The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


DIY Bookshelf

Facebook Twitter
DIY bookshelf

My favorite part about living off campus is decorating my temporary home. I recently just refurbished an old broken cabinet into a cute crackled bookshelf. It’s perfect for neatly holding my text and notebooks that were previously scattered everywhere. For this project paint was my best friend! Continue reading to see how I accomplished this and the before picture!

Essential Products Used:

1. Crackle Glaze

2. White Matte Paint

3. Paint Roller

4. Paint Tray

How I did it:

Originally, the piece had two small cabinet doors. One of the doors was cracked, so I decided to completely remove both of them with a screwdriver. After doing this, the piece began to resemble the bookshelf-like look I was going for. Then, I made sure to wipe the piece down with a clean rag. Before beginning, I made sure to protect the floors by lining them with cut up paper bags.


After this, I painted over the outside of it with a clear crackle glaze. I specifically used weathered crackle glaze from the paint brand, Valspar. Once I had one coat on I had to wait about three hours for it to dry. When the crackle glaze was fully set, I painted over it with a coat of matte white paint. As I was painting, I could see the crackles forming and exposing the deep red base coat.


During the process, I began to notice the top of the shelf was lacking the crackle effect I desired. I immediately took a Clorox wipe to its surface and began cleaning off the white paint I applied to the top. I was happily surprised that this worked and it took off all the paint. After this, I went over it again with a thick layer of crackle glaze and waited two hours before I painted it white. This time around the crackle worked great and I loved the results! My point here is mistakes will happen, but we can always fix them.


My DIY crackle bookshelf was finally finished and ready to be placed in the dining room. It brightens up the space and has a cool vintage look to it. It’s a bonus that it shows UMass school spirit with its maroon undertone!


Residential Life

Other Posts by this Author

Thrift Shopping 101

Turtleneck sweaters with text: Thrift Shopping 101

Feeling bored and uninspired looking through your winter wardrobe? Spruce up your closet just in time for spring by taking a trip to your local thrift store. Retail therapy is sooo real, and I believe it’s always better to save while you spend. Whatever store you choose to thrift, you’re guaranteed to feel overwhelmed by the piles of clothes you’ll run into. Don’t let this intimidate you. Exploring the wide variety of styles and finding a piece that suits you best is actually all part of the fun.