It’s no secret: I’m having a baby, and we’re on a budget for the mid-century modern-inspired nursery. So far, I’ve repurposed and repainted my first born’s Ikea crib, reupholstered a vintage 50’s rocker found on Craigslist, and found a mid-century modern credenza at the Long Beach Flea to double as storage and a changing table. Wanting to knock out all the furniture-related needs asap, I jumped at the hokey-oak bookcase I found at Goodwill a few weeks ago.
Let it be said that I really dislike oak. You know, the honey-hued late 80’s and 90’s stuff with the moulding and rounded edges. Well, when I was at the Goodwill not too long ago, that’s exactly what I spotted. Just begging to be painted and repurposed, this solid wood baby was $30.
Here’s a re-cap of my inspiration board found on Pinterest. We’re working with a very small room for our babe-on-the-way so the corner cabinet fit the bill.
I just loved the pop of color from the orange and white book case. So out to Home Depot I went and had a quick chat with the nice man in the paint department. He suggested I get the paint + primer. Wise counsel is never a bad thing. For $15, I had my hands on 1 quart of “Tart Orange” bookcase paint.
Here’s what you’ll need to prep your piece:
Prybar & Hammer (to remove hideous moulding)
Krud Kutter (to remove excess wood glue)
Electric Sander (because it’s just plain fun to use power tools)
Putty Knife (for jimmying off excess wood)
Fine Sandpaper (to scuff up your surface)
I had a couple “Oh Sh*t” moments during this project. The first was that the custom cabinet makers did such a good job of gluing the molding at top and bottom of the piece that the wood splintered and wouldn’t come completely off.
In stepped the Krud Kutter. When that did it’s work, we still had some wood and glue residue left over. (They REALLY didn’t want that moulding to come off)
After the Krud Kutter dried, I enlisted the help of Mr. Power Sander and Mr. Putty Knife (Wearing “safety aviators” and a Michael Jackson mask, of course!)
After sanding, and chipping away, then sanding and chipping away again, and again, I was over it….and this is what I decided was going to be good enough for a friggin’ kid’s room. Don’t anger the pregnant lady.
I wiped the mess away using Murphy Oil Soap. (All of these items-except the paint were in my arsenal already, keeping the cost of the project minimal. It was allllll labor on this one.)
So after removing the molding, scuffing up the shelves and sanding down the excess wood and glue, I gave this piece a nice wipe down with Murphy’s. And it’s paint time, baby!
This was my second “Oh Sh*t” moment. As in, “Oh sh*t, I’m going to have to paint each shelf 5 times.” As it turned out, the magic number was 4….but my quart of paint was plenty enough to cover the challenge.
Let’s skip ahead here…
4 coats and about 4 days later, we’re ready for the white! I grabbed some Rustoleum ready-made latex paint (Semi-Gloss in White) and started rolling the edges.
A few days after that….I gave the piece a clear coating using some clear spray paint I had in the garage. At this point, I was so tired of the project, that petroleum jelly could have done. I was over it.
Could I have gone to Ikea, and bought a Billy Bookcase for $99? Yes. I could have, but I much prefer re-using and recycling if possible. I got to rescue a piece of furniture that was otherwise unwanted. In the end, my project cost less than 1/2 what a new bookcase would have AND I got solid wood, versus particle board.
The end result?
Up the stairs to the nursery she went….and my 5-year-old son lovingly placed his old baby toys and books on the shelf for his brother-to-be. That sight made all the work worth it.
7 thoughts on “Hokey-Oak Bookcase Remake D-I-Y”
LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Great job, Brooke! PS – love that owl on the top shelf.
Thanks Lin! That’s Pier 1….he was so cute…and soooo all my colors…I had to grab him.
Wow, great job!
wow! that turned out great! i just love the baby boy clothing they have out now, much could also be “diy”.
The onsies with the bow ties and business ties sewn on the front come to mind. Thanks for sharing this awesome project, a great use of an otherwise ignored bookcase.