I have had this bookshelf for about 15-20 years and decided to give it a makeover to use in our baby’s room, but the design can be used in “adult” spaces as well. The piece is made from particleboard with a real wood veneer, making it a little easier to work with than a laminate finish. This can be done with laminate, but priming so the paint doesn’t scratch will be key.
Skill Level: Beginner
Made from mostly reused material
How to Guide
Clean up and removal
Sands of time
I am not for using paint stripper, as it is high in VOC, unless you absolutely have to. If your piece is just coated in a protective finish then I suggest only sanding. You don’t need to get right down to the wood grain, but you want it to be a little rough so that the paint sticks.
*Tip - If it is a wood veneer, like my piece, don’t sand too much or you will hit particleboard. A “fine sand” grit will do. If it is laminate, use the “very fine” grit sand paper and do not press too hard. You only need to rough the surface up a bit
When you are done sanding, wipe clean with a damp cloth so that the surface is smooth and dust free.
Cut it out
Check the fit
Tracing the apron
Cut & sand the apron
Decorative wood trim - optional
Paint, paint, paint
Painting the bookshelf frame
Painting the bookshelves, backboard & apron
Repeat these painting steps until you are happy with the colour depth.
My piece was painted white, so it took about 4 coats to get the creamy finish I wanted.
Applying the decals
*Tip – if your decorative trim or decals will be resting tightly against the edge of your bookshelf frame, like my upper trim, wait until the apron is in place before gluing to ensure it fits.
Laying the backboard
Mind the gap
Putting on your apron
Fill your shelves with classical books and meaningful nick-knacks!