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Today is One Day Do-Over Day. I painted a little bookcase my sister gave me. I chose it because it’s small (I don’t have a lot of the paint in the color I’m going to use.), it’s solid wood and I’ve been meaning to do it for a long time. Here is the Before picture.

before picture bookcase

You can see it’s a perfectly fine¬†bookcase. It does its job. But I want more than that! I want beauty AND function ūüôā







First, it needs to be thoroughly dusted and cleaned. I’m going to use chalk paint, and the chemical reaction needed for the paint to adhere to the wood won’t happen if there is a layer of grease and grime. One of my favorite things about chalk paint is – you don’t need to sand! The calcium carbonate added to the paint reacts with the finish on the wood piece to form a bond. No sanding! Especially nice if your wood piece has scrolly or carved sections.

After dusting well (I used my Swiffer duster.) it must be cleaned.

Make sure your cleaner is appropriate for wood. I used Method All-Purpose Cleaner I get from Grove. I love this company –¬†they send me cleaning products in the mail every six weeks or so when I need them. (Note: If you click on the Grove link and sign up you’ll receive $10 on account!)

Okay, looking at the back of the bottle I check to make sure it will clean wood. Yup – it does. I spray and wipe down with a rag. I let it dry completely!


















I’ve mixed my paint. In this case, I had two sample (same color) jars of paint from Lowes for 99 cents each!

Then, I added 4 Tablespoons¬†calcium and 1/4 C of water to create my own chalk paint. Mix well, until there are no more lumps. The calcium should be well-saturated with the paint/water mixture. If you’ve priced chalk paint in a can, you’ll appreciate this tip. I purchased calcium from Amazon and since I just use a few Tablespoons, it goes a long way.


Just start painting. I already know I’m going to do a second coat, so I’m not real picky picky about doing this part perfectly. Chalk paint also has a self-leveling property that is lovely.

TIP: When you’re going to be painting more than 1 coat of paint, you don’t have to wash out your brush. Wrap it in plastic wrap to keep the air away from it until you’re ready to paint the second coat. You can do this for up to a day or two, but any longer than that, probably better wash out the brush!

It dries to touch in a half hour. I let mine dry about an hour before adding the second coat. And I let this dry a few hours because I planned to sand parts of it. The color is a very VERY light gray – it kind of looks blue.








After it dried completely from the second coat, I got to thinking about those cut outs on the end.



I thought about glass cabinet doors and how sometimes there is a curtain of fabric behind them. I didn’t want to do fabric, but what about some scrapbook paper? (not that one in the picture!)





I tried several prints before deciding on this one. Got it all finished and set up. Darn! The ends of the bookcase don’t show! LOL well, I’ll have to move it somewhere else where they do show, cause I like how they turned out. Except I didn’t have enough paper for the bottom.

But I like how the plant pokes through on the bottom.

I live in a tiny town – I have to work with what I have! It usually forces me to be more creative.

But, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. Before you can add paper or anything to cutouts, you have to do your sanding and waxing.


This is exactly what I used. When the paint is hard dry you can sand¬†it as little or as much as you want. When you’re happy with the amount of distressing, wipe off all the dust. I used my Swiffer Duster and a rag to get it all.

Minwax is THE BEST for painted wood. It goes on easy, dries quickly (10-15 min), and then polishes right up with a clean, dry rag. It leaves a lovely, matte finish which I Love but doesn’t really show up in the photo.

I did very little distressing on this bookcase, because I love the paint and it went on SO nice!



Author: Karen

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