Beastly Dresser Becomes Beach-vibe Bookshelf 

Ain’t alliteration awesome? Yes, I am a word nerd. I wear it proudly.

On to today’s flip. This hulking dresser was part of an old set my husband had inherited before we met. It followed us to our second home and became the bane of our bedroom. The only place for it was the super short wall between the master bath and a closet, which it filled completely. We were constantly banging our feet on it and dislocating shoulders on the way to the bathroom (ok, not really, but pretty close.) Six years we lived with that thing trying to take us out, until I replaced it with this dresser flip.

It was relegated to the basement for a year and almost sold to a friend before I decided to give it a transformation. Due to its height (53 inches) and weight (500 pounds; I might be exaggerating but it didn’t feel light moving it down two flights of stairs) it was a good candidate for a bookshelf. Please excuse the bad ‘before’ pic – old phone.


Demo day! Out came the drawers —  another flip for another day. Out came three of the drawer supports and the cheap backing. Initially I was going to use new wood planks from a home improvement store for the shelves, but for the sizes I needed it was going to be pricier than I wanted. One of our local Habitat ReStore’s did have two cabinet doors that would fit the bill, and for only $1 each. Excellent.


A few cuts and the shelves were in. Everything got a good sanding in prep for paint. At this point I went scrounging for a backing. My father-in-law had given us many sections of an aged cedar fence that they had replaced; years of weather did their work and I had plenty of timeworn pieces to choose from. I cut enough slats to cover the back, then figured, why not line the interior sides as well. Measure, measure, cut (remember the old adage? Thanks, Dad.) Once all the pieces fit I took them out and set them aside.


Painting time, my favorite part. A layer of white primer was followed by a coat of Pittsburgh satin latex in Hipster Green, which is a shade of teal. Then the all-important distressing. I wanted a three-tone look with this one so I tried a new technique: glazing. Following this fantastic tutorial and advice from a furniture-painting friend, I picked up a quart of Minwax water-based polycrylic. I mixed four parts poly to one part acrylic paint; I used a mix of dark blue and brown paints from Hobby Lobby Wanna know the color names? Burnt Umber and Phthalocyanine Blue (via Wikipedia: Phthalocyanine is an intensely blue-green-coloured aromatic macrocyclic compound that is widely used in dyeing. You’ve learned something new today. You’re welcome.)




On went the glaze. At first I used baby wipes to remove the excess, but too much was coming off so I switched to paper towels. This was a messy endeavor. But so worth it – I adore the result! The extra layer of darker paint adds a lot of dimension and detailed interest. The whole shelf received a final coat of straight polycrylic. It has such a rich look to it and should be highly durable.


Lastly, the cedar boards went back it. I used short screws and dabbed a bit of dark wood putty over each to hide their shine. Can’t be having shiny new screws on a vintage-y piece, now can we? This old wood really added just the right touch, don’t cha think? We don’t really have room in the house for this shelf, so it is for sale. Feel free to contact me about it! ***The shelf has found its new home! 🙂

beach shelf staged 1 stamped.jpg


shelf detail.jpg

Beastly Dresser to Beachy Bookshelf.jpg


2 thoughts on “Beastly Dresser Becomes Beach-vibe Bookshelf 

  1. I love how you transformed this bookshelf. It’s beautiful and love that you shared at Dishing it and Digging it link party. We love having you and hope you come back tomorrow to join us again. Have a great weekend.


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