Sunday, 13 June 2010

Black and white bookshelf - before and "not quite" after

Former country pine bookshelf in situ

We brought the newly painted bookshelf upstairs and put it in its new home in the sunroom.

It was a bit wobbly at first, because there is nothing square in this old place. With three boys running around, we thought it best to secure the bookshelf to the wall. Jason did that this morning with his trusty hammer and nails.

Base trim and covering strip added

He put a new base board on the side of the bookcase and a covering strip to hide the gap between it and the wall. It gives a nicer finish. Those new additions will have to be painted as they are only undercoated, hence the "not quite after" from the blog title.

To refresh your memory we tried to "de-countrify" the bookshelf so that it was plainer and would fit in better with our existing furniture. I removed the colonial style moulding from the top and the bottom and removed the country-style doors from this piece. Jason added the plain timber trim.

Firstly, I sanded and undercoated the entire piece. I then gave it about three coats of acrylic paint and used painter's tape to cut in the black and white to get a sharp edge. If you're interested, you can read the progress reports here and here.

When we put the actual shelves back into the bookcase, it scuffed the black interior paint work because it was a very tight fit - that too will have to be touched up. You live, you learn.

Anyhow, I've already loaded the bookshelf with our books. The bottom three shelves will be used for the boys' books, while the top two shelves will be mostly for reference, language books and decorative objects.

I couldn't style a bookshelf to save myself. I kind of believe bookshelves should be for books if you have them, but anyway I tried...heh, heh, heh. I really did try!

In all honesty, I'm pleased with the final results, despite having to touch up the paint work here and there. This job I will delegate to Jason because he is more careful with that sort of thing.

Thanks again to everyone who gave me advice about what to do with this piece of furniture and those who were very encouraging. I now have a very useable and easy-on-the-eye bookshelf.

The bookshelf fits snugly into this corner of the sunroom. We removed our old faux wood bookshelves that used to sit behind the door.

Before shot of the country pine bookshelf


  1. It looks fabulous! I now what you mean about pieces of furniture being a bit wobbly - we have that problem too (things are chocked up with bits of cardboard).
    It really looks great :)

  2. You did a wonderful job. I love the black interior and the fact that you finished it with trim to make it look built in. It looks great and right at home there in the hallway.

  3. Congratulations, you did a great job!
    Isn't it amazing how the look of a piece of furniture can be completely changed with just paint?

  4. wow, that looks so cool! you did great darl, what a change!! jx

  5. Much much nicer than the pine. Inexpressibly much.

  6. Spectacular!... and you know what, looks better styled the way you have styled it than most of the 'styled' bookcases I see... possibly because it is actually being used as a bookcase! Real life always wins in the end! Great job! A-M xx

  7. Looks great it was a lot of hard work - once you start you just have to finish these things.

    Must be cold in Brisbane is that a top-ful Jason I spy?

  8. I really like how you have made it fit in the space by adding the trim and the black goes so well in that room with your chairs.cheers katherine

  9. You have to be happy with that? You have done a great job, the edges all look very neat. The added trim makes it look like it was always meant to be there. Nice work!

  10. WOW great job, you must be very happy with the end result, it looks perfect in that space, real life always gets in the way of styling when you have a family, but I think thats what makes a house feel like a home!!!

  11. That is just perfect! It looks great in its new home and I love your personal touches. You don't muck around do you? That would have taken me months to fix up!

    Happy day today-doing anything special? I am "christening" my new slow cooker and making some kind of stew concoction!

    Best wishes,

  12. The bookshelf looks fantastic! So pleased you decided to be bold and paint the black. It looks great 'built in'. Don't worry about 'styling' - the bookshelf looks wonderful filled with everything 'family', without these personal touches it would look 'staged', impersonal, and boring. A bookshelf needs to be functional and practical. Just quietly, I think you have achieved a balanced look worthy of any mag. Michelle

  13. Just found your lovely blog. Black + white together = so so stylish, love it!

    Have a happy week. xx

  14. Oh well done. I really love that you painted the shelves as well as the back of the bookcase...that is really cool!

  15. Great makeover. Once your books are in you might not see the scuffs on the black

  16. Wow, it's come a long way! I like you made it look like a built-in.

  17. pine has its place but i really like how it turned out. i would choose the bl & wh for sure. it looks fab!
    have a great day

  18. I must say you have done a fabulous job! I really love it and it suits you beautifully :)

  19. Hi! I just found your lovely blog through Olive and Joy.

    I am particularly amused by our backgrouds - aside from the three sons and a Queenslander, our bios are remarkably similar! I'm an editor in Brisbane interested in interior design and furniture, and instead of a Queenslander my blog chronicles the renovations that my husband and I have made to our two-bedroom unit. I look forward to reading more of your blog entries in the future!

  20. great job!!!!

  21. Well done! HUGE improvement! I'm sure it was ever so satisfying to see the final product. Don't worry too much about styling the bookshelf. Bookshelves are meant to be a little disorderly.


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