Friday, 13 September 2013

Refurbished School Bookcase

I really cannot remember how long this old education department bookcase has been in our home. 
We either bought it at a school fair or claimed it when it was being thrown out at our local school
...I can't even remember the details it's been so long.
What I can tell you is that it has always been large, solid and very practical. It has also always looked well past its prime. It had stains, pin holes, a few small gouges and the varnish had pretty well gone on the top. I wish I had a better photo than this of it in its original condition, but this will have to do!

The bookcase has always been on my to-do list, but because it was so practical and held so much, it was always keenly sought after in each of our children's bedrooms. So much so that when one child moved out, the other often had it in their room and packed full of things before I had a chance to get to it.
Recently my youngest son was the third of our children to leave home, and of course my youngest and sole remaining child at home desired the bookcase for her room. This time I put my foot down. It was not being used again until it was fixed up!

Filling up the holes with wood Polyfilla was the first step. It then received a good going over with the mouse sander. I found this bookcase easier to work on with it laying down on it's back.

This was the selection of Blake & Taylor Furniture Paints that I chose from. I settled on French Linen for the interior of the bookcase and Old White for around the outside and the edges.

Because it is still not uncommon for it to rain each day I brought the bookcase inside to my usual painting spot. Inside the front door...not ideal but at least it is sunny and bright! Just gets a little tricky when someone knocks on the door :)

Here is the bookcase after a couple of coats of the French Linen. In all I painted three coats on the interior. Because it is Blake & Taylor's paint I didn't need to prime, which I love, and the paint is just so easy to apply and cleans up easily with water. 

It was at this stage that my foggy brain realised I remembered I now had a spare room to work in and so I moved the whole show into my son's old room and stretched out...aaahhhh!
Here I am beginning to apply the first coat of the Old White...can you see why I love this colour? This photo also gives you an idea of what the bookcase actually looked like before painting.

Applying the white took a few hours because I'm a bit fussy when it comes to the finish. The edges needed a very controlled hand, so I just took my time. For those of you who have been following my blog, each of the colours from Blake & Taylor that I have used so far are still all coming from the same 1 litre tin each...this paint is very economical!

You're probably wondering exactly what colour the French Linen looks like. The two last photos show what the colour can look like depending on the light. At first I thought it was the camera, but the paint can look either like natural linen (which is the colour), or sometimes almost grey depending on the light inside the house. Fortunately I like both looks.

The final step was a natural beeswax finish. Normally I would carry everything outside in the light to show you the true colours, but as my husband has been away on school camp all week, I've had to lug this baby all over the place myself...I just couldn't bring myself to move it again.

And again!
 A very modern look for a bookcase that has served
 many, many years in classrooms and bedrooms.

 The before and after. I have one very happy daughter. I hope you like it too. Lisa xx


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