DIY | Retro Bookcase

After relieving my parents of their 1970s teak bookcase that was blocking the hallway, I decided to reinvent it as a retro bookcase to house all of my magazines.

You will need

  • Detail Sander
  • Mask & Goggles
  • Base Coat Primer
  • Paint of choice (B&Q’s Antique Grey Satin Gloss)
  • Clear Varnish Matt or Satin


  • Sand down the wood using an electric detail sander (the triangle one) so that you can get right into the corners. Wear your mask and goggles, because there will be a lot of dust flying around!
  • Give the wood two coats of primer or base if you intend to paint it with a lighter colour.
  • Paint with colour of choice (I went for Antique Grey Satin Gloss – B&Q), leave to dry and then paint a second coat.
  • If you are using gloss like I did, wait at least 12 hours between painting and varnishing as the gloss will still be really tacky.
  • Paint with a one coat clear varnish, matt so that it’s not glossy on top of glossy.
  • Then style your magazines, treasured possessions or voluminous clutter to taste.

Top Tip

Use plastic sheets instead of newspaper underneath whatever you are painting, so that the fresh wet paint doesn’t get stuck to it.


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