Master Bedroom Re-do: Project #1 – DIY Painted Bookshelf

After weeks of sickness and the busyness of the holiday season I’m finally feeling back in the normal routine, and ready to tackle some projects! We (I) decided the master bedroom was way overdue for a make-over. It has become a dumping ground for all the stuff that we don’t have room for anywhere else. Time to restore some order and calm! I am at the very beginning of the project and have a long way to go before I’m ready for a full reveal, but I thought I’d go ahead and post the smaller projects as I finish them. You know, to give me a sense of accomplishment. 🙂

The first thing I tackled was repainting a beautiful old (antique?) bookshelf with glass doors. It came from my grandparents home, and I’ve always loved it. My aunt got ambitious during her “art phase” and painted it lime green. When my mom inherited it she painted it glossy red. Now that my parents have downsized I can finally get my greedy little hands on it! The red looked great in my parents’ guest room where it matched the decor, but it was a bit of a sore thumb in our beige and soft aqua bedroom.  I forgot to take a picture of it “in situ” as Amelia Peabody would say (have you read this series by Elizabeth Peters yet? Because you really should) so here it is waiting for new paint in our garage.

I was a little worried about how I was going to paint the glass doors, but the unit very conveniently comes apart into three pieces, and the doors slide up and back. This made it easy to pain the whole thing at once, instead of having to do the doors separately. Yay! I wiped down the whole thing with a microfiber cloth, taped off the glass, and I was ready to go!

The current paint was still in pretty good shape, so it didn’t require any hole-filling or sanding. Of course I knew covering that bright red would take some serious primer. We went with Kilz 2 latex. It took two coats (waiting 30 minutes in-between) but covered great. 
We let it dry overnight, then were ready for the top coat. Our new color scheme will include lots of different shades of gray (no it is NOT inspired by the book) so I chose the color “Sterling” (by Behr) for the bookcase. I was a little worried about all the brush strokes and roller marks, but the paint went on much smoother than the primer and leveled out to a nice smooth finish. We got a quart of enamel in a satin finish, and still have over half of it left (I sense some more painting projects in my future!) It took two hours of drying time in between coats (thankfully I’d chosen a fairly warm weekend for January, so we could leave it in the garage to paint and dry).

Here’s the final result! I know it looks white in the picture (I’ll try to get some better photos for the final room reveal) but it really is a pale gray, so pretty.
I decided to take it one step farther. The inside of the shelves had never been painted, and I didn’t really want to attempt painting over raw wood, so I decided to paper the inside instead. I found some pretty light gray wrapping paper with a subtle pattern and bright silver dots (we’re going to be using a mix of metallic finishes for the room) with I thought would play nicely with the new color. It took me much longer than it should have to cut the pieces, since I kept forgetting the bottom shelf was taller than the top shelf. I was also upset when I found that the wrapping paper didn’t have guidelines on the back, but realized duh, it’s a repeating pattern. So I could use the pattern to help keep my cuts straight. It’s still far from perfect, especially on the edges, but I figure once I style the shelves any mistakes won’t really show.

Makes a big difference, huh? I just attached the paper with double stick tape, so I can change it out if I want to down the road.

I especially like how the silver dots contrast with the dark brass (orginal) handles.

Here it is styled. I love how it looks with all my pretty nick-knacks and antique books!
This is just the first of many projects I’ve done/planned for the master bedroom redo. Stay tuned for future installments, including:
– steamer trunk refresh
reupholstering the headboard
painting the walls (after a long and drawn-out color selection process)
– involving your hubby in the process 🙂

4 thoughts on “Master Bedroom Re-do: Project #1 – DIY Painted Bookshelf

  1. We're working on redoing our bedroom, too. It's a long time coming (we've been in this house almost 4 years and it's the only room we haven't painted, I think), and there's still a ways to go.


  2. Why is it that we always leave our own room for last? I look forward to hearing updates on your project too! Today we picked up 5 pots of sample paint to hopefully narrow down some colors 🙂


  3. Thank you! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out 🙂 It was really easy I promise…if you are wondering if you should try painting an old piece of furniture you should definitely go for it!


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