Hi there sweet friends! Today I’m sharing how to update a bookcase with fence pickets! This post is from deep in the archives. I originally shared it way back in the summer of 2016!
The original post has been pinned almost 100k times, and I thought it would be a fun reshare while I’m on the hunt for more treasures for my next haul.
If you missed the final makeover from my Spring 2022 Haul, you can see that HERE.
With it being summer, there are likely lots of new fences going up. Don’t throw those old fence pickets away…there are so many uses for them!
I’m going to share how I updated this $12 thrift store bookcase with old fence pickets I found on the curb:
This one sure could use the help! It looked like someone had some sort of electronics on the bottom shelf that needed to be vented, so two big holes had been cut out on the back.
When I bought it, I originally planned to replace the back with bead board.
Then I remembered this pile of discarded fencing I scored:
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to cram EVERY last piece in my car at the time, but I was able to get a good bit of it, and I still had a couple of those fence sections left:
Those people were having a yard sale that day but were so nice to let me dig through their curbside trash. They even helped me load it lol. I did purchase a dresser from them though!
How to Update a Bookcase with fence pickets
After painting this bookcase a simple white, I decided to use those old pickets instead of the bead board to replace the backing on the shelf.
I cut them to size with my miter saw and then did a test fit:
Whitewashing the Pickets
These photos are from an old tray post I did, but I whitewashed these pickets the very same way. The weathered pickets are the perfect base color for this technique!
After giving them a quick wipe down, I just painted, wiped it away, and voila!
You can water the paint down a bit if you like, but I didn’t do that here. If they are too white, you can use a wet rag to remove more paint.
I sealed the shelf with clear wax, and then I attached the new backing with small nails.
Here is how this coastal cutie looks now!
It looks a whole lot different, right??
I love the coastal feel of the white-washed fence pickets:
They really add so much to this otherwise very plain little bookcase.
That little white basket was a 99¢ thrift store find that I painted…
The blue Ball jars were all yard sale finds.
Of course hydrangeas always say summer to me…
Those were from our old garden (Mini Penny Hydrangea), inside a thrift store enamel kettle.
See even more reclaimed wood projects HERE:
I hope you’re inspired to hang onto those fence pickets! And sorry I gave you something else to hoard ha ha!
I’ll see you back here on Tuesday with this folding screen:
UPDATE: See how I updated this gem HERE now!
Have an amazing weekend!!
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Mary Kaiser says
I remember this one from a long way back! It is amazing how long I have been following you, and yet I still get re-inspired all over again every time I see one of your post! Your creativity and your ways to re imagine old things into beautiful works of art keep me coming back time and time again. I really enjoy all your post whether they are new ones of from a long time ago!! Your post stay with me and it is always so fun to test my memory with the old post. Keep doing such a fantastic job, because I for one love it all!!!
Yes, you have been with me for a long while and I am so very grateful!! I have so many older projects that have never been seen by most that it’s a shame not to give them another chance to shine, right? I’m so glad you still enjoy seeing the reruns too, my friend! Have an amazing weekend! XOXO
Denise Cox says
LOVE IT!! Such a simple, yet pretty transformation!! And, you know how I LOVE coastal !!! I also love the kettle. I gave up looking for one as I couldn’t find what I wanted.
Thank you, Denise! This is totally you for sure with that whitewashed coastal feel. And I have never seen another enamel kettle since! XOXO
Happy Thursday! Wow, what a transformation!!! I love this little bookcase now!!
Thank you so much, Christina! Happy weekend! XOXO
This is great! I didn’t see the original (or don’t remember it…ha,ha!) You should make a trip north and see what I could barter with you. I’ve got some items you haven’t had before guaranteed! Plus, NH is so pretty!
