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Bookcase Update

By: Betsy Burnett from

"When stuck at home due to Covid-19 it's easy to become tired with your surroundings. What's a gal to do when she wants to freshen up her bedroom and has no money and let alone no place to shop? Check the basement (or attic) for cast-offs and then transform an old bookcase into a nightstand by giving it a facelift with chalk paint and stencils. Best yet, tuck a message inside for your "future you" to remind you that "You are loved!" "

Primary TechniquePainting


Materials List

  • Wood bookcase
  • Chalk paint-Plaid Crafts Folk Art-Cascade and Sheepskin
  • acrylic paint-Plaid Crafts Ultra Marine Blue, Engine Red, Lime Green
  • Paint Brush
  • Stencils-Hallmark Adhesive Stencils, Happy, Texture
  • make-up sponges
  • paper plate.
  • sandpaper, wood filler, (if needed)


  1. Give the bookcase a good cleaning with dish soap and hot water.

  2. If necessary, fill in gouges with wood filler and lightly sand.

  3. Paint inside of book case using "Sheepskin" Chalk paint. Allow to dry

  4. Paint outside of the book case "Cascade" (hint if you don't have the exact color of chalk paint you desire, mix in some acrylic to adjust, I had a large jar of "Cascade" blue and it wasn't dark enough for my liking so I tinted it with "ultra marine blue" acrylic paint till I got the desired shade. Allow paint to dry.

  5. Apply second coat of chalk paint if necessary and allow to dry.

  6. Apply adhesive stencils to top of bookcase, be sure to rub the stencil all over to make sure it adheres well.

  7. Using make-up sponge, apply paint to your stencil. Tip-dab sponge into acrylic paint, and then "dab off" the excess on a paper plate, too much paint on the sponge will cause bleeding under your stencil.

  8. Remove stencil while paint is still wet, and reposition to continue the design.

  9. Apply "you are loved" stencil design to inside of the book case in similar fashion.

  10. Allow to dry, and enjoy your new nightstand.

NotesIt's amazing what little changes can do to life your spirits. By simply adding a coat of paint and stenciled design to bookcase, what was a cast off piece of furniture, turned into an adorable focal point next to my bed that makes me smile when I see it.

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That's really neat! Probably the fact that you made it is part of the reason you smile when you see it. It brings a feeling of accomplishment.

Great home decor piece! Love the sweet message inside )


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