimped on it and the final product is not as professional looking). Use a low VOC paint and you can paint indoors!

4. Sand again? This, again, I didn't mention in my earlier post, but sanding after each step of paint and primer makes it look so much more professional.  I used a fine grade sander in between each coat of primer and / or paint.

5. Clean again? I bet you are saying, For reals, LewisDots! Why do you keep repeating steps? Because, reader, I have learned from experience that doing multiple small steps in between the process will make the end product look impeccable.  After you sand, you may feel like you have all of the residue off, but clean it again with a chemical solution and you will find all sorts of nastiness on the rag. To get your paint to stick effectively you should make sure nothing is in between your layers, such as dirt.

6. Finally paint! Oh yes, the fun part.  You could use a spray paint, but this bookcase is bulky and hard to move, so I used a roll-on blue that matched the color of my prior table. In the picture you can see a paint brush, but that is just for the edges. I am not at my most chic during my painting projects...

7. Sand again - see step 4 above

8. Paint again!

Enjoy your work!

What do you all think of the final product?  I will do a post on bookcase styling next.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment