Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pine Bookcase Makeover with French Flair

french style hand painted bookcase Lilyfield Life

Katie was moving house last week and took the opportunity when the removalists were around to bring this massive book case to my house for a makeover. It is huge and just fitted under my carport for me to paint.

She asked if the orange pine could be painted and would it look good and I said "yes, that orange pine is crying out for paint!"

On the outside I gave it two-three coats of ASCP Paris Grey and a top coat of clear wax. I also changed over the big brass colonial style handles on the drawer to some fluted nickel cup pulls.  The new handles make a big difference.

I painted the bench bit last in case I dripped white paint on it when I was painting the inside - and I also needed to sand the doors down a little as they were scratching the bench bit and scrapping the paint off. I have a new sander from Bosch to show you soon and it worked wonders! I also sanded down the shelves a little so that they didn't scratch the sides when sliding in.

For the inside I did two coats of primer - the first Zinsser BIN (the white tinted shellac) as the pine knots would bleed and once any bleed through was contained, I gave it a coat of Zinsser 123 (waterbased) just to help with the opaque coverage. I then gave it 4 coats of Dulux Aqua Enamel in a colour called Peplum (half strength). It's a very bright white with a tiny hint of grey/lilac that I thought would be a beautiful contrast to the Paris Grey. The reason I used a waterbased enamel inside it that I wanted a very hard paint (once cured) so Katie wouldn't have to worry about sliding books and treasures on the shelf.  The thought of waxing all those shelves and inside also wasn't looking very attractive!

french style hand painted bookcase Lilyfield Life

I then cleaned the paint off the glass with a razor blade, popped the shelf brackets back in and the removalists picked it up yesterday afternoon. I have kept the shelves out and will let them cure for a few days more before giving them back to Katie.

french style hand painted bookcase Lilyfield Life

A big difference isn't it?

french style hand painted bookcase Lilyfield Life

If you have dated pine furniture that has turned orange on you, or you no longer want it timber, don't stress. Painting pine furniture is very easy and very satisfying. Because it's a soft wood it's easy to sand (once painted) to eliminate any brush marks and get a smooth finish on - much less sanding than when painting vintage hardwood furniture.  I would use a primer even if you are using chalk paint if your pine furniture has knots. You could always just do a coat of chalk paint first and if you have bleed through, then do a coat of shellac. You can always fix these spots with a spray can of Zinsser Shellac BIN.

Armed with a tin of paint and a good paint brush we can change the world!

Fiona xx


  1. wow! that is stunning! your paint job is perfect!

    1. Thanks Cassie – this one took ages!
      Hope you’ve had a lovely easter and a much needed break!
      Fiona xx

  2. Such a big impact going from orange pine to French grey - looks lovely! Probably one of my favourite pieces you have done Fiona.


  3. the cupboard looks very elegant, what a transformation! Love it.
    BTW Fiona, I asked your advice last year on wall colours and I thought I'd tell you I ended up using Dulux "Grand Piano " half strength and I love it. It looks fantastic with white accents and furniture, but also with any other colours or wood. It is a lightish neutral with a taupe/gray look.

  4. Looks fantastic! Love the colour and the new handles. Must be hard to paint something so big, so far sideboards are as big as I've tackled and even they take forever.

    Just in regards to the comment above, my house interior walls are painted grand piano (quarter strength) - love it!


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