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Upcycle a Bookcase into a Kitchen Island

Medium
Difficulty
$85 and up
Project cost
2 days
Estimated time

For this project, we’re teaming up with our friends at Sherwin-Williams to freshen up a bookcase with rich color and turn it into smart storage as a kitchen island shelf.   To get started, I visited my local Sherwin-Williams paint store where the painting expert suggested Extreme Bond Primer so I can save time and skip scuff-sanding the bookcase's glossy surface.   For a finish coat, I wanted a long-lasting, durable finish. Sherwin-Williams offers a paint called Emerald® Urethane Trim Enamel that really withstands wear and tear and is perfect for areas that get cleaned frequently. I chose a deep blue color, Seaworthy SW 7620.   I also picked up paint sticks, a paint tray and liners, a 2 ½-inch angled tip synthetic paint brush, a roller frame, a 3/8-inch nap roller cover, and a drop cloth, wood filler, a 220-grit sanding sponge, a few stock boards and contact paper to create a new top.   This project is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams. All opinions are our own.  

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Step 1

Prep the Bookcase

To prep the bookcase, first remove the back so the shelves are open on both sides. Clean the surface with warm water and mild detergent. Fill any dents or scratches with wood filler. Allow the filler to dry, and then sand the areas smooth.

Step 2

Add the Trim Boards

Add decorative pieces of trim or to hide any rough edges. In our case, we added a 1 x 3 board to the base of the bookcase to cover the exposed edge. Fill the nail holes with wood filler, let dry, and then sand smooth.

Step 3

Prime the Corners and Trim

Now it’s time to apply the Sherwin William’s Extreme Bond Primer to the bookcase. On a project like this, I like to start with a brush, applying paint in the corners and to the trim.

 

Step 4

Prime the Shelves and Sides

STEP 4 – Prime the Shelves and Sides

Fill the paint tray. Load the roller in the paint tray until evenly coated. Prime the flat shelves and sides. Once the primer is dry, lightly smooth the finish with a 220-grit sanding sponge.

Step 5

Paint the Corners

It’s now time to apply the paint. As with the primer, first use a brush to coat the corners of the bookcase and the trim.

Step 6

Paint the Shelves and Sides

Fill the paint tray with paint. Load the roller in the tray until evenly coated. Apply the paint to the shelves and sides of the bookcase. Once the paint is dry, you can lightly smooth the finish with a sanding sponge and apply a second coat, if necessary.

Step 7

Assemble the Top

To create a new worktop for the island, assemble two 1 x 8 boards—cut to a length 2 inches longer than the width of the bookcase’s top—with pocket screws. Wrap the edges with 1 x 2 boards, secured with finish nails.

Step 8

Adhere the Protective Paper

Cover the new top with self-adhesive contact paper—we used a marble pattern. Wrap the paper over the top, down the sides, and around the bottom edge. Center the work top on the bookcase, and then screw up through the bookcase and into work top to secure it in place.

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