Makeover Project #4: dramatic bookcase

An ugly-duckling eBay buy is transformed into a glamourous piece of furniture. Underneath its drab dated appearance lies a compact bookcase with two handy drawers.


  • Dark, reproduction “Victoriana” bookcase that had seen better days
  • Mismatched shelf (possibly a replacement to the original)
  • Inappropriate replacement handles
  • Pretty detailing under the drawers and around the base are hidden by the dark varnish

    Before makeover dark wood bookcase

    Before: Dark wood bookcase

Tip – when looking to makeover furniture with paint, try to use furniture made of real wood (rather than laminated chipboard). Real wood furniture tends to be of sturdier construction, and the paint adheres better to the surface.


  • Sand all surfaces (very important due to the thick varnish)
  • Change handles. Painted handles do not compete with the bold wallpaper
  • Paint with white satinwood paint (two layers of undercoat and two top-coats). The satinwood paint adds a more modern finish than gloss paint, while still being durable (eggshell paint would not be durable enough for furniture).
  • Line bookcase with wallpaper (Odyssey by Basso & Brooke). Bold-patterened paper lifts the piece from being just a painted bookshelf into a statement piece of feature.

    After makeover: white, fresh painted bookcase with dramatic wallpaper lining

    After makeover: white, fresh painted bookcase with dramatic wallpaper lining

Project costs: £30 for paint and 1 roll of wallpaper (bought off eBay). The original bookcase was £20 on eBay

See another painted makeover here

Or here, making over a pantry door with the “magic” of paint


Posted on February 5, 2012, in DIY skills, Interior, Makeover Projects and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. If the laminate is a aautcl wood laminate, your paint will probably adhere better if you sand the laminate first (I would suggest using a orbital sander and a very fine grade sandpaper (between grades 220-240) to get an even finish, as sanding marks will show up once the paint dries if it’s not done correct). You will also be removing a fine layer of the red paint. Be prepared for more than one coat of primer, if you’re painting the bookcase a lighter color. Once sanding is complete, wipe down the bookcase using a damp cloth to remove any dust (don’t won’t dust in your finished product). If the laminate is simulated wood-look paper, check with the associate at Home Depot to see if a special product is needed (maybe a chemical wipe before painting or a paint that won’t peel off).

  1. Pingback: Makeover Project #2: Pantry Door « Not So Grand Designs

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