The Cutest EVER Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue That Anyone Can Do!


I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve done a quick and easy furniture fix-up, don’t you? Well, here you go 😉 As part of our foyer makeover (which is 99.99% finished and will be up on the blog soon) we picked up this little pine bookshelf.

Yep, it’s time for a little thrifted bookshelf rescue! 

Just to be clear it was FIVE DOLLARS….

It started out this way.Entry Bookshelf BEFORE

Dan and I both really liked the natural wood idea, but we weren’t fans of the dark red toned stain that was on the shelf. So the first thing I did was clean it thoroughly to get rid of the gross thrift store smell, and then I used my palm sander to strip the sides and the front bits of stain. Here is the palm sander I used. Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue Stripped Sides

I used Frog Tape to protect the edges while I primed and painted the inside of the shelf. I used PARA Paints’** Carved Out Glacier as the main colour. I wanted something that wasn’t quite white and wasn’t quite blue. My hope is that the tone would play nicely against the new feature wall in the foyer and tie it into our new blue door. (Yes! You’ll get to see it all soon, I promise!)

Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue Painted Inside

Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue Stained Sides

Once that was dry, I taped off the other side and restained the bare pine with Minwax Gel Stain in Aged Oak. It is much more in line with the wood tones we have running through the house.

Now for finishings 🙂

One thing we are trying to do on the main floor of the house is really emphasize our nautical-industrial decor feel. You see, while for most people, ‘nautical’ is synonymous with ‘beachy’ things like star fish, sand dunes and cool blue water – for us, it’s about those things AND a working harbor with metal lobster traps, cannery equipment, fiberglass fishing boats and dockyard driftwood. Our little village actually has a sweet little beach and boardwalk and an area where the fishermen actually work. (You guys, the fresh lobster rolls. I die. Seriously. If that’s all I eat for the rest of my life… amazing.) So, we’re trying to bring both elements of ‘life by the sea’ into our home.

Essentially, what that means is we are attempting to blend the softness of the sea with the harder textures of the industry.

Enter – brass tacks and arrows. Literally 🙂Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue 2nd straight on

I used some basic brass upholstery nails to add detail to the sides of the shelf – and also to hide some of the nails that were peeking through the stained wood.

Then using a stencil I already had (Drifting Arrows from Cutting Edge Stencils), I added a pattern to the back of the shelf in a graphite grey. I just used basic acrylic craft paint for this part.Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue Close Up

A couple of coats of Polycrylic sealant and she’s brand new! I’m not sure I could love this makeover anymore. Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue Bottom ShelfIt’s going to go at the top of the stairs in the foyer. In fact, the sneak peek of the new accent wall is in the before shot! Squee! Can’t wait to show you all the crazy details we managed to squeeze into the space (that isn’t even really a space..) Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue Side Close UpBut before we go, let’s just reiterate that this bookshelf cost me FIVE DOLLARS 🙂 I heart thrift stores. Thrift stores? Will you marry me? Thrifted Bookshelf Rescue AngledHope you can come back later this week when we share our August #DIY Challenge. (Did you catch July’s? It was another trash to treasure makeover with paint!) I’m cooking up another foyer-related project for August… but I’ll wait to divulge what our theme is until Wednesday. ANNNND sometime after Wednesday (probably Friday) – we’ll be sharing some photos and tips for actually sifting through the thrift store and finding those hidden gems 🙂

– E


**We are members of the 2015 PARA Paints Blog Crew. They give us paint. We give them love. Why? Because we truly love their paint and their people and that’s our opinion and we’re sticking to it.

This post contains affiliate links – please see our disclosure policy here.

Here are some other thrifty projects I’ve done that you might want to see!



You’ll Love These

You’ll Love These


Popular on DIYPassion Right Now!