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Topic: new life for an old bookshelf  (Read 2376 times)
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jenthezero
« on: November 29, 2003 05:47:01 PM »

while dumpster-diving in my house, i found a bookshelf.  the previous renters were pigs, and left us with a bunch of their trash.

anyway, this bookshelf is perfect for my room.  it has room for all my books, my stuffed animals, and i can temporarily stash my purses there until i find another place for them.

one problem:  it's butt-ugly.  hideously ugly, even.  it's made of plywood, with fake wood paneling on the outsides and the tops of the shelves.  the plywood on the insides has been scribbled on with crayon and pen.

so what would be the easiest way to liberate it from its previous life as dumpster fodder?  should i strip the fake wood panels and paint it?  cover it with fabric?  paint the bare plywood?  i'm not sure what would be best for this...

jen
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suezqz
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2003 01:45:30 PM »

I would do one of two things.  Either I'd strip it down to a paintable surface, give it an overall undercoate of a color and rub it with wax all over.  Than paint it over with a contrasting color, which will peel off where the wax lies underneath, revealing  your base color.  It'll look distressed.  You can also use two paint colors with a crackle glaze for a similar effect, and read the directions carefully because I've never actually done this.  You can paint it two contrasting colors, rub rubbing alcohol into the top coat in spots to reveal contrasting blotches underneath, looks cool, also embellish with decoupage of old album covers, comic books, movie stills, whatever.
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jenthezero
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2003 04:32:24 PM »

hey, those are some cool ideas!  since the stupid fake wood paneling is already peeling off in places, it shouldn't be too hard to get it off.  thanks.
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susank
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2003 09:03:25 AM »

I've had some [questionable] success by roughing up the surface of cheapie bookcases with sandpaper, applying a primer, and painting.  This was with IKEA stuff-- not sure what that fakey surface is called.  

With this kind of project, the most important thing always seems to be to do the prep steps-- skimping on those leads to disaster.

--susan.
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2004 12:42:40 PM »

You could always try wrapping shelf paper or wall paper around the shelves or paint the shelves and cut squares of paper to go on the inside pannels of the bookcase...you know straight back so that there is a bit of contrast goin' on Grin
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2004 07:39:04 PM »

Spray paint it, then sponge paint it - sponge painting hides a multitude of sins!

Or decoupage it - also good for hiding any uneven surfaces!

Don't expect the plywood to look good on its own even if you strip it and/or sand it - it's just not made for that. It probably won't take to brush painting all that well either.

I like the crackle paint idea too!
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2004 04:21:20 PM »

I agree with whatever you do it's the prep work that you can't skimp, but I like the idea of the wax and paint!  

I've been debating getting a roll of corkboard and adding it the sides of my cabinet.   Or using that magnetic paint (but I hear you need lots of coats for it to work) and then repainting it another color.  So far all I've added is a curtain to so you can't see all my stuff.  

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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2004 07:00:33 PM »

Udandi, I like the corkboard idea - that also would hide any surface flaws, etc.  You could also probably sponge paint on top of that as well, if you wanted to add some color onto it!

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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2004 06:26:54 AM »

Udandi, I like the corkboard idea - that also would hide any surface flaws, etc.  You could also probably sponge paint on top of that as well, if you wanted to add some color onto it!

good point about hiding surface flaws since I've moved that cabinet from place to place and added a few dings (ooops).
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Lenae
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2004 01:40:01 PM »

I grew up with one of those shelves in my room.  I re-vamped it over the summer.  I spray painted the entire thing silver.    
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