Refurbish Your Rubbish

15 Jun

I’ll admit. I still have a few carry-overs of furniture from my folks in my home. And lucky me, since I am a child of the 1980s, those items are almost all some variation of oak.

Oak, any time past 1986, is ugly. It’s big, overbearing with a dark syrupy stain that is a visual eye-drain.

Even something on a smaller scale falls victim to this.

I don’t know why it never dawned upon me to paint this dull little piece of furniture. It clearly serves a purpose (the books on these shelves give me some weird validation to my college degree), but is an eye-sore nonetheless.

So after a jaunt to my local hardware store, I came away with some stellar gray paint to give this little bookcase some new life. Or so I thought.

I sanded down the bookcase (just enough to give some texture for the paint to stick to), and got down to business.

As I painted, the  color was becoming less “chic charcoaly gray” and more “my parents exterior house color circa 1992.”

I followed through with painting and hoped the color would grow on me. I moved the piece inside to “get used to it.”

When husband came come and said, “Cool. The bookcase looks like a newly commissioned Navy boat,” I knew it was time to go back to the drawing board.

All aboard the USS Ugly-Pants.

Back to the hardware store I went, and this time found a gray that fit my vision much better than the Cold War-esque relic above.

Now with this satin facelift, I think this bookcase has a few more years left in it, none of which will be spent as a outdated, tacky holder of all written things Dickens and Austen.

What you need

1. Paint (I used a paint and primer enamel, in a satin finish)

2. A paint brush – no more than 3 inches wide

3. Drop cloth or towels to protect your floor/garage/backyard from paint drip

4. Sand paper (no more than two sheets)

5. Gloves  (if you want to protect your hands while sanding and painting)


Lightly sand down your piece of furniture (no need to fully take the paint or stain off, just create a rough surface for the paint to stick)

Paint one coat.

Allow to dry. Calm down, exercise some patience. This shouldn’t take any more than a few hours.

Paint a second coat and allow to dry.

‘t paint when it’s wet or raining out. The paint won’t set right – worst case scenario the paint will bubble from moisture being caught under it. Whether it is 25 or 85 degrees outside, wait for a sunny day.

13 Responses to “Refurbish Your Rubbish”

  1. Kristen Van Loon at 9:57 am #

    This looks awesome, I love the color choice!

    • tealandtulle at 8:10 am #

      Thanks Kristen! At least it turned out on the second try.

  2. Frankie Fingers Senior at 5:35 pm #

    What a transformation! Looks great!!

  3. Jackie at 1:55 pm #

    A-dor-a-ble! I love that you included specific directions for people like me who aren’t crafty and need all the help we can get! I agree the grey you picked the second time around is much better otherwise you could have kept the older color bookcase in your bomb shelter.

    • tealandtulle at 8:11 am #

      Ha! You are welcome. I like having some guidelines to follow (even if they are my own). 😉

  4. vintagemarigold at 9:56 am #

    So pretty! I am really loving grey right now! Have a lovely day!

  5. Megan at 9:22 am #

    Erin – I really like the final color. What’s the brand & color name?

    • tealandtulle at 9:36 am #

      Hey Comptonator! The brand is Clark and Kensington – carried at Ace Hardware (costs about $15.99 and will be more than enough paint to cover a small bookcase). I don’t remember the name of the color off the top of my head, but I’ll send you a message when I am back home and can look at the paint sample.

    • tealandtulle at 9:45 am #

      The color is “Eye of the Storm.”

  6. Steve at 9:04 am #

    From Oldschool Oak to Modern Masterpiece in 4 easy steps! Looks great!


  1. (Late) Weekend Round-up « teal and tulle -

    […] I found a way to use up the leftover bookcase paint from last week’s project. Repainting a […]

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