I found this solid wood bookshelf at our local Habitat for Humanity for $12 and snatched it up quick. It wasn’t in amazing shape, but bookshelves are usually not hard to revamp and being solid wood it was well worth the money. Most importantly, I already knew where I wanted to use it from the moment I spotted it.
At first glance I figured it would need another shelf to even out the large gap at the top and several of the shelves would need replacement trim. I also knew the scrolled detail at the top would have to go bye bye.
Here it is with a new shelf added to even out the top area (I just eyeballed it’s placement since none of the other shelves are evenly spaced), wider trim placed around each of the shelves to make them match and the top trimmed out fix the odd extension of the legs above the top shelf. Loads of wood filler filled all the gaps.
Side view. The detail on the legs were one of the things that drew me to the shelf in the first place. All the new trim was attached with wood glue and nails. Also, I was able to use scrap wood for everything on this project, so my out of pocket for the revamp was zero which is always nice.
This is it after top was added and lots and lots of sanding. With the big mix of all the woods (some of the original shelves had been replaced with different wood in addition to the new trim) I knew staining it was out of the question.
Side view with the top in place. The top is actually a scrap piece of 3/4″ plywood finished with veneer edge banding, I love that stuff. Super easy to apply using a household iron and then you just trim it down with a box knife. After a little sanding it looks just like a solid piece of wood.
A few coats of Deep Onyx paint from Behr later. I really love this black and will have to keep myself from painting everything in the house my new favorite color.
To bring out a little bit of the detail in the legs and keep it from being just another painted piece I did just a little bit of distressing. The distressing helped to age the newer wood to match the older more worn original wood. I applied a little stain to the exposed wood and then wiped it down. A good tip for applying stain to those smaller distressed areas is to use a stain pen which will help keep the stain just where you want it.
I finished the shelf with a coat of wax before relocating it to it’s new home in the downstairs half bath. It’s a small, windowless bathroom which makes it fairly difficult to get good pictures, but I was genuinely too lazy to stage it somewhere better lit only to remove everything and move it again. No thank you.
An up-close of the distressing. I had to play with the stain colors on the shelves to match the legs. The original wood stained darker and absorbed the stain more quickly than the new wood, so I played with the colors I had on hand until it darkened to a similar color.
Not bad for $12 and a couple hours on a Saturday, huh. I love it when I find bargains for real wood items at our local thrift stores, which doesn’t happen very often up here.