DIY: Bookcase revamp

Moving countries means refurnishing a home, which makes me (the Blonde) very excited! We had a couple of furniture items shipped over from South Africa, but a bookcase wasn’t one of them and we had a stack of books that needed to be stored.  We were looking for something that was solid timber and didn’t cost a small fortune, so I started searching on Gumtree. I soon found something that was perfect and was selling for just AU$50. We collected it on a Saturday morning and headed straight to Bunnings to buy some supplies to fix it up.

The unit was a bit wonky but we soon discovered it just needed some wood glue to secure the top down and that straightened the whole unit out.

This is what the bookcase looked like before.

Bookcase refurbishment

Here’s what we used to fix up the bookcase:

Fine Sandpaper
Orbital Sander
Timber base coat paint
White water based enamel paint
Charcoal water based enamel paint(we used a semi-gloss Taubmans paint tinted to “Trendy” a charcoal colour)
Paint rollers (we used a small sponge roller)
Paint tray
Small paint brush for the hard to reach corners
Masking tape/Painters tape
Extra shelves cut to size (optional)
Shelf lugs (optional)


Remove all fittings and doors from the bookcase. Sand all sides, inside and out with the fine sand paper, giving the paint a rougher surface to stick to.  Once everything is sanded down, wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth to remove the dust. Then stick the masking tape/painters tape to the edge of the glass where it meets the timber, so that no paint gets on the glass.

Now its time to start painting. First you need to paint the entire bookcase with the base coat and wait for that to dry. We then started with the charcoal colour paint first and painted all the exterior parts of the bookcase, top, bottom and doors, this will most likely need at least 2 coats of paint. You will need to use the smaller paint brush to get into the hard to reach places and between the timber and glass. Once this is dry, you can start with the white paint for the inside and the shelves, we did about 3 coats of white paint to get a nice finish.

Our bookcase didn’t have door handles, so we bought some timber knobs which we painted to match the doors and fitted these to the outside of the door.

Once everything is dry, its time to replace all the fittings and hang the doors back on the bookcase. Insert the shelf lugs into the holes and then replace the newly painted shelves at the heights you want. Then fill the bookcase with all your favourite books and add some plants or ornaments. We added a tassel to the key on the door just to finish it off.

Bookcase revamp

Bookcase refurbishment

Bookcase refurbishment

Bookcase refurbishment

Hope you enjoyed this DIY piece and please share your DIY experiences and tips as we would love to hear them!


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