Frog-Stencilled Bookshelf: It’s Old but It’s Solid

purple-green shelves

purple-green shelves side b

purple-green shelves side b

Sometimes you can find tucked away in second-hand shops great little pieces like this one: battered but repaired, solid and steady. As I worked on it, I discovered other bonuses too. It was made of thick pine with only a few knots, and varnish beneath the paint allowed easy paint removal. Shelves were fairly deep and edges nicely curved.

It certainly wasn’t pretty when I picked it up…

before front before back before side before top

If you look closely at the first photo, you’ll see that the top corners are not the same. The shelf had been repaired on the right side (and braced in the interior upper corner) with the basic shape maintained enough that I hadn’t noticed it at first.

The cross-bars on the back both seemed unnecessary so I removed them, and I cut away the damaged portion at the bottom of the backboard (you can see it on the finished photo at the top of this page).

The knots on the side would require a thin layer of woodfiller, followed by a couple of coats of shellac-based primer.

Here’s the paint stripping part of the work – a bit messy but manageable, revealing solid wood in pretty good shape.

stripping top stripping centre shelves more stripping stripping complete

Once the primer had been applied, the bookshelf already looked quite tidy!

priming completed

Here’s the purple interior completed, with finishing touches yet to come on the green exterior.

purple paint completed

I stencilled a couple of matching frogs on each of the side panels, one at the top and one at the bottom.

first pass frog stencilA latex paint stencil usually requires touching up because the paint tends to seep a tiny bit under the edges of the stencil, leaving a slightly irregular outline. This is easy to fix with a paint brush and a steady hand.

purple-green shelves detail

The finished project is now sitting happily in its new home. We’ll see what I can do with this next one!!

               purple-green shelves  before front


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