Do you remember this?
Unfortunately, it may be seared into some of your memories because you probably still can't believe I actually posted this picture on my blog. (I know it's seared in my mom's memory because she couldn't believe I posted it!) Well, take a look at the cluttered bookcase. That is a laminate book case that was a hand-me-down from my grandmother. I've had it for about seven years. And it's pretty much looked like that for seven years except for brief moments when it was actually organized. When I decided to do my craft room makeover, I knew something had to be done about the bookcase. It did its job, but that was about it. It needed a new look. I knew from my extensive blog stalking...uh, I mean, reading, that laminate can be painted. (I've painted laminate before but not the really cheap laminate like this bookcase. You know the kind I'm talking about. It practically looks like a wood grain sticker over particle board.) I decided to go for it and paint the bookcase. Even if I totally screwed it up, it would still hold books--at least that's what I told myself to convince me to do it. I started by painting the bookcase with Zinsser primer.
I used the water based primer to cut down on the mess and smell, but it still smelled pretty badly. After priming the bookcase, I freaked out. I really did. The primer was just scraping right off, so I did what I should have done to begin with and consulted the trusty internet. I found this post from Living with Lindsay and got totally angry with myself that I didn't read the post first. Lindsay says you should gently sand the laminate piece first. I didn't do that. And then the worse thing that I read was that you should let the paint cure for SEVEN DAYS! I can hardly wait the fifteen minutes you should wait between spraying coats of spray paint, and I was attempting to get this project done for Creative Bloggers Got Talent. I found another post from Centsational Girl that recommended using the oil based Zinsser primer because it can be recoated in like an hour. An HOUR?! And I had to wait SEVEN DAYS?! Yeah, I wasn't too happy when I read that. But I was going on vacation, so I left the primed bookcase to cure while I enjoyed a few days in Charleston. When I returned, I waited as long as I could stand it, which was six days, and I sprayed the primed piece with white Krylon. When the spray paint dried, I glazed the bookcase with a black glaze to make it look old and worn. I thought it would help if any of the paint ended up peeling off--maybe it would look like it was supposed to be peeling if it already appeared worn. I didn't prime or spray the back of the bookcase, which I'm sure you noticed from the picture. The back is this weird wood-looking cardboard. So I decided to Mod Podge some paper to it. I found the most awesome paper at Hobby Lobby: turquoise, worn-looking beadboard like paper!
I used Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the back of the bookcase, and I used two coats of Mod Podge to seal the paper. Yes, there were some bubbles in the paper because of the weird cardboard material, but since the paper itself looks worn, you can't really see them. Then I covered the entire piece with a couple coats of Polycrylic. I used the satin finish, which also cuts down on being able to see the bubbles. When I put the shelves back in the bookcase, there was a bit of scraping of paint, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. And the scrapes could be repainted, but I just covered them with books. I LOVE my "new" bookcase! It goes well with my new gray walls.
Would I do it all again? Hmmm...if I could afford a new bookcase, I would just buy a white one and use fabric covered foam board on the back like I did with my hutch. BUT I didn't want to invest in a new bookcase, and so far, the piece has held up really well--better than I thought it would after that first night of priming. So if you need a quick inexpensive fix, I would say paint your laminate. (I don't know that I would paint over the cheap laminate like my book case on a furniture piece that gets heavy wear and tear, though, so keep that in mind.) Also, learn from my mistakes and use the oil based primer so that you aren't old and gray by the time you can paint over it. I promise to give you a full view of the book case in the BIG REVEAL of the craft room! I can't wait!