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

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