Once upon a time in a land far far away, Will and I bought an affordable dark espresso bookcase from IKEA. It served us well for many many years, until I was bit by the “white, bright & airy” bug and wanted to make all of our office furniture white… #wifeonpinterestproblems
I researched my little heart out before taking on this project. I had heard horror stories about paint jobs going south and did not want to shell out money for primer, paint and finish all to have to buy a new piece of furniture in the long run. There seems to be some controversy in the land of Painting-Cheap-Furniture on the topic of sanding—to sand or not to sand? I decided against it and used a quality primer instead.
Step 1 – Disassemble & clean your furniture: We removed the shelves from the bookcase (except one that seemed to be stuck 😉 ) and cleaned cleaned cleaned! I used an aerosol dust canister to spray off dust, then wiped it down with Lysol. I’m sure there’s a more professional way to do this, but I felt that this method worked fine.
Step 2 – Prime: This is probably the most important step. Don’t be a cheapy and settle for a poor quality primer. We used Bulls Eye Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer which was only $10.00 and boasted about us not having to sand. I did two coats of this on all of the shelves and the base of the bookcase.
This primer dries to the touch in an hour, but takes 7 days to fully cure. In order to increase my odds of this project turning out well, I waited the full 7 days before touching it with paint.
Step 3 – Paint: I swap back and forth between Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, but this time decided to use Extra White latex paint from the Duration Home Sherwin Williams line. I got it on sale because the folks at my local SW store alwaysssss hook me up 🙂
I did two coats of this, and here is where things REALLY started looking up!
Step 4 – Seal: Do NOT skip this step. I let the paint dry overnight, then sealed it with Minwax Polycrylic finish in clear satin. I did three coats of this, with a two-hour drying time for each coat. The instructions say that you can sand in between each coat, but I was too nervous to mess with a good thing so I skipped sanding altogether.
Step 5 – Assemble: One word of advice for those painting an IKEA bookcase (or any furniture with drawers/ other miscellaneous pieces), be VERY careful when putting it back together. The base is much thicker than it was in the beginning because of the multiple layers of primer, paint & finish. Take deeeeep breaths and take your time!
Then… step back and marvel at your masterpiece!
I was in serious awe of how well this project worked out. It looks like a brand new bookcase!
Be ready to practice your patience, but overall it really wasn’t that difficult (or expensive) to bring an old cheap piece of furniture back to life!
Have you ever painted furniture? Did it go well?