Monday, March 12, 2018

Mr. Handsome's Bookshelf

About four weeks into the new year, I woke up one day and decided that our furniture needed a facelift. We had pieces of every different shade imaginable, and I was tired of it. Mr. Handsome and I have committed to living frugally, so going out and purchasing a bunch of brand new furniture isn't something we plan on doing.

After a little bit of research, I made the decision to find a few used pieces of furniture from Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Goodwill and to refinish those along with some of our existing pieces. I started with a coffee table, for which I posted a tutorial.

refinished coffee table

We had an unexpected cold snap in late January and early February, so I worked on the furniture indoors and then hauled it out to our heated shed to allow it to dry. But by the second week of February, the weather had turned unusually warm, with a few days hitting 80F (26C), so I was able to do the bulk of the work outdoors. 

My second project was a nightstand that Mr. Handsome made in high school wood shop class.

Refinished nightstand
Refinished nightstand
Refinished nightstand
Refinished nightstand
Refinished nightstand

After refinishing a small entertainment stand that I purchased on Facebook Marketplace for $25, I  finally felt skilled enough to tackle our dining room table (pictures coming soon). Now I’m working my way through our four dining chairs, which are bar stool height and have curved backs that make them quite challenging to sand and stain. I also have a couple other pieces that I'm hoping to refinish, including an end table and a stool.

You might remember my post about the free bookshelf I received from Mr. Handsome's aunt in 2015. It has served us well for two and a half years, but our ever-expanding book collection has outgrown it. I spent quite a bit of time searching for a solid wood bookshelf that I could refinish, but I couldn’t find anything that worked.

For Valentine’s Day, my wonderful Mr. Handsome offered to make me a bookshelf! He constructed the entire thing, complete with routed edges, using two slabs of wood that we purchased from a wood supplier. The shelf took the better part of two days to build, and when it was finished, I did the staining, using the same method and materials explained in my coffee table post.

Mr. Handsome plans to write up a tutorial for his DIY bookshelf, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek. 

make your own bookshelf
DIY bookshelf

22 comments:

  1. Wow! Ellie. All I can say is Wow! That's Amazing!

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  2. Anonymous3/12/2018

    You did a great job with the furniture. Mr. Handsome's bookshelf is a gem. You can never have enough bookshelves. We have so many books and could use some more shelves. Thank You for sharing your furniture adventures. God Bless.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

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    1. Thank you, ladies! I was thrilled with the outcome of the bookshelf.

      Ellie

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  3. Would you recommend using the same # sandpaper on any type of wood? Or do different types have different effects?

    BTW you do such a good job with this furniture! Maybe you could buy cheap furniture online and flip it to make a few bucks!

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    1. Hi there,

      Thank you! I've thought about refinishing furniture to sell. Perhaps when I'm finished with all my current projects. :)

      When it comes to hand sanding old layers of stain/polyurethane, you should be safe using #80 sandpaper, but always start slow just to be sure.

      If you're using an electric sander, you'll want to be a little more cautions, but with all my projects #80 has been completely fine. Just make sure to spot test the sandpaper in an inconspicuous location. And be especially careful when sanding curves and other "embellishments" because it's easy to mess those up with an electric sander.

      Hope this helps!
      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous3/14/2018

      Interestinger than football! Thanks Ellie.

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  4. Anonymous3/12/2018

    Nice job refinishing. Pretty soon Mr. Handsome will need to build a bigger bookcase.

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    1. Thank you. LOL, I know, right?

      Ellie

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  5. The nightstand and book shelf look fantastic. You did a great job!

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    1. Thank you, Angela. I appreciate that.

      Ellie

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  6. Great job Ellie! We have a display case that has my teacups and it needs refinishing. I think if winter ever ends(we have snow coming this week and next) that will be our spring project.

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    1. That would be a fun project. What color stain do you think you'll use?

      Ellie

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  7. Anonymous3/13/2018

    Lol, Mr. Handsome isn't the only one that has talents. Ellie, the refinished furniture looks beautiful...Jane

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    1. Thank you, Jane. You're very kind.

      Ellie

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  8. It looks great Ellie! That is the beauty of wood furniture. Even if it can't be stained like you did such a lovely job of, one can paint it a nice colour and give the room a pop accent.

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    1. Thanks, Laura. I totally agree, there are lots of things that can be done to give furniture a new look. Have you painted or stained furniture?

      Ellie

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  9. Anonymous3/14/2018

    Ellie, excellent job! You and Mr. Handsome have wonderful talents!

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    Replies
    1. That's very kind of you. It's all the Lord's doing.

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous3/15/2018

      Talents are God given, but it is up to us to do something with those talents and it surely looks like you and Mr. H are. Your refinishing work looks wonderful as does the handmade bookshelf by Mr H. I think it will become a valued loved family piece that can be handed down for generations to come. Thanks for sharing. Eileen

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