Remember the pile of furniture that I purchased at the Linden Hills neighborhood garage sale?
Well, today’s post is about that white bookcase in the back behind the other pieces. As it turns out, I neglected to get a good ‘before’ photo of just the bookcase. Argh.
My handyman/neighbor Ken would be so disappointed if he knew that I didn’t have a good ‘before’ photo of this one (he never reads my blog because he is 80 years old and he doesn’t even know what a blog is, so let’s not tell him about this, OK?). He made some clever changes to it and I know he was proud of his work. Although I can try to describe what he did, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Well, I’ll try and do my best.
The thing about this bookcase is that it was formerly a built-in. One side of it wasn’t finished on the outside because it had been up against a wall and tied in to the baseboard trim along the wall. The other side was trimmed out top and bottom. And of course the side that was trimmed out is the side you can’t see in that photo because it’s behind the cabinet with the glass door. Dang.
Suffice to say that Ken removed some trim, cut down some trim, added an outside to the one side, and basically gave the entire piece a more symmetrical look. He did a brilliant job.
While he was doing all of that, I removed the back so that I could stencil it.
I’d recently received some beautiful stencils from Prima Marketing’s new re.design line including one called Imperial Damask. This is a large stencil at 22″ x 28″.
I knew it would be perfect for adding something special to this bookcase.
If you’re ever thinking about stenciling (or wallpapering) the inside back of a bookcase, it is much, much easier if you can remove the back to work on it. In this case the back was held on with a bunch of nails and it came off rather easily.
So I started by sanding it down and adding a coat of Dixie Belle’s Fluff, which is a lovely shade of white and almost perfectly matched the existing paint job (which badly needed to be refreshed).
Before I started stenciling, I needed to pick the right color for the stencil. I narrowed it down to three Dixie Belle colors; Sand Bar, Savannah Mist and Driftwood. I painted a scrap of wood in the Fluff and then pulled out a small stencil I happened to have that is very similar to the Imperial Damask, just on a much smaller scale. I stenciled a section with each of the three colors (please excuse the sloppy stenciling, this was only a color test).
Once I saw all three, it was easy for me to pick the Driftwood (far right).
Next I used a small inexpensive foam roller to apply the paint using the Prima Marketing stencil.
I just poured a little of the paint onto a paper plate and then rolled the foam roller in it. I didn’t water the paint down at all. The original thickness of the Dixie Belle paint makes it perfect for stenciling. Much like when stenciling with a brush, you want to use a somewhat dry roller to avoid a messy result. Runny paint is not your friend when stenciling.
I wanted the design to be centered once the back was back in place, so I measured and placed the center of the stencil at the top center of the back and then worked out and down from there waiting for the paint to dry each time before re-positioning the stencil.
Today’s q tip: always start in the center and work your way out when using an all-over stencil like this one. Otherwise your end result may look very unbalanced.
Before putting the back of the bookcase back on, I gave it a coat of Dixie Belle’s Flat Clear Coat.
Next I sanded and added a fresh coat of Dixie Belle’s Fluff to the rest of the piece, followed by the Flat Clear Coat. I added a second coat of Clear Coat on the shelves because they will likely take more of a beating than the rest of the piece.
Once everything was dry, Ken helped me put the back piece back on. While we were working I was telling him that I really couldn’t have done this piece without his help, while he was claiming that he really couldn’t have made it pretty enough to sell without me. We concluded that we are a great team. He makes ’em functional, and I make ’em pretty.
And this one sure is pretty!
The stenciled back adds so much life to this bookcase!
What do you think?
The bookcase is for sale locally. If interested, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page.