Painting a Laminate Bookshelf

I have a long list of to-dos for around the house, but right now I seem to be focused on getting the other guest bed room a little more together.  I call it the twin bed room, since it has one twin bed in it.  A while back, I painted the room gray.  Now, thinking about furniture in this room, I thought it could use some pops of color.  Gray and yellow are such a popular combination right now, I thought why not try it!  I had this old, cheap bookshelf that I bought years ago and was just sitting empty in the room, and thought a nice coat of yellow would cheer it up.

Bookshelf before

Bookshelf before

I don’t have a before picture of the bookshelf in the room because I nearly forgot to take any before pics at all.  I remembered to take this one after I had already started spraying the shelves with primer!

So painting a laminate piece of furniture is not hard. I found a great tutorial on Centsational Girl’s website.  Her instructions are for painting a piece with a roller and brush, but I was feeling lazy and that this piece was small enough to just try spray painting.

First thing is you definitely want to start with a primer on the laminate surface so that any paint will adhere to it.  I used the oil based Bullseye 1-2-3 by Rustoleum spraypaint.  Two cans covered all the surfaces, but another can would have given a uniform appearance.  As always with spraying, make sure you do several light coats.

Primer coat

Primer coat

Then, if you want to give a light sanding after the primer coat you can.  My surface was pretty even and felt smooth so I just moved on to the next step, spraying with color.  I chose Sun Yellow in gloss.  It was exactly the shade and gloss I was looking for.

Shelves sprayed yellow

Shelves sprayed yellow

Trust me, the color is all the same, I just didn’t have very good lighting AND I just use a point and shoot camera.

Several light coats of yellow spray paint

Several light coats of yellow spray paint

Again, do several light coats, with your arm constantly moving while you are spraying.  I bought a spray can trigger for a few dollars at Home Depot, and it works great.  Using a trigger not only saves your fingers from cramping, and from paint splatters, but they also help keep your arm at a better angle and it gives you better control.

Bookshelf sprayed yellow

Bookshelf sprayed yellow

I let the primer coat dry for about 24 hours, and I let the paint dry another 24 hours.  If I had to do this project over again, I would opt to buy a can of paint and go the paint brush route.  Spraying was quick and easy, but I grossly underestimate the amount of paint I would need.  I went through two cans of primer, and three and a half cans of paint.  I think I made three trips to Home Depot just for this project.  Not cool.  But hey, I learned something.  Bookshelves have lots of nooks and crannies, and there is a lot of surface area to cover!

Finished Bookshelf

Finished Bookshelf

So here it is all set up in the twin bed room!  It took me about two hours to hunt down, decide, and style it.  I just wanted to work with what I have, and didn’t want to buy anything new for it.  This room has a vintage vibe meets modern pop feeling to it.  So here are some details about what I put on the cheery new shelf.

Vase with Adams print

Vase with Ansel Adams print

This milk glass vase was a gift from my Aunt for our wedding last year.  She received it as a gift when she got married in the 1960s.  The print is from an old Ansel Adams calendar I found at work.  I just cut it out and put it in a cheap Ikea frame.  The wooden block is actually a puzzle that was a long ago Christmas present.

Wooden Toys

Wooden Toys

These are other wooden toys I got for Christmas that same year.  My mom would sometimes choose a theme for Christmas gifts, and one year it was about vintage, wooden toys.

antique teddybear

antique teddy bear

This teddy bear was my mom’s when she was little.  I saved it because I thought it was cute and had a neat vintage appearance.  I think he is suited well in his new cubby hole.

Frame with igloo

Frame with igloo

I framed a picture of my mom, my sister, and I from years ago.  It’s paired with a small ceramic cat, and an igloo that was a favor at my wedding last year.  We commissioned a local artist to make them.  We used them as centerpieces, and on the bottom is stamped “Peace” and “Love” in a heart.

Buttons, recipe box, and antique candy tin

Buttons, recipe box, and antique candy tin

This vintage recipe box and candy tin are both from my mom’s mom.  The collection of brass buttons is also from my grandmother.  I sorted through a large box of random buttons, and found a handful of brass and yellow colored ones and placed them in a little jar.  There were some really neat, some very colorful buttons.

Tray with antique set

Tray with antique set

This silver set and mini pitcher also came from my grandmother.  I hope to do something else with the tray soon to liven it up a little.

Books with box

Books with box

Since it is a bookshelf, I thought it would be useful to have a couple of books on hand.  The Secret Garden is one of my favorite childhood books.  I thought the Manners for Men and Women books were funny.  The box was a gift from a cousin.

Urn with AD Magazines

Urn with AD Magazines

And finally an urn (from Michaels) with some Architectural Digest magazines.  A little light reading or eye candy for a guest who spends the night!

When my parents came for Thanksgiving, I showed them my progress with this bookshelf, and my mom shared a story with me that I’d never heard before.  It seems as though crafting or “diy”ing might be in my blood.  When my mom was a little girl, my grandfather took a set of furniture and painted them bright yellow and covered them in fairy tale stickers.   Not only that, but when my sister and I were little, my mom painted a mirror frame and a lamp shade to go in our rooms.

Finished Bookshelf

Finished Bookshelf

So now my cheery little bookshelf is happily sitting next to my grandfather’s childhood bed, full of vintage reminders of my family.  I love the new color and the added pop it gives to the room!

 

Linking to:  Thrifty Decor Chick, House of Hepworth, Miss Mustard Seed

Comments

  1. I have some laminate furniture that needs a face lift, This is very inspiring. Maybe I will be able to pull it off too

    • The Lucky Lass :

      Thank you Jenny! I have full confidence that you can do it too! All it takes is some patience and a well-ventilated area! :)

  2. Ooo I love how this turned out and the color is so bright and cheery. Thanks for sharing!

  3. The silver set (on your tray) from your Grandma is very pretty. All you need is some silver polish and they will sparkle! Some polish is easier to than others. Take a piece into your hardware store and show them what you want to use it for. Thanks for sharing your work -

    • The Lucky Lass :

      Thanks Shell. I realized how dark and dingy they look once I put all the photos together. I do like a little bit of patina on them though!

Speak Your Mind

*