Upcycled Mid-Century Book Shelf

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A few months ago I found this adorable mid-century shelf at a thrift shop for $25. But I wasn’t a huge fan of the sloppy reddish brown paint and I abhorred the old dated wall paper, so I decided to freshen it up.

  1. First, I ripped out the wall paper. There was a ton of old dried glue residue still adhering so I used my small electric sander to easily sand away the adherent.
  2. After giving the shelf a wipe down to remove dust, I decided to spray paint it with Rust-Oleum in an heirloom white color. For maximum coverage, I ended up needing 4 cans, so I recommend going with a small can of paint, if you take on a similar project.
  3. Next I decided to paint the backboard with a pop of color: orange. Cream and orange look beautiful together and I wanted to give this shelf a more retro midcentury feel.
  4. I taped off the edge around the back board and then used a 4-inch cabinet/door roller to cover main areas and a small paint brush for the edges.
  5. After letting this dry, I removed the tape, touched up areas where some bleeding had occurred.
  6. Finally I used a spray sealant as a fixative, but I will end up covering the whole shelf in a 1-2 layers of polyacrylic ( my favorite sealant – it doesn’t yellow furniture over time) to ensure the paint doesn’t scrape off with use.

Now it’s time to fill this babe with vintage chotskies and lovely books!

Finished Shelf

Finished Shelf

Before & After


Thrifty Find: Mid-century Table and Chairs

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A few weeks ago I needed to kill some time before meeting a friend, so naturally I found the closest Goodwill and perused the store. In the back I found a table and two chairs (the third tucked away in the back). I immediately wanted the table, with it’s mid-century style and sleek legs. The chairs…not so much. Only because they looked so worn. But with a price tag of $12.99, who could argue. Since I had to meet my friend, and wasn’t sure if it would fit in my car, I decided to come back in the afternoon and take another look at it.

This is the photo I texted to my boyfriend to see what he thought before purchasing.

As soon as I arrived back at the store, I beelined toward the table only to see an old woman speaking to an employee about it. I was so sad! I asked if she was definitely purchasing the table, and told her about how I had seen it that morning but planned on returning to buy it. She informed me she was mostly interested in the chairs, and could live without the table, and even offered to buy everything and give me the table. I was incredibly happy, and we talked for a little while in the store. The woman said she was just going to put these in an apartment for visiting guests, explaining how easy it would be to update the chairs and reupholster them. She kept asking me if I was sure that I didn’t want to just buy everything. It didn’t take much convincing, and we finally came to the agreement that I would just buy the table and chairs since I didn’t have much money and needed a dining room table.

Stay tuned, as I chronicle this refinishing project.