Sunday, 5 August 2012

The bookshelves before and after...

This project seems to have taken an awfully long time to complete - which is mainly as a result of my own procrastination.

When I first moved into this flat I bought a couple of inexpensive Billy bookcases from Ikea to hold my books. I love books, and though I try to cull them every now and then, I always seem to have more than befits the space available. Anyway, after two years, the weight of 20-odd heavy lever arch folders full of PhD references took their toll and the bookcases finally had to be retired due to bowing and warping.

I managed to find a lovely large pine bookcase on preloved for about £100 (which I thought a good deal given that they start at about £300 for a new one).

I do like antique pine, but am not so enamoured with modern varnished pine. So my intention had always been to paint the shelves. I completed my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint painting workshop back in April, but it has taken me until the very end of July to actually get started.

It was the start of the London Olympics that finally prompted me to get painting. I love the Olympics, and so the weekend that it opened I had planned to be at home as much as possible watching all of the action on the television. So, rather than sit unproductively on the sofa whilst watching amazing athletes compete, I had it on as background entertainment whilst I painted and waxed the shelves.

Prior to starting I had been a little anxious of the thought of undertaking another indoor furniture painting activity (mainly due to the thought of spilling a tin of paint on the carpet in my rented flat). Once I started however, I was more distracted by the intricacies of trying to manoeuvre myself around the shelves whilst painting, usually getting myself wedged between the wall and dining table...I was exhausted by the time I was finished...

As you can see I still have far too many books - I'm not sure how I am justifying an entire shelf of cookbooks, when I so rarely cook new recipes - but I can't bring myself to part with any.

The bookshelves are painted ASCP Old White, with Paris Grey on the backboards for a little bit of contrast. I'm quite pleased with the results, and even more delighted that I can now tick this of my to-do list!

Linking with Transformation Tuesday at The Ironstone Nest


  1. What's wrong with sitting unproductively on the couch!!...your bookcase looks great...I've always bought inexpensive pine bookcases in Oz and painted them...some have seen 3 or more colours over the years. Robx

  2. I just started painting my bedroom furniture as I realized I will not have the finances for new any time soon. My husband is on the "don't paint wood" side of the fence. Apparently his fence needs some repairs, as I only have the chest of drawers left! I love your finished product!

  3. The shelves look good -I need to paint some rather unattractive orangey stained ones I have. Nothing wrong with having one shelf for cookbooks - I'm on to my second one - yet I only seem to use half the books.

  4. Love the shelves, and you have styled them so nicely. Are those Laura Ashley boxes on top?

    1. Thanks Kylie - I am truly converted to arranging books by colour! And yes the boxes are from Laura Ashley. I picked them up on sale from a Laura Ashley Home shop here in London...

  5. Hi Annie, Great job!! They look FAB - huge difference!! I want to paint my whole house with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!!!


  6. great job!!! I love how crisp and clean it looks now!