Bookshelf Facelift

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My sweet hubby really doesn't like for me to go overboard hanging art on the walls, so I decided to turn a bookshelf into art instead!  We saw the need for a new bookshelf when our son started pulling himself up on things and we knew that the old rickety wrought iron one we were using to hold our dvds wasn't going to do.  I started searching Craigslist for a larger bookshelf that had cabinets at the bottom that toddlers wouldn't be able to get into.  This is what I found (score!):

I really liked the shape with the arch at the top so I bought it and got to work turning it into a work of art!

I started by painting the whole thing bright red.  I think my husband was pretty scared when he saw it but I kept reassuring him that I had a vision and it would turn out great!

Once the red was dry, I sanded it a little so the wood was showing through a little.  Then I went over the red with a dark brown glaze.  I ended up doing several coats (and letting it dry between each one) until I was happy with how it looked.

Then I came up with designs for the doors and top panel and made stencils, which I applied using the brown glaze.  I wanted them to look faded.

Then I designed a pattern to go on the sides of the bookshelf.  I drew the patterns to scale on butcher paper and used white carbon paper to transfer the designs onto the furniture.  Then I painted each one by hand.

To seal the paint, I sprayed on a coat of Minwax Polycrylic.  Then I added decorative nail-heads.  These were actually left-over from a painting project I had done on someone's ceiling but they were shiny gold so I painted them black (before installing them).

I found some awesome hardware at hobby lobby for the drawer and doors which were the perfect finishing touch!

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  1. Eleanor Otto says:

    I really like your new bookshelf – a work of art.

  2. Wow!

  3. That is a lot of work. I have two desks that I’ve been avoiding doing almost the same thing to. Yours came out great.

  4. Very, very pretty! :)

  5. WOW! Nicely done! Doesn’t even look like the same piece of furniture. Super impressive; glad you shared at Shine on Fridays!

  6. Beautiful! love it.

  7. Wow! When you say you made your own stencils … you mean you MADE your own stencils???

  8. What a beautiful job! It doesn’t even look close to being the same piece! What does our husband think of it now?


  9. It’s beautiful- well done! Would love for you to come share this at my decorating link party- going on all weekend at my blog!

  10. Great job! Don’t you love hobby lobby, they have fun hardware at a great price!
    You should join me for Handmade 52!

  11. Stopping back by to say thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday! Hope to see you again at this weeks party!

I would love to hear what you have to say!