Beginning the Renovations: Guest Room Bookshelf


We hope to put the house on the market in a month or so, not because we don’t like it, but in hopes of getting closer to town and into a better school district for the Munchkin.  Nothing against the elementary school out this way, but there are better middle and high schools.  And I have to admit that it’s been extremely isolating living out here while having a child, and I hadn’t been coping well.  Hopefully a move into town will help.

I’m not putting all my eggs into the “move into town” basket, however.  I’m making sure that we don’t do anything to the house that I wouldn’t want to do down the line, certainly nothing we can’t live with: mostly cleaning and staging, some touch-up paint, replace the living room carpet (likely with hardwood laminate), refinish the bathroom cabinetry and replace the fixtures, and redo the guest room bookshelf.

So, two weeks ago in our stupidly, stupidly hot weather, I set about painting the bookshelf.  It wasn’t much, just white, three shelves, cheap pressboard.  Along the way, I learned why you don’t ignore the instructions about not painting if it’s hotter than 95* (bubbled up like mad) and that it’s depressing to go into the garage at 9 pm and have it still be hotter than 95*.

Apparently the “Before” shot is on another SD card, because I couldn’t find it when I went through my camera.  But trust me, it was a boring white bookshelf.  Wait, I found a very old picture:

See?  Boring!  And it meant that nothing in the room even remotely looked like it went together.

But then I worked my magic, and now it looks like this:

The first thing I did was to remove the pressboard backing — this was an older cheap bookshelf, so it was a lot thicker then the cardboard that some of our newer bookshelves have, so it’s standing the test of time pretty squarely.  I set that aside and started painting.

I did two coats of Krylon Brown Boots for a solid base.  Then I added an even coat of Krylon Sparkling Canyon for the subtle shimmer and a little texture.

In the fabric department of a local store, I picked up a yard of a nice cotton fabric whose pattern I loved — it compliments the room as a whole, I think — and some spray adhesive. The entire inside of the pressboard got a coat of spray adhesive, as did the back of the fabric.  Then Southern Honey helped me lay the fabric over the pressboard and smooth out any wrinkles.

I let everything dry overnight again (I allowed 24 hours drying time between coats of paint due to the high temps and humidity — plus I had to sand down the nasty bubbles in the first layer of Brown Boots), then I nailed the pressboard back into the bookshelf, and we’re back in business!

The final product, now that I have all the books back on the shelves:

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About SouthernSugar

A Southern girl who's used to small town life, I found myself moving to Washington, DC, in 2008 for a new job, and living there was an eye-o
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2 Responses to Beginning the Renovations: Guest Room Bookshelf

  1. Shannon says:

    It looks great! I am interested in doing the same thing and my bookshelf is pressboard also– did you have to sand or prime it first?

    • No, I just painted straight on it. So far it’s adhering just fine. I think it’s because I used spray paint. I know that if I had used regular paint, I would have sanded it first to give the paint something to adhere to better.

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