Friday, October 06, 2006


Ideas for dressing up inexpensive bookshelves

Someone in my husband's office complex threw out two inexpensive laminated white bookshelves early this year. A young artist who works for my husband's company grabbed one for his apartment, and I grabbed the other. I brought mine home to use in our kitchen. I took off the inexpensive cardboard backing which was damaged from the rain, and I replaced it by stapling and hot-gluing fabric that I had left over from making cushions. Like a ninny, I put the fabric on the wrong side, but my mistake actually worked in my favor. That left me with a nice, unlaminated trim around the shelves, which would accept paint. So, I painted the edges a country red to pick up one of the colors in the fabric. Then, I flipped over one of the shelves and painted it rusty red, as well. The end result is hardly a showpiece, but it looks quite at home in my French country kitchen, holding some of my cook books and magazines and a few chicken themed trinkets. And, I can't argue with the price!

An idea I've been meaning to try for another room is to attach narrow strips of decorative, antique looking molding acround the edge of contemporary looking shelves to make them look less clean-lined and contemporary. I would, of course, stain the molding to match or paint the
whole thing white. You could probably find a way to similarly ornament a dresser. I saw this idea on HGTV.

Decorating for dummies suggest covering a laminated white bookshelf with primer and etting it dry, sanding the bookshelf and wiping away the debris, applying another of primer, and then painting it with two coats of an oil-based, semi-gloss enamel paint, sanding between the two coats of paint. They suggest using a spone brush so that you wil have no brush strokes. They also suggest using Penetrol, which improves your paint, they say. They recommend letting the shelves dry for ten days before putting anyting on it.

Enjoy!
Elizabeth

3 comments:

Kelli said...

Your new bookshelf sounds really pretty!!!
Kelli

Elizabeth said...

Thanis, Kelli.

elizabeth

Elizabeth said...

Oops -- typo.

That should have been "thanks".

Elizabeth