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Gray Bookcase: After

Bookcase Refresh with a Simple Makeover

February 5, 2019 Sarah Coggins
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Our daughter’s room has been in need of a bookcase for sometime. Originally her few board books were easily contained in a fabric bin tucked under a side table. Those days passed quickly and soon the bin, shelf under table, etc were overflowing with books. Rather than purchase a new bookcase, I shopped our house and grabbed one from our laundry room.

Simple Bookcase Makeover

Amusingly, I bought this bookcase off of NextDoor about a year and a half ago with the intent of putting it in our daughter’s room. Once I saw it in real life though, it was much grungier looking than it appeared in photos so it ended up in our laundry room. It worked well there for organizing a pile of collected stuff. The pile on the floor disappeared and we had quick order. The bookcase was still a win.

Fast forward to last month when I was determined to finally do something in our daughter’s room. The yellow changing table we no longer needed for that use was still along one wall and had become a catchall for necessary items (extra linens, the humidifier), but also an easy spot to just set things aside. I was tired of looking at it.

And, since the attic access is in her room, the changing table had to be moved at least twice a year for service access by our HVAC company. A small nuisance, but another reason to get it out.

I came back to the bookcase in the laundry room. It was now also becoming more of a “junk” collector than true organization. What if I could give it a little refresh and new look? Maybe this was the answer.

Old Becomes New

We visited the craft store to find paint. My daughter wanted pink, but I quickly convinced her otherwise given her walls are already painted in a light pink. Pink on pink seemed like too much. Instead I purchased a nice, gray chalk paint.

Gray Bookcase: Supplies

I emptied out the old bookcase and moved it to the garage. There I wiped it down with a soft rag to clear off any dust and dog fur still hanging around.

Gray Bookcase: Before

Then begin painting. I took my time and applied 2 full coats of paint (with a little help from my daughter). We used small foam brushes and a roller to smooth it out.

Gray Bookcase Painting Helper

After letting the paint dry completely overnight, I applied a coat of varnish. I let it sit overnight again and then we moved it to her room. I added her books, baskets from the old changing table, a few toys, and the humidifier.

Gray Bookcase: After

In the weeks since, she’s changed the placement of items. Redecorating as she sees fit. It all makes me smile. The simplicity in the new functioning piece and her ownership of it.

As for the laundry room? We reduced the amount of “stuff” we were keeping and found new places for what we felt we needed. Now that corner houses the dog bed and Lady is happier having more space to stretch out.

Laundry Room: Dog Bed

We have newfound order and space in two rooms. A happy win for a super simple DIY project.

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About Me


Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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I highly recommend the book What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage for any woman of faith who has suffered a miscarriage or anyone wanting to gain insight to help comfort a spouse, friend, sister, daughter, etc.


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