DIY bookshelf to beachy glassware storage
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DIY Bookshelf Makeover to Coastal Glassware Storage

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How to turn a basic bookshelf into a modern, beachy barware storage hutch. 

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I have long dreamed of having an inviting little area for hubby & I, and guests, to go to make themselves an evening (or summer afternoon) cocktail.  A cute but modern area full of spirits and pretty glasses of your choice.  Well, I’ve finally found the solution, and it comes in 2 parts!

The first part was finding a place to put all of our glassware – anyone else have a second hand, fancy glass problem? 

I love an entirely open shelving concept to display them all but I hated the idea of having to dust so frequently so I found this bookshelf to be a happy medium. 

The second part will be an amazing Secretary turned Bar makeover, which is in the works and will hold the booze and bar utensils. 

We bought these bookshelves years ago with the intention of painting them but never got around to it. So a few weeks ago when we decided to give our dining room table a makeover, (post to come), I felt the spark to transform one of the basic bookcases into pretty storage for our glasses. 

Here’s the before:

Here’s out it turned out:

I absolutely love that there’s enough storage for our bar glasses but also some open shelves for styling. 

Our home is a fairly open concept and where the bookshelf sits is a high traffic area so it’ll be fun to decorate for the seasons. 

The dining room is a small room so I didn’t necessarily want the bookshelf to stand out, but rather feel like a cohesive part of the room. Also, I knew the display would be a little busy considering it was glassware, so I didn’t want the color to also be busy and distracting.

 I ended up painting the main portion of the bookshelf the same color as our walls, Benjamin Moore Cloud White, with the accent color Balboa Mist on the side and back panels. 

Benjamin Moore is a greener choice for your home, head over here to see why.

When our local nursery opens, I’ll definitely grab some sort of dreamy vine to hang over the side of the unit, but for now, the aloe will do.

Here’s the prep work:

Wipe down the entire bookcase. If there are a lot of nooks and crannies, grab your vacuum to get the built-up dust. Then remove the shelving, doors and all the hardware. Lightly sand all the pieces with 220 grit sandpaper. I chose finer sandpaper because I didn’t want to leave many marks on the surface. Keep in mind this does get a little messy so make sure you’ve got open windows and a mask if you’re sensitive. Vacuum and wipe down the bookshelf again to get all the debris off. 

Next, prime the entire surface of the bookshelf including the doors and shelves. When that dries, sand any areas that have built up primer or if you want a smoother surface. I opted out of this step because I was ok with a little texture showing through. 

Next, apply as many coats of paint as needed to get your preferred coverage, letting the piece dry completely in between.

When it’s the color you want it to be, let the bookshelf dry completely. I preferred to leave it overnight before I put the hardware back on. Then let it air for another day before styling so the paint will be totally dry and won’t stick to the glassware.

DIY bookshelf to beachy glassware storage

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Screwdriver
  • 220 grit sandpaper 
  • Vacuum
  • Lint-free cloth 
  • Paintbrush – my favorite is an 2″ short-handled, angled brush 
  • Paint bucket
  • Paint color of choice
  • Primer 
  • Paint edger (optional for straight edges)
  • Foam paint roller (optional for smoother surface) 
Here’s a glimpse of our DIY tabletop we just finished!

Here are the steps: 

  1. Wipe down the entire bookcase. If there are a lot of nooks and crannies, grab your vacuum to get the built-up dust. 
  2. Remove the shelving, doors and all hardware.
  3. Lightly sand all the pieces with 220 grit sandpaper. I chose a finer sandpaper because I didn’t want to leave many marks on the surface. Note, this does get a little messy so make sure you’ve got open windows and a mask if you’re sensitive.
  4. Vacuum and wipe down the bookshelf again to get all the sanded debris off. 
  5. Prime the entire surface of the unit and let dry based on the primer instructions.
  6. Sand any areas that have built up primer or if you want a smoother surface. I opted out of this step because I was ok with a little texture showing through. 
  7. Apply as many coats of the paint color as needed for your preferred coverage letting dry based on the dry time on the paint can. 
  8. Let the bookshelf dry completely then reassemble the shelves, doors, and hardware.
  9. Let the unit dry and air for another day, then style to your liking! 

To get the look: 

Bring in a lot of natural textures with baskets, ropes, and driftwood. Keep to neutral colors with a little touch of metals and make sure to bring in some plants. 

A word of advice: Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of your project, or waiting for the perfect time.  The day we started our projects was kind of on a whim. I was planning our dining room layout, for the 15th time, then finally said, let’s just start. It doesn’t matter if we don’t finish, or if it’s not perfect. At least we tried, we learned, and it’s better than it was before. 

Let me know if you try this makeover in the comments below or if you have questions to get you started!

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