DIY: Updating An Old Bookshelf (& Clark+Kensington Paint Review)

Drugstore Divas was given the blue paint for this Updating An Old Bookshelf post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Updating an old bookcase is s o easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.When I was in New York, I got a text from Pete of a pretty run down bookcase. It wasn’t ours, but it was on our back porch.

“I found this by the dumpster,” he said. “Take a look at it when you get home and if you don’t want it, we can get rid of it.”

I got home and it was gray and dreary and, well, pretty much an eye sore. But it was a great height, was sturdy, and we really did need a bookcase in the living room.

“We can keep it,” I said. “We’ll just paint it one day.”

One day has finally arrived.

Updating an old bookcase is s o easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

If you remember, Ace Hardware was giving away free quarts of paint for free paint Saturday. You could get any color you wanted added to it, but Pete and I picked white. I had a plan, and I figured white paint could go a long way.

We needed an accent color, so we picked up a few swatches and taped them to the bookcase, which had been sitting in our living room as the drab, dreary gray for a few months too long.

Our living room is mostly black and silver, with pops of purple. I wanted a color that matched with our current decor but wasn’t purple. My rationale behind that was this piece might not be in our living room forever, so I wanted it to be a color that wasn’t purple so we would be able to move the bookcase to another room, if need be.

We ended up picking a blue, which we got for this review from Ace Hardware, which (I’m looking at it right now) is gorgeous on its own, but really does both match and pop in our living room.

Updating an old bookcase is s o easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

I’ve never painted any furniture before, so I wasn’t sure if I needed to sand it or not. So I did the smartest thing I could do: I called my dad. He told me since it was just paint on paint, I didn’t need to sand. He said if there was a lacquer on it, I would have to sand.

No lacquer meant a lot less manual labor.

He did, however, suggest that I paint a corner to see if the paint stuck or not. If it stuck, I was fine. If it didn’t, I would have to stand.

So I painted the top corner (although I wanted to paint the entire thing because look at it). After a week and the paint was still on top. It didn’t chip, peel, or run.

So onto the rest of the project.

Updating an old bookcase is s o easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

Before you paint, you want to clean the piece. I just wiped it down with a paper towel. I wanted to dust it but not use anything liquid in case it would cause the paint to run.

Absolutely before you do anything, remove your jewelry. Don’t worry. You don’t have to worry that I’m pulling a Miley Cyrus and calling off my engagement because I’m posting photos of myself without my ring. I didn’t want to get it covered in paint.

Updating an old bookcase is s o easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

When it’s dusted, bring it outside and place it on a drop cloth. Unless you’re like me and you don’t have a drop cloth but you have a ton of newspapers. Then you can improvise.

Updating an old bookcase is s o easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

We started with the white paint and a mini roller kit.

Updating an old bookcase is s o easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

Put on your crummy clothes and paint that bad boy. It’s so much easier to use a roller than trying to paint the entire thing with a paint brush. You will need a brush for the edges because the roller can’t get in those spots, but the roller can do a lot, do it evenly, and do it quickly.

Updating an old bookcase is so easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

We painted two coats, but you might need a few more, depending on what your piece looks like. We were painting white over gray, so two was enough.

What’s great about the Clark+Kensington paint is that it is actually a paint in primer in one. That’s awesome for people like me who just can’t drag out a project for too long. I didn’t want to sand and I didn’t want to prime. Luckily, I didn’t have to do either.

Updating an old bookcase is so easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

I was adding pops of blue, so I used painting tape to shield the areas I didn’t want to paint.

I cut the tape in half because I thought I was doing the Earth a favor by using less. It was fine for me because I had a mini roller, but if I had a full-size roller, the tape would have been too thin and I would have gotten paint all over. So, definitely leave the tape the size it comes.

Updating an old bookcase is so easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

The blue I got, well, let me tell you about that. Since Ace Hardware provided the blue paint for this review, I gave my order to a representative for the store who called my order in to the local store. The representative told me when I was able to pick it up, and I did.

I opened the can and, to my dismay, the paint was white. I stirred it. Still white.

When I took it home from Ace Hardware, and the code was written right on top of the cans, so neither me nor the worker who handed me the cans thought to open them.

So back to Ace Hardware I went, in the middle of my project, to get color added to my white paint.

Updating an old bookcase is so easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

Got it home and started rolling it on.

Updating an old bookcase is so easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

Edged it up with the paint brush, and added a second coat with the roller.

Updating an old bookcase is so easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

And let it dry.

Updating an old bookcase is so easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

It dried, I moved it into the living room, and I was in love.

If you look at the photos of the paint in the can, it’s a lot more like a blue for a nursery, a very light baby blue. I knew that wasn’t the color I picked from the swatches, but there was so much time between when I selected the color and when I actually had color in my paint, so I figured maybe I forgot and maybe I had once upon a time decided that baby blue was the way to go (even though I really thought I picked a turquoise).

When the paint dried, it was the turquoise I remembered, so that was great.

Updating an old bookcase is so easy. Just repaint it! Find out more at www.drugstoredivas.net.

What was also great is that the white was a flat enamel and for the blue, I selected an eggshell. If you know anything about paint (or, if you google anything about paint), you’ll know that eggshell is basically the most forgiving (which is definitely something I needed). Using it won’t show brushstrokes or roller marks, which is great. I had to touch up a few spots where the blue paint dripped onto the white and you couldn’t even see brush marks there. I was really impressed with it and with the vibrancy of the color.

Plus, a quart of Clark+Kensington paint goes a long way. It’s such a quality paint that it didn’t just get absorbed into the bookshelf. I was kind of worried about that. If the paint was thin, it would take a ridiculous amount of coats, but this didn’t. I was really impressed with it.

We have quite a bit left over, so now we’re imagining what else we can redo with this paint (although, to be honest, the first thing I’m going to do is get this paint off my nails. Word to the wise: Don’t get a manicure the day before you decide to paint a bookshelf. It’s not a good look).

  1. Dora J Crow

    May 20, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Lisa there are lots of hints I can give u about preparing painted wood or even untainted wood. We have always used Spic & Span for cleaning it before any staining painting or priming. It removes any grease or oils and other crap left on the surface. But of course, it has to dry completely before painting. If u do ever have a prob w a built in primer not covering or a primer not covering the original color, KILZ works really good to cover & put good smooth base for paint. It also is good for stopping any mildew, mold and is good barrier for leakage spots from roof leaks etc on ceiling tiles. Have you ever tried the sponges in lieu of brushes? They have real skinny ones. You might like those even better than a tiresome little paintbrush, plus u can pitch them in trash w/out worrying about mineral spirits or turpentine cleanup of brushes.

  2. Dawn @ Pin-n-Tell

    July 26, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Fabulous Upcycle! Love the colors you chose.. you’ve inspired me… so pinning this post for future reference! Thank you for joining in our Pin Party, hope to see you again next week :)

  3. Dawn @ Pin-n-Tell

    July 29, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Love the new look! I like what a new color brings to an item :) Thank’s for including this upcycled idea in our Pin Party last week :) Hope to see you again, we have a party every Friday.. new theme every week!

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