Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bali to Beach: Bookcase Transformation

Yet another post about the magical powers of white paint.

Are you bored yet?
I certainly hope not!

I was contacted by a client to paint her bookcase with a wine rack insert. I know I have previously sworn off ever painting this Balinese furniture again but I thought I had a good method nailed so accepted the job.

Not my house, not my mess! LOL

So 3 coats of Zinsser BIN Shellac and 3 coats of white paint and some wax for top coat and sanding and distressing later here it is.

I knew that this Balinese stained teak timber would bleed as soon as the white paint touched it. You can see the orange stain seeping through in the corners in the photo below.  My client originally wanted this bookcase white washed but I knew that wouldn't been an option as with white washing you don't use a primer and the paint would end up very patchy and orange. 

After I sent her photos of different finishes I've done, she decided on a finish similar to the white hall cabinet I posted about here.

To contain the bleed through I used Zinsser BIN Shellac. I ended up doing three full coats of this as even after two coats I could see an orange tint.  I used a brush to apply the Zinsser BIN. I think spraying it would contain the bled through even more quickly as the brush seems to agitate it.

The wine rack section was removable so I painted behind it so that you could see the white behind the bottles.  I also made sure I painted the underside of the shelves and the sleeves of the wine rack and drawer section (I always do this in case the drawer gets pushed in a bit too far so you don't see raw wood)

When I had finished the main part of the bookshelf I sent my client some staged photos so she could decide if she wanted the front plane of the wine rack painted as well and if she was happy so far.

She decided that she wanted the front painted which I totally agreed with also. It really tied it in and made it look completed and cohesive.

It's now been picked up and is heading down to a beach house down the coast. 
I think it will fit in perfectly.
Fiona xx


  1. Really nice! I'm amazed at - but totally understand - why you did 3 coats of Zinsser BIN - I'm having to re-do a small hall table that was a Balinese-timber as the stain is bleeding through - such a nuisance! Will never get sick of white painted anything!!!

  2. Pretty!!! I have a similar looking bookcase, and I thought it would have to stay wood, but maybe not.... hmmm

  3. It looks lovely Fiona. I am doing a commission at present - an old Oak desk - and dealing with very yellow bleed through...I suspected this would happen so used Bullseye 123 but it's not quite cutting it (the whole painted surface is going yellow) so I'll have to go grab some BIN...down goes the profit margain ;)

  4. i love this! what a beast to paint, but so worth it!

  5. looks great and the way you explain it to us is even better because even though you think you know it all you can always learn more-love dee x

  6. Hi Fiona, great job. Just wondering did you Annie sloan chalk paint on top or another paint. I am about to do my first commission and which is similar and was tossing up which to use. I hope you have a nice time at the beach house Thanks JANET

    1. hi Janet - just the cabinet is heading to the beach house - not me, unfortunately! I used both ASCP and another paint for this one. Whatever paint you use you will end up with a similar finish. For this piece it was the primer that was important
      cheers Fiona

    2. Thanks Fiona. . Shame about you not heading to the beach but with this wind maybe not.


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