Thursday, March 28, 2013

River Bank{er} Barrister Bookcase

This post could easily be titled . . . I'll get by ♫ "With a Little Help from My Friends" ♪ . . . 
Our story begins when my friend Monica snags a well-worn Barrister Bookcase at a garage sale and 
brings it by my Humblenest, sharing the love and asking me if I could do anything with it.  
'Heck Yeah!'

He (I tend to refer to my projects in either the masculine or feminine sense -- not sure why :-) . . . 
needed a base to bring him up to standard console / sofa table height . . .
 plus, I thought he needed a little more weight on the bottom.

At first I wasn't sure how to approach this task . . . 
My bookcase wasn't a standard size to simply use a ready-made base,
and to be honest I wasn't too keen on the style.
So . . . I used 4 solid wood, corner feet and added a bit of rope molding to increase the 'curve' appeal.

My brother in law (friend 2) and his handy nail-gun and miter saw helped to 
make his new parts and original parts all come together nicely.
I knew I was going to paint and distress this piece -- allowing a bit of the stained wood to show through.
Since the new molding and corner feet were not stained I painted them first with a dark brown . . . 
I didn't have any dark brown chalk paint, but a friend did :)
So a quick call and short road trip and I had a sample of Virginia Chestnut (CeCe Caldwell's)
from my friend Allison . . . (friend #3 if you are keeping tabs).

My color inspiration came from an unlikely source . . . a salad plate:
from my 8 Great Ways to Set a Place for Dad blog-post
The plate is called Riverstone and the color is a warm grayish-blue with a medallion in taupe.

I painted the interior (and I apologize that I didn't open the glass doors!) in Annie Sloan's Country Grey
topped with clear wax and lots of dark wax to really bring warmth and depth to the piece.
The interior really turned out nice  . . . though it was a real workout on my arms to achieve!

For the exterior I created a custom color mixing :::
3/4 Annie Sloan's Graphite and 1/4 Annie Sloan's French Linen  {a YuMMy Color I will use Again!}.
He received a few sweet coats of my custom color and a bit of distressing.  
Lots of clear wax, with a bit of dark wax on his curves.
I also changed out his original hardware -- going with a wider knob, 
that was also a bit more masculine, in a oil-rubbed bronze.

Here is a great tip I picked up from This Old House for painting the wood around windows 
that worked perfectly for painting the glass doors.
Use Pages from an old magazines to keep glass paint-free (Frontgate's catalog was 
the perfect size for this project).  Simply wet the edges of magazine pages and press them 
onto the panes. After painting, the magazine paper peels off easily.
He was distressed in all the right places (kind of like Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. -- am I dating myself?).
Here he seemed to enjoy strutting his custom color in the sunshine.

He left my life too soon . . . he was sold at 'my shop' almost as soon as he came in.
He brought friends into my life and I made a new designer friend, Deborah, in the process.
Deborah proudly owns River and we both couldn't be more pleased.

Thank you for stopping in!  I always love to see a friendly face :)

Here is where me and River are linking up this week:
Miss Mustard Seed                                              Funky Junk Interior's Saturday Night Special
Elizabeth & Co.                                                    Savvy Southern Style
Under the Table & Dreaming                               I Heart Naptime
Nifty Thrifty Sunday                                              Coastal Charm
French Country Cottage                                      The Shabby Nest
My Romantic Home                                             Mod Vintage Life
Between Naps on the Porch                                Homemaker on a Dime
Not Just a Housewife                                           The DIY Dreamer
Southern Lovely                                                   Fine Craft Guild
Uncommon Slice of Suburia                                Home Stories from AtoZ
From My Front Porch to Yours                            Stone Gable
Jennifer Rizzo                                                      Common Ground
Redoux Interiors                                                   The Charm of Home                                              
Say Not Sweet Anne                                            Fox Hollow Cottage
Too Much Time on My Hands                              Tater Tots & Jello   
Pieced Pastimes                                                 Finding Silver Pennies
Three Mango Seeds                                            The Tablescaper
The Rustic Pig                                                     Alderberry Hill
Uncommon Designs                                            Shades of Amber
Married Filing Jointly                                             Salt Tree Social
If it ain't Baroque                                                  Homemaker on a Dime
A Stroll through Life                                              Lil' Luna
Blue Egg Brown Nest                                            House of Hepworths
Life We Live 4                                                       A Bowl Full of Lemons
Practically Functional                                             Wait Til You Father Gets Home
Six Sisters Stuff                                                     Love & Laundry
Flamingo Toes                                                       DiY Showoff
PJH Designs                                                          The Dedicated House
Cozy Little House                                                  Thrifty Decor Chick


  1.'s beautiful! So much more charm than the in its original form. I so love the addition of the feet and trim. It's no wonder it left you too soon. :)
    Have a great weekend!

  2. I love the color of this piece. It is amazing what trim and feet can do. Wonderful!
    Have a blessed weekend,
    @ Eclectic Red Barn

  3. Love that color. You'd never know it wasn't originally built like that. Great update!

  4. What a great transformation, you did a fabulous job!

  5. It's great!!! I have a 4 shelf high plain barrister bookcase that I've been wanting to redo. If you bought the feet online, I'd love to know where you bought them!

  6. What a transformation. I am really impressed with the feet and the colour is terrific.

  7. So pretty! Love the color ~ and the plate, too!
    I'm visiting you today from Give me the Goods. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Medicine Cabinet Makeover

  8. What an awesome piece! No wonder it sold so quickly!

  9. This turned out so pretty. I love the added legs and trim! The color is wonderful also. I'd love for you to share at Transformed Tuesday as I know my readers will love it! Hope to see you there.

    Peggy~PJH Designs

  10. What a beautiful, beautiful color! I love the detailing and the molding!

    You are such a rock star!

  11. What a really great makeover!! Thank you so much for sharing. -K

  12. Susie, he came out gorgeous. Love the custom color and the details you added. Love the legs and the beading. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

  13. hey Susie! Im featuring your beautiful bookcase tonight at our linky party! Hope to see you back soon!

  14. Awesome job.

    Great to have you be a part of SEASONAL SUNDAYS!

    - The Tablescaper

  15. This is amazing! Thanks so much for linking up to Give Me The Goods Monday! Can't wait to see what you link up next week ;)
    Jamie @

  16. I love what you did! I just bought a barrister bookshelf that needs some attention. I typed in "chalk painted barrister bookshelf" for inspiration and found yours. Lovely - thank you!

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I love reading your comments! Thanks so much for sharing with me.
♥ Susie