Given the time lapse between my last blog post and this one it’s safe to say I’ve been completing plenty more shabby chic projects to get my furniture all to match. As well as saving money this allows me to put my stamp on my home and I love knowing that nobody else has the same furniture that I do, it’s completely unique. My last blog on upcycling gave a pretty clear step by step guide to the processes involved so I’m not going to duplicate that here, instead I’ll give an overview as there were a few other neat tricks involved in this project that show how versatile upcycling can be.
|The finished bookcase|
Many years ago, when we parted ways, I bought my then housemate’s old Ikea bookcase for the princely sum of £20. Age had began to show on the bookcase and I decided that rather than simply paint it to match my other upcycled furniture I’d repurpose it to make it suit my current lifestyle far better. Luckily my other half is more than a little handy with a tool kit so he created some rather nifty wooden doors from plywood and with a couple of sets of cheap hinges and magnets my bookcase became a faux Welsh dresser. By creating hidden storage underneath I can use the bookcase for more than just books as piles of untidy junk can be swiftly hidden from view.
|Open doors show the shelves inside|
|With the newly attached doors|
However, I wasn’t happy with just plain doors, I didn’t think that they matched the sideboard and also they looked a little too severe. So, while wandering around B&Q like I frequently do, I picked up a couple of cheap rolls of textured patterned wallpaper and cut out sections to make designs on the new doors. By creating matching panels on each door it gives the illusion of solid wooden doors, and it only took simple PVA glue to attach the designs. I bought a tester pot of dark grey paint and painted the wallpaper this darker shade, which meant that once the lighter paint had been applied over the top the darker grey, which had gone into the detail of the textured wallpaper, gave a sense of depth and age to the feature panels.
|Strips of textured wallpaper made the border|
|Matching doors create symmetry|
I also painted some of the dark grey paint directly onto the edges of the wooden bookcase itself so that once distressed it would show through a little and give a nice contrast. As before the bookcase was sanded in advance and then the pale grey B&Q paint was used. Once two coats had been applied I distressed the paintwork with 120 gauge sandpaper, and everything apart from the bottom of the shelves was waxed with clear Briwax.
|The distressing at a distance|
|Gentle distressing visible|
|There's more wear on the edges|
I wasn’t entirely sure that the wax next to the pages of the books would be a good idea so I just polished the doors and sides of the bookcase, which are really the only areas that would get dirty anyway and therefore need the Briwax to protect the paintwork from absorbing dirt. The bookcase was completed several months ago and so far is standing up to busy family life very well.
|The very handy doors|
Considering that similar styles of bookcases brand new cost a small fortune I think my £20 second hand Ikea bookcase looks great, and the room feels so much brighter now that there isn’t a dark wooden bookcase looming over the dining table. Keep your eyes peeled for posts detailing further upcycling to complete the living room furniture!
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