I'm sorry that I haven't posted in almost two weeks. I was fighting a terrible cold so blogging and home projects were just not happening for awhile. I am finally back in action with several finished projects to share.
The main project I have been working on is to update my craft room. I posted the crazy "before" photos showing the cluttered mess the room had become. After giving the room a coat of the same paint color as our hall bath (Behr Rain Washed), I turned my attention to conquering the clutter problem. One major problem I wanted to tackle was to create a prettier storage area using one of the existing laminate bookcases I had. The bookcase needed to hold a hodge podge of mismatched photo albums, magazines, and books. Somehow I needed to figure out a way to make everything look more coordinated. I saw this photo on the BHG site and knew right away it would serve as my inspiration.
Here's how my version turned out.
And a reminder on how the bookcase started out. You can see it on the very left of the photo below. It was a super cheap laminate bookcase in a pale oak color that we purchased five years ago. We also had a shorter version of the same bookcase shown in the right of the photo. Both of these bookcases have been completely transformed. I will show the breakdown on how I gave the tall bookcase a makeover in this post. I will have another post later to reveal what the smaller bookcase looks like.
When I did some research online to find out if paint would even stick to laminate, I came across a very helpful post on the subject on the blog Living with Lindsay. I mostly followed her instructions which really ended up being the same steps I used when I painted the bathroom vanity cabinets in both our hall bath and master bathroom. Sand, prime, paint, and be very careful not to scratch anything!
1. First step, sanding. I used our power sander to sand every surface except the inside backing which I planned on covering up. I used a fairly high grit sandpaper. You just want to lightly scratch the surface without going all the way through. You should see little white flecks of laminate coming off.
2. Trim it out. This step is optional, but gives the piece a more finished look. If you have a bookcase that is totally plain on the top like mine were, you can add some moulding to give it more substance. We used a miter saw and a strip of moulding to quickly add some trim pieces around the top edge. Of course I used my wonderful nail gun to secure the trim. Here's the bookcase all trimmed out and sanded down.
3. Prime time. I used Kilz water-based primer for the large bookcase and oil-based for the small bookcase. I prefer oil based because of the extra durability and stickiness, but I went ahead and used up the last of the water based primer that I already had left before purchasing another quart of oil based primer. I let the primer dry overnight before moving on to the painting step.
4. Time for paint. I used cream Behr laytex semi-gloss paint that I have used on several different projects. Both bookcases were given the same paint color. I let both bookcases dry for five days before putting anything on top of them. This is very important. If you don't let the paint totally dry and cure for several days, you could end up with things sticking to the paint or the paint chipping more easily.
5. Prettify the inside. Just like in my inspiration BHG photo, I wanted to add something to the inside back of each bookcase. I found a roll of wrapping paper on clearance at Target for $1.74. The colors just happened to be perfect for the room. You could also use wallpaper or even fabric.
I used the shelves from the bookcase as my guide for how wide to cut the paper. Both bookcases had adjustable height shelves.
Then I just used double stick tape to adhere the paper to the back of the bookcase. A craft knife came in handy to trim the paper tight to the edges of the sides, top, and bottom.
6. Use a curtain to hide clutter. I picked up a simple tension rod at Old Time Pottery for $1.99 to hold the curtain and fit between the bookcase sides. The blue and white fabric was a $4 purchase at Joanns Fabrics. Since I don't sew, I used some iron on tape to hem each side and the bottom. Now I can hide the mismatched books and albums behind lovely and inexpensive fabric.
7. Add accessories, then step back and enjoy your bookcase's new look! I shopped the house for decorative touches to fill the top two shelves and also picked up a few more items while out shopping. The mason jars I found at a thrift store for $1. The silver globe on top if from Home Goods. The white bird and topiary are from Michael's. (Free for me with a giftcard!) The sleeping white ceramic cat was a Dollar Tree find. Inexpensive storage boxes from IKEA help corrall my endless supply of magazines and some general crafting goodies.
I am very happy with how my bookcase turned out. It makes me smile. =) I did scratch the paint in a few places while putting the shelves back in. Otherwise the paint seems to be sticking well to the laminate.
I will be back to post later on how the smaller bookcase is looking these days. It has been moved to a different room.