Blah Bookshelf to Ballards Knockoff – Rerun week

Furniture and Cabinetry Redouxs, Furniture Makeovers

Hi friends, I am off relaxing this week, far away from my computer and workshop.  I am running “reruns this week”.  This is by far my most popular post, EVER.  Enjoy.
Bookshelf makeover redouxinteriors
We have all seen these bookshelves, maybe we even have one in our home?
(photo courtesy of Ikea)

I made mine over to look like a Ballard’s knockoff!

Here are the items you will need:

Items needed:
  • 4 short legs of choice, plus plates
  • Paint of choice
  • Wax or top coat of choice
  • Fabric of choice to go on back behind shelving
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharp Scissors and Box Cutter
  • Spray Adhesive, and small rolling pin or something to smooth out fabric
I purchased this basic bookshelf at my local Goodwill store for $5.
I then purchased four bun feet from Home Depot for about $8 each.
To upgrade the bookshelf, turn it over and add the feet plates, they are easy to drill in and then screw in the legs. Both are usually found in the “Trim” department of your local Home Improvement Store.
While it was still upside down, I painted the entire piece in ASCP, “Graphite”.
When dry, I righted it and painted the entire piece in a 2nd coat. Skipping the back, (this is where the fabric will go). When 2nd coat was dry I waxed the entire piece with Mylands Dark Brown Antique Wax. I like to use the Dark Wax with the Graphite, it seems to work really well together.
Turn the bookshelf open side down, lay the fabric of choice on the back and cut around to fit. (or be more accurate in measuring, which I am not)
Turn bookshelf back over and spray back with good spray Adhesive (I like Elmer’s brand because I can move stuff around to fit before it sets). Use roller to smooth out fabric and make sure it adheres well.
If it is not an exact fit, go around edges with “Box Cutter” to “score” the fabric. Gently lift up and trim excess fabric, then repeat light spray and roll.

Add your shelf back in and you have your Ballards Knock off!Avant:





  1. bec

    this is my first time so it’s not a rerun for me! great shelf…lovin it!
    Bec x

  2. Jill Flory

    Awesome! I can see, Karen, that I need to spend a few hours digging through your blog archives!

  3. Hetty

    Thanks Karen, this is the first time I read your post and I know I am going to paint my bookcase….right now!! Love it.

  4. Cynthia

    I love how this project turnerd out. It looks fantastic I love all the touches.


  5. Donna Chazanov

    Like the first comment, it is my1st time seeing this particular make-over and it looks so simple and so beautiful. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all.

  6. Terri Pernosky

    Love you projects,just my kind of “french girl” we are kindered spirits, I am scotch/irish and my family has a hard time understanding the fasination and love of all things french. I love from french riviera,to frech county and way before it was a “thing or style” Thank you for all your lessons,love the one also on how to make mdf furniture look like wood.

  7. Margie Close

    It seems to be a running theme… It is my first time reading your post and I LOVE the shelf. I’m a “newbie” to the French theme, so thanks for the detailed instructions. Thanks for the inspiration!



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