Projects & Improvements

Before & After: A Quick & Simple Update for an Outdated Bookcase

published Jun 14, 2014
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(Image credit: Shonee Smith)

Anyone who’s inherited a weird nook, corner or odd-home-thing might appreciate this simple but successful recessed bookcase mini-remodel. Shonee’s list of needed home updates since buying a 1950s house last year is long, with many projects often turning out more complicated than originally thought. Thankfully this small project — updating an outdated bookshelf — was simple and came out pretty sweet!

(Image credit: Shonee Smith)

This bookshelf is unique in my opinion; it is a built-in bookshelf that sits next to our Sherwood wood burning fireplace. It just seems a little awkward or out of place, so I decided it was time to make it look better.

The bookshelf originally had 4 shelves. Since each shelf isn’t very tall the top shelf especially was awkward to decorate and clean. I decided to use my sawzall to remove the top shelf. That was a project all by itself. However, I love the shelf much better now that the top shelf is taller.

The finish on the wood originally was a simple varnish. I was worried about getting the paint to stick so I used a thick coat of primer and I haven’t had any problems with the paint coming up. I removed all of the existing trim and replaced it with door molding that I had left over from a previous project.

I am still unsure what I think about the surrounding brick. It seems a little dark but for now I have decided to leave it. The updated bookshelf definitely makes the room feel more cozy.

Wow! What a great example of paying attention to a small detail in your home that can make a huge difference on an entire room! See more of this transformation on Shonee’s blog.

Thank you Shonee!