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Upcycled bookcase

Bookcase upcycle

I spotted this bookcase in a house clearance. It was so old and battered, for a split second I thought about leaving it behind. But then I remembered what Woodwork Matters is all about, and I decided to give it one more chance. Could I turn it into something desirable and save it from landfill? Read on to find out how this bookcase upcycle turned out.

Here is the original bookcase. It had been sitting in a hallway for about 50 years so was a bit beaten up. But on closer inspection I realised the wood was still nice and strong, and not warped or damaged.

Upcycled bookcase

Basic repairs

Check out these feet that had been attached. I’m guessing it was to make the bookcase more stable, but I took them off and just made sure everything was straight, square and level.

Back to bare wood

It was now time for sanding. There was a strange black stain on the bottom, almost like someone had put a candle underneath. And the lacquer was very thick and uneven, so that all had to go. I used the random orbital sander on the large flat areas, and then switched to hand sanding for the corners.

Applying the finish

Next I used my favourite Frog Tape to section off the different areas for paint and stain. I used colron dark oak stain on the shelves, followed by a matt varnish, and Fusion mineral paint midnight blue on the vertical surfaces. I love the dark blue and dark wood combo.

The completed bookcase upcycle

And here is the completed bookcase upcycle. Notice I attached a back piece which I think finishes it off nicely. I’m so glad I diverted this piece from landfill, and I’m happy to report that it has now found a new home where it will be enjoyed for many years to come. And that’s another reason why Woodwork Matters!

If you’d like to know more about upcycling, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help. Or you can receive our newsletter to get the latest news, updates and projects straight to your inbox.