Annie Sloan Henrietta bookshelf {furniture redo}

Tuesday / 15 comments
Okay I'm going to admit something.  I am getting a little sick of pink.  All my friends promised it would happen after a few years with a girl but I doubted them.  I went from a house with three boys and no pink to an explosion of pink when E was born.  So I decided to add some purple and bought some Annie Sloan chalk paint in Henrietta.  Which come to find out is their version of pink.  I still say it's purple.  Love how it turned out.

Henrietta Bookshelf w/Mod Podged fabric

This is the before.  I got it from my Grandma.  It was cracked and had a few layers of paint on it but I loved it anyway.


The sides had lots of peeling paint.


Before I did ANYTHING to it I tested it for lead.  I had no idea how old the bookshelf was or when it was painted.  Lead paint was used until about 1980 and I test everything I buy that I think is older than 10 years or so because I'm super paranoid.  You can buy this little kit from the Home improvement store for about $25 which is kind of spendy but it comes with 8 little lead testing swabs so it's only about $4 for each piece of furniture you test.


You just crush the little swab and the tip gets wet and you dab the tip on the furniture.  I usually test a few different spots.  If the tip turns red than there is lead in it.  If the tip doesn't turn red than you dab it on the dot and the dot has lead and should turn red then you know the swab worked.  Easy!


I HATE stripping furniture so I just avoid buying anything that involves stripping.  But this was my Grandparents bookshelf and I'm sentimental and so the work was worth it.  I used this citristrip gel.  WEAR safety goggles and gloves for this.  It's messy and even though citristrip doesn't smell awful it is still dangerous so you don't want it to get on your skin or in your eyes.  I also did this project when my husband was home because I didn't want my kids running around the garage.


I have started using a respirator when doing lots of my projects since I do so many.  Especially spray painting.  Safety, safety!


I painted the stripper on and waited about 30 minutes and the first coat of gunk came off.  This is SO messy.  Ick.


It took two coats of the stripper to get the layers of paint off.  Then I sanded the whole bookshelf smooth.


Sanded and ready to go.  You can even get a sneak peek of some future projects too!  Or as my husband calls it "The hoarded garage".


I painted two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Henrietta followed by clear wax.  The chalk paint goes on SO smooth and nice.  Love that.  The wax I don't love as much.  Love the look that it gives but it's a lot of effort to rub all the wax into the furniture and all the crevices.  I love that the chalk paint dries super fast and there is no waiting for it to cure.


Love how it turned out.  I covered the back of the bookshelf with Amy Butler Love home decor fabric.  I just glued it on with mod podge and then my husband stapled the wood back onto the bookshelf.


I distressed it a little.  Not a ton because the only opinion my husband has about anything decorating is distressing.  He hates distressing, says it ruins a perfectly good paint job.  So I just snuck in a little especially since Ellie will probably add her own distressing.


E loves it and keeps rubbing the finish and telling me it's so soft so I guess the waxing work was worth it.

Bookshelf painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint Henrietta

Done!  I don't think I'll ever strip another piece of furniture!



  1. >Now when do we get to see you in that respirator? LOL. It looks lovely!!!! I've got a book shelf is Cera's room I am wanting to paint, but I think I'm going darker than what it is already so maybe I can cheat.... we shall see!!!!

  2. >Love the color and the fabric!

  3. >OH I love that backing! The whole project is amazing! Nice job!

  4. >This is a gorgeous piece! I love the lavender color, so pretty! The fabric is adorable. Beautifully done! I would love to have you share this at Show & Share!

  5. >Spectacular makeover! I just ordered a sample of that Henrietta color--can't wait to get it. You did a great job matching the paint to the fab AB fabric. LOVE!

  6. >What a FUN shelf! Love the chalkboard paint...that's so clever and creative. Thanks so much for the tip on the lead tester as well!

  7. >Very, very the ASCP color and the backing pattern!

  8. >Wow, it is beautiful, Brook! I've heard some scary stories about lead poisoning. Your efforts are definitely worth it! And I love that you cared enough to keep something of your Grandparent's for your daughter!

  9. [...] finished up with the clear wax.  I wasn’t sure I liked chalk paint when I first tried it on Ellie’s bookshelf  a few weeks ago.  I loved the look of the finish but it is just so different than latex paint. [...]

  10. [...] White} 02/03/2012 By Brook Leave a Comment Are you ready to see another furniture redo of a previous redo?  I know I can’t be the only person that paints stuff and then changes her mind a few months [...]

  11. my favorite part is that your daughter now has her great grandmother's bookshelf in her room...upcycled both furniture and memory love! Won't it be awesome when someday this sits in YOUR granddaughters house....

  12. Awesome! I'm getting ready to do this for my twins nursery but I'm wondering how you took the back off of the bookcase in order to cover it with fabric?

  13. This is really cool. I'd like to have that in my room.

  14. [...] #10 Today 12:50 PM DO THIS (but in a design that fits the room): Stripping furniture using citistrip, Annie Sloan chalk paint henrietta Just paint the shelf and find a fabric that you like and mod podge it to the back of the shelves! [...]


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