Thank you, Jeanne! ooh…I’ve never been to NH before…it’s tempting!! XOXO
Fence pickets make the best decor! Love how they transformed the bookshelf! Glad you shared it again.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you, Cecilia! They sure do! I used to find them mostly while yard saling and I haven’t done quite as much of that in recent years as I once did. I think I need to make plans to! XOXO
I love your creativity in using the salvaged fence. And thanks for giving the name of the hydrangea, I am currently redoing a garden and want to include hydrangeas.
Thank you so much! That hydrangea grows much smaller, so it doesn’t produce as many blooms, but they are pretty! My favorites are the Endless Summer variety. They have several color options and they bloom on new and old wood, so you get blooms all summer. Have fun! XOXO
Good save! I really like the fusion of white-washed wood and fence pickets! 💗
Thank you, Peggy! I do too!! XOXO
Kathy Seiders says
I was just telling my husband that the garage looks like we’re hoarders. I am in desperate need of time to get thru some of my piles. The problem is that I can’t pass by those ‘freebe’ items, even when others view them as trash, at the side of the road…. one person’s trash….
Love this make-over, as always. Super cute!
Ha ha! I am the same…I cannot pass up a good freebie for sure! Thanks, Kathy! XOXO
That is so cute! I can see that working with the farmhouse look too, and in lots of rooms. Good job! (And I can’t believe those beautiful blue jars were in a yard sale. Who would get rid of those?? Haha!)
Thank you, Cyndi! Absolutely! I found those larger jars for only $5 each. She had a bunch of them. I ended up going home and getting more money just so I could go back and get them all ha ha! XOXO
Fran Blunt says
Thanks so much, my friend! XOXO
Tracey A says
Thank you, Tracey! XOXO
Victoria Hempe says
Beautiful as usual. Your style of decorating and staging is amazing too. I learn so much from you! Thank you!
Aww thank you so much, Victoria! I really enjoy the staging part. 🙂 XOXO
Great job. You are so creative.
Aww I appreciate that, Rebecca! Thank you! XOXO
The bookcase looks great! Has so much more character now.
Thank you, Angela! XOXO
Great save!!! Only you would get a jolt out of that fence dump pile!!! YAY! I love resourcing and you are a champ at it. This bookcase is just perfect now.
Have a good one!!!
Thank you, Addie! Ha ha you know how that fence pile made my heart skip a beat! Have a fantastic weekend!! XOXO
Oh, Christy, this looks so cute! It is just perfect. I could use this in so many different places. This will sell quickly.
Thank you so much, Marian!! Yes, so versatile! XOXO
Debbie in TX says
Ditto to everything Mary Kaiser said above!
And I am loving this piece with the simple addition of whitewashed backing. Doesn’t even need a transfer or extra paint colors!
Great makeover : )
Aww thanks, Debbie!! Absolutely…keeping this one simple was all it needed! XOXO
Wow! What an awesome way to reuse weathered fence pickets! I would have never thought of that, but it sure did enhance the bookcase tremendously. Beautiful Christy! Now it has so much character! (I totally missed seeing this before so am happy you shared again 🙂
Thank you, Mary! I’m so glad you like it, and I love that it was new to you…made it worth resharing! My sister is replacing her fence next month and I already called dibs ha ha! XOXO
Michele M. says
Great seeing that- glad you re-shared. It looks fabulous!
Thank you so much, Michele!! XOXO
Eeek! What a gorgeous little update! Love this one. I can see why it’s been pinned so many times.
Thank you so much, Deanna! I need a new stash of pickets, so I already called dibs on my sister’s fence that she’s replacing next month lol! XOXO
Cheryl Atkinson says
Christy!! Its like Christmas!! I’m finding soany old projects of yours that I have never seen. I sure wish I had room to have all the awesome tools needed. Someday. Cross your fingers that I find my knight in shining armor and he iwns a house with a garage or shop. I’m not asking g for much.🤣🤣
Oh ha ha! I have so many projects that get shared once never to be seen again, so it’s fun to bring them out again! Crossing all my fingers and toes ha ha! XOXO