Bookshelf Dumpster Diva, A Major Makeover

Do you know how THRILLING it is to find something decent in or around a dumpster?  I found a bookshelf missing all the inner parts (shelves) several months ago.  I thought inspiration would hit right away.  Instead, the perfectly good bookshelf shell languished in my garage, collecting dust.  In my very concerted effort to use every last thing in my stash before I buy (dive) for too much more, I finally got around to making it over.

Dumpster Bookshelf Makeover RedouxinteriorsNOTE: Video on the entire process coming soon!

If I knew it was going to turn out this amazing, I wouldn’t have let it sit in this state for so long!  Here she is in her naked premakeover stage:

Dumpster Bookshelf BEFORE  redouxinteriorsSeriously! People throw out the best stuff sometimes!

After giving the poor thing a thorough cleaning with TSP.  I measured the inside and cut four shelves from MDF I had on hand.  I then painted the entire bookshelf and the cut shelving in CeCe Caldwell’s Vermont Slate.  I wanted a dark, elegant color, but wanted to soften the black.  I sealed the entire piece in CeCe Caldwell’s Endurance.  Endurance is so easy to apply and is hard as a rock.  Plus it has practically no smell and a low gloss.  You can watch THIS VIDEO on how to apply it (and get a chuckle at the same time).

Dumpster Bookshelf DURING  redouxinteriorsI removed the back of the bookshelf, it was stapled in and came off fairly easily.  I measured and cut a piece of fabric I had found at Ikea sometime ago.  I used a spray adhesive to adhere it to the back piece.  Once the Endurance was dry, I laid the bookshelf front down.  I put the back piece back on and used finishing nails to secure it to the back.

What ‘tude she has now!  Amazing what a coat of paint and some elegant fabric can do for a girl……

Dumpster bookshelf makeover up close redouxinteriors

When I begin a Dumpster DIY, I usually have a pretty good vision of how it will look when I am finished.  This time, the finished product looked so much better than I ever imagined.

Dumpster Bookshelf Makeover center Redouxinteriors

It will be hard to part with my new makeover, but she will be for sale at Paris Flea Market in Livermore, California this weekend for our February sale.   She is of solid construction, the back fabric is Scotch Guarded and she would be perfect in any decor.

Dumpster Bookshelf after redouxinteriors


Sharing my new favorite Dumpster Makeover at these lovely parties:

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  1. LOVE it! I use a lot of Vermont Slate…my son’s apartment is “British Gentleman’s Club” and he likes the gray, so he finds stuff and we give it a coat of Vermont Slate. (I am more of a Nantucket Spray gal, myself.)

  2. Incredible ‘redouxion’! I’m sure it will draw a lot of interest at the sale!

  3. ColleenB. ~ Texas says:

    love your bookshelf makeover and what lovely fabric.
    Went and watched your video. :} You’re a hoot. Really enjoyed it

  4. Your bookshelf turned out lovely! I was amazed at the difference in the color. The slate is so rich and has dimension. Thank you sharing it with us all.

  5. That would look so pretty in a bathroom with white towels. Or my bathroom……hehehe.
    Lve the Vermont Slate.

  6. i ADORE this! the backing is perfection!

  7. She’s beautiful Karen! I love the fabric on the back…what a clever idea! ~Lisa

  8. I LOVE a great “trash night” find. Great job.

  9. Oh Karen, this is beautiful!! I absolutely love the fabric on the back with that color!! Nice rescue!!

  10. This one is SO GOOD! You’ve inspired me to get out my fabric stash and back some shelves.

  11. How very pretty! I really enjoy looking at your website. You have such creative ideas!

  12. LOVE it! Excellent Choice of colors.

  13. Love it! good find and great transformation!

  14. I love the creative use of the fabric. Great piece!

  15. Absolutely gorgeous!

  16. She’s a keeper…even though you aren’t ;) Seriously the bookshelf turned out beautiful. I’m sure someone will snatch it up right away! Have a super week. ~Deborah

    • Umm…just reread that comment and it sounds like I’m saying you aren’t a keeper. So not what I meant. I hope you got what I meant. You are definitely a keeper, in fact, I keep you on my blog list ;)

  17. Barbara Trent says:

    Nice job on the bookshelf.

  18. Just beautiful!!

  19. Talk about an amazing transformation! I love the pretty fabric and paint color. I’m sure this will sell in a flash. It sure caught my eye over at the Wow Us Wednesday party.

  20. Oh my – you do great work! Am inpsired here….

  21. Looks great! I love the black and white back drop. Pinning!

  22. Just gorgeous and I like how you styled it with the tiny gold mirror.

    I recently found four elegant chairs on the street I couldn’t believe my luck. I even carried them home in the rain, you must be prepared to drop everything in my town in Italy or it will be gone in 20 minutes.

  23. Love how this project changes and dresses up the bookshelf………..I have done a similar thing to a corner china cabinet and also a hutch and they turned out great. Thanks for posting. :) Gentle Joy

  24. This is fabulous!

    You ROCK for linking up this week to Tip Me Tuesday. {high fives}

    Just a heads up, Tip Junkie can help you index your blog more effectively if you upload at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL into your Tip Junkie craft room!

    Simply login and click “add a project” on your profile page to get started. {yep I’ve got your back!}

    ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}
    Link ~

  25. This looks great! Awesome job!

  26. I don’t know how you will be able to part with it, it is sooooooo gorgeous! I don’t get why anyone would throw out such a well-made bookcase. It has great lines and looks solidly made, not like the little 5 foot high cheapos I bought in 1987 that SERIOUSLY need to be redone or replaced. Wonder what happened to the shelves, LOL! I’ve no doubt some eager buyer will snap up that beautifully redone bookcase instantly!

  27. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Oh that fabric just puts your bookcase totally over the top – love it!

  28. So pretty, Karen!


  1. […] you know how THRILLING it is to find something decent in or around a dumpster?” asks Karen at Redoux Interiors.  She found this black bookshelf in a dumpster.  It was actually pretty good looking, but […]

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