Painted Vintage Barrister Style Bookcase | Little House of Four - Creating a beautiful home, one thrifty project at a time.: Painted Vintage Barrister Style Bookcase

Friday, May 18, 2018

Painted Vintage Barrister Style Bookcase

Styled with unique vintage finds, this dated oak barrister bookcase gets a fresh modern makeover with Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore.  


For months, I've been searching for an affordable barrister bookcase that wasn't $300-$400 and I FINALLY found one.  It wasn't a true vintage barrister bookcase, but the price was right and the seller was nice enough to meet me at a location that knocked 20 minutes off my drive.  So, I hopped in my car and headed out for a little road trip.  

I don't really want to call this oak barrister style bookcase dated, it just wasn't my style.   Don't get me wrong, I love using wood tones in my home, but the color on this particular cabinet was just a little too 1990's for my taste.  It reminded me of the builder grade cabinets in our previous home and that wasn't really something I wanted to replicate in our current home.  Since it wasn't a true vintage barrister bookcase I didn't feel bad about painting it, so I broke out my favorite color (Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore) and got to work. 


Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore painted Barrister bookcase


SUPPLIES USED TO UPDATE AN OAK BARRISTER BOOKCASE
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- Sherwin-Williams Iron ore (Emerald Line in satin)
- Wax brush or lint-free rag
- 120 Grit sandpaper
- Simple Green
- Paper Towels 
- 4 knobs
- Razor blade (for scraping paint off the glass)
-Screwdriver

Here's the cabinet just after we unloaded it from my car.  It's made of oak, so it's definitely heavy and a solid piece of furniture.   
Oak barrister bookcase

STEPS TO PAINTING A BARRISTER BOOKCASE
1.  Sand entire bookcase enough to rough up the finish and give the paint a surface to adhere too.  I used my Corner Cat sander and 120 grit sandpaper).

2.  Clean bookcase well with Simple Green and let dry.

3.  Apply two coats of Sherwin-Willaims Iron Ore.  To achieve a smooth professional look, use a good paintbrush (I always use a 2 1/2 inch Purdy brush) and long even strokes.  I did paint the outside and inside of the cabinet (including behind the doors),  but I didn't paint the bottom of each shelf.

4.  Use a razor blade to scrape off any paint that got onto the glass.   Simply hold a razor blade at a 45-degree angle, slide it along the glass and the paint will come right off.  (You can see how I clean paint off glass here.)

5.  To give the paint a little more dimension, finish off the bookcase with a light coat of antique wax.

6.  Update original dated gold knobs. 

Painted and styled barrister bookcase
I'm not gonna lie.  It was a major pain in the butt painting this bookcase, but I definitely think it paid off.  I actually had all intentions of taking it to Sweet Clover, BUT I ended up loving it so much that I think I'm going to see if I can use it in our living room.
Unique vintage finds styled on a painted barrister bookcase
It's the perfect place to display a few of my favorite thrifted and vintage finds.  Actually, the only things that are new in the bookcase are the greenery and galvanized bucket.  Everything else was either found at Goodwill, yard sales, on Facebook Marketplace or from local vintage and flea markets.
Vintage books styled in a painted barrister bookcase

Brass duck bookends and vintage books styled in a barrister bookcase


How to paint an oak barrister bookcase

The oak finish on this barrister bookcase wasn't horrible, but it definitely looks a lot more up to date with a fresh coat of dark gray paint.  


     
Before and after-an oak barrister style bookcase makeover

      

11 comments:

  1. love it- i think that was the perfect color for it! looks masculine and chic!

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  2. What a beautiful job! You certainly have an eye for furniture that can be improved. I love your sense of style.

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  3. Looks great! I'm in line to inherit my great uncle's original barrister bookcase. It's lovely dark wood and I'm so glad to be able to pass it down. This would be a great alternative, I'd rather have my aunt and uncle around and a reproduction bookcase, lol.

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  4. Love it! Have always wanted a barrister but no room for it. You always do such great work and pick the perfect colors. Keep up the great work, Katie!

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  5. We have 2 of these and its even more orange, which I can't stand anymore. Great post about painting it- thanks for all the details. Big undertaking for me, but I'm thinking about it now!:)

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  6. Love your bookcase and totally get it on the migraines! I can predict when a front is coming. I take a daily prescription of Neurontin (generic is gabapentin) which has been very helpful. You might want to check with your doctor.

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  7. I would be so excited to find one! And I love the gray.

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  8. I really like the new finish! Glad you are keeping it, too! I won't tell the hubby!

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  9. I love it! Keep it, as it looks so nice where you have it and with the decor items you styled with it.

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  10. Beautiful results, and ilove it and tge color you selected for it.

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