Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bookcase undo

Remember this redo?  How awesome we thought we were.  Don't anyone think this is a DIY blog.  We are not professionals - we're barely beginners.  We I caught the DIY bug and had to complete a project that day.  We had most of the tools and just had to spend a few bucks for the supplies we would need for a bookcase makeover.  We bought refill foam rollers and that blue paint & extra plastic ground tarp.  Boy were we missing a step.

the before
Problem: we didn't use primer.  We thought "Hey it'll be okay to use latex paint on laminate".  WRONG!  That is wrongsauce if I ever had a hindsight thought.  Do not just go for it.  You'll definitely need primer on this fake wood 2007 office supply store bookcase.  We knew something was up when it was getting nicked super easily after it dried.  We were afraid of putting items on the shelves since the paint didn't seem to have 'stuck'.  A non working bookcase wasn't functional.  (imagine a bed full piled with junk we couldn't put back on these new shelves)

I looked at it for a few days and sucummed to the thought that I'd have to redo it.  Since the shelves were the only pieces that'd really touch objects I decided just to repaint those.  It was easier than redoing the whole thing.  Who knows - maybe I'll regret that decision too. 

First off - stripping the shelves of the old paint.  Some were easy, others a little more effort.  This is a 'little more effort' shelf.  I used sand paper to get it all off.

This next one was super easy!  Too easy in fact.  I just pulled great swathes of paint off the previously 'perfect' shelf.  Not perfect.  After I did that to all 5 shelves I was back to where I had started - with fake wood.

Working outside I primed each shelf with 2 coats of Kilz primer about 4 hours apart.  I used a small foam roller for even application.  Yes this oil based primer was messy and I may have destroyed a kitchen scrub brush (sorry Tony).  Everything started to look the same again.  Boring photos - more of the same white shelves.  Primer = white, paint = white.  Anyway, after 2 coats of the same white paint we were in business.  You can definitely tell the difference in the primer + paint vs no primer.  Texture wise that is.  The no primer was much smoother and slick.  The primered base has a big more of a 'grip' to it and wasn't nicking at all.  Overall it looks great (yeah yeah I said that last time). 

The after - nice and clean and dried and now - usable!

This is what happens when new DIYers decide to do a project they know little about. 


  1. I love it!!! What a gorgeous revamp! :)

    <3 Belly B

  2. it looks great now, good work! and thanks for the comment love while I was gone :)


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