Sunday, November 21, 2010

Knock-off Crate and Barrel Bookcase - Done!

Here's the rest of the journey...

My theory on painting: there's a reason why they put the word "pain" in "painting". 

The painting of the bookcase commenced a while back with a trip to Lowes, a coat of primer, and almost as much paint ending up on me as did on the bookcase itself.  While I'm nowhere near qualified to be giving painting advice, I did learn a few things in the process from some people who are.

So, if you recall, this is the bookcase I am working with...

I started out with bare wood and wanted to paint it black to look like this one from Crate and Barrel...

With the guidance of a helpful Lowes associate, I bought a can each of oil-based primer and glossy black paint.  She recommended oil-based primer because bare wood will tend to absorb more, requiring more coats if you go with the typical all-purpose primer (no, thank you! goal is to do as little painting as possible).

I also needed to buy a brush meant for oil-based paints, a plastic sheet so I didn't paint my garage floor, and some paint thinner.

Warning: Have plenty of air flow in the space where you are working!  The fumes can get pretty strong.  I opened the garage door while I was painting.

With all the gusto of starting a new project, I applied a coat of the oil-based primer to the bookcase.  Hint: If you are painting with a dark color (i.e. black), have them tint the primer.  They will add a bit of black to the white primer so that it doesn't require so many coats to overcome the stark white color.

Then, I applied the first coat of paint, careful not to leave an puddles of paint (this can easily happen at the corners or edges) along the way.

Clean up:

The paint thinner is for cleaning the oil-based paint off of the brushes or other tools you might be using.  However, it's really important that you learn the correct way to use and dispose of paint thinner before using it.  Here is an article with some safety tips regarding paint thinner.

How to get oil-based primer/paint off your hands/skin? I have found that using a cooking oil to get it off works pretty well. 

 I ended up applying two coats of paint.  By that time, I was starting to wonder if a paint roller might have been a better choice.

Then, I cut and applied these felt-like pieces to the bottom of the bookcase.  I have a hardwood floor, so these guys are definitely a requirement!  And I liked the fact that they came in sheets so I could cut them to the desired size and shape.  Perfect!

And roll out the red carpet! Here she is!

Now, for decorating the bookcase, I just raided other rooms in my house for things that could work.  But I am definitely going to be doing some changing to the decor on this bookcase.  Here's some looks I'm loving right now...

I love the baskets and all the earthy colors in this Pottery Barn bookcase.

Pottery Barn

Throwing in some grass and books of like colors creates a really clean effect that I'm adoring.

Southern Living

I also like the mixture of different trinkets (which I could totally find at yard sales!), black and white photos, and neutral-colored books.

Martha Stewart

Then, of course, I like the modern decor on the original Crate & Barrel version.

Well, I'll get around to the decorating.  Right now, I'm just so happy to have this project done and displayed in our home! Thanks to for providing me with plans that even I could follow!   Visit her site to make your own piece of knock-off furniture!

Want the plans for this bookcase?  Here is the direct link to the Knock-Off Crate & Barrel Bookcase on


  1. Oh my word, girl. You did it! Looks amazing:)

  2. Looks Great! Love the color!



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