If you have an old piece of furniture lying around and a love for booze then this is the project for you!


The previous home owners left behind a lot of random furniture. This bookshelf was sitting in the basement serving as a dust collector. Andrew had repeatedly told me that we need to get a liquor cabinet for the house. We have had our eye on a beautiful hutch for quite some time but we don’t have the money for that right now. Can you believe that a hutch costs the same as a dining room table? How do these people sleep at night?

Either way, this is what the bookshelf looked like before:


Stunning… A little beat up, made of some kind of very heavy press board. The bottom is pretty banged up as well as you can see in the photo. I didn’t plan on putting a ton of effort into this face lift so I didn’t sand any of the shelves.


Sometimes I am a bit lazy with my flips and I just want to be done. Sorry, I am only human. Hopefully you can feel better about your laziness too..you’re welcome.

So, first I moved all of the shelves to the places I wanted them. I measured Andrew’s Makers Mark and made sure that I had enough room for the “top shelf” liquors to be on top.. see what I did there…

So, I made it so that the top was larger, the middle was a good shelf for some glasses and then the bottom would be good for taller bottles as well.

Once the shelves were in place I painted the entire thing with two coats of KILZ Latex primer in white (we had a gallon lying in our basement $8.29/qt). After it dried, I did my last coat with Benjamin Moore Advanced paint in Super White (we have a ton of this left over from when we painted the kitchen cabinets – very expensive paint but I love how it looks on furniture $50). While the paint dried I grabbed some of the old pallet wood that we used on the Pallet Wall in our living room. I measured the pallet wood to fit the size of the back of the top shelf. Ideally, I would have loved to make the entire back of the bookshelf out of pallet wood but I did not have enough left over from the previous project and I wasn’t about to go our scrounging for more free pallet wood – Andrew may have left me…

As I said before, we used the Benjamin Moore Advanced Paint which is relatively costly but it’s what we had on hand.. You could use any type of paint – I have heard great things about chalk paint on furniture! Any kind of indoor latex paint should do.

I sprayed each of the shelves with Miniwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane Spray in semi-gloss ($5.85). You use this similarly to spray paint in which you allow the layers to dry and then re-spray for increased durability. Be careful and use in a ventilated area – it smells horrid AND more importantly, you probably shouldn’t be inhaling that stuff. So use a good mask, open the windows and do it quickly.


While that dried I secured the old hanging light from the Laundry Room Refresh and screwed that into the top of the bookcase. I drilled a small hole in the back of the press board to make room for the light’s plug. I didn’t really care how this looked because it would be covered by the pallet wood. You could secure any kind of light to the top of the shelf – they have very cheap stick-on lights at places like Ocean State Job Lot where you just push them to turn them on and they run on batteries. Less work, my kind of project…However, I had this old light hanging in the basement so I went with it.

While trying not to pass out from the polyurethane fumes I painted the back of the top shelf (where the wood would cover) with cheap brown acrylic paint from my craft room. I also painted the bottom pf the shelf where more pallet wood would be placed. I painted them brown because I found that you can see a lot of the wall behind our pallet wall through the boards and I wanted it to look more neat.

Once the brown paint dried I used wood glue and some small screws to fasten the boards to the back and bottom of the bookshelf. I laid out all of the boards first to make sure I liked the way it looked. A.K.A I hate re-doing things.

No wasted steps.

Measure twice, cut once.

Or whatever you tell your significant other while your building furniture from IKEA.


Again, I succumbed to my usual draw towards the dark side (laziness) and I attached the boards BEFORE staining them.

I hate the idea of laying out a bunch of plastic bags and walking around my dining room like its filled with lava just to that I can stain a bunch of boards properly. So, I stained them once they were in place. Stop judging me.

You did that on a white bookshelf? Are you crazy?

No, not crazy. I told you, I’m lazy. And I’m pretty good with a paintbrush so I know I can handle it.

Haha yeah right. I had to use painters tape and slide some newspaper on the bottom under the boards so that in case it dripped, which it did..

I used the same stain from the pallet wall. Miniwax Wood Stain in Dark Walnut…because its what I had on hand.. Are you sensing a theme here yet?

So, I stained some boards very gently with a rag, and saturated others very liberally with a paintbrush. I wanted it to look a bit less uniform than the pallet wall.

Let me tell you… it came out GREAT. We only had a dining room table in this room so this really adds to the space and makes it look like we’ve actually been living here. You can also tell that we’ve been living here because the bottles of alcohol keep getting less and less full. Weird.

Last step – add the cups and alcohol and a couple finishing touches and you’re done!


Wow.. they all look so beautiful and shiny.. AND the bookshelf looks nice too.

Now go drink some wine…or build a bookshelf. Whichever you prefer.