The start of our chickens and children began with the purchase of our first home. My husband and I managed to find a 1905 farm house that rests on almost 5 acres. We have both wanted to have a relatively self-sustaining farm since we got married, and now we can finally start!

After we moved and got most things unpacked, we realized that all of our how-to books needed a new home.

Enter our first project, a book shelf!

Deciding to go with a simple design, we headed to the hardware store to purchase wood. We bought 5 1 inch X 10 inch X 6 foot boards.

Hubby cut 3 of the boards into 3 foot sections for the shelves with a circular saw. For the sides, we left 2 boards full length. We added a little style to the book shelf making the top resemble a picket fence. We measured 2 inches in on each side of top, and 4 inches down on each side giving us the same angle to cut on each corner.

bookshelf finished unpainted

We used a power drill and a 1 ½ inch spade bit to cut the circle in the top of the sides. The whole bookcase was assembled using wood screws and glue. Each shelf is supported by a small block of wood cut from the same stock. We braced the sides to the shelves using the corner pieces we cut off the sides as a 90 degree support block on the top and bottom shelves.


I love to paint everything so instead of staining the wood I painted it! We applied the base coat to all sides and the tops of the shelves, and waited for that the dry. Then flipping it upside down we applied base coat to the bottoms of the shelves.

To get the distressed look on the book shelf, I used a dry brush technique.

Dry brush technique:

  1. Using paint just from the lid of the paint can, you dab your dry bristle brush into the paint.DSC05860
  2. Then blot the brush a paper towel to remove excess paint. It is best to have less paint on the brush when you apply it to the wood. You can always add more as needed to get the distressed look you are going for.DSC05861
  3. Gently paint the wood, and as the paint is being removed from the brush you can add a little more pressure with each stroke.


If there is a discrete area of your project, like the bottom of a shelf, that would be a good place to practice applying light to heavy pressure as the paint leaves your brush.

DSC05858Here’s an example of putting more light grey paint in a few spots to add to the distressed look.

 It didn’t take very long for the dry brush strokes to dry, and once that was done it was time to move this book shelf to its final resting place upstairs.



Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.