Tardis Bookshelf Project.

So this is my first post, I just stumbled across this website a few days ago, and this is the first project I have tackled since signing up. I managed to fix the pictures and get them the right way up. I am entering this instructable in the "Fix And Improve it!" contest. Wish me luck!

I recently moved into a tiny apartment, and it's been really hard for me to find furniture that fits into my compact space. it's a basement unit with low ceilings, so I was having a lot of trouble finding a bookcase that would fit, and be able to make it up and down the narrow, twisty stairs. Because of this, I had budgeted between $50-$60 to spend on getting a shelf that would fit, but I got lucky, the old worn out bookshelf from my own childhood bedroom was short enough to fit in my new place, and my parents wanted to get rid of it anyways. So, I decided to spend my new furniture budget, on making my old Home Depot bookcase into something unique. 

Materials I used:

- 1 quart "Tardis Blue" trim paint. I chose CIL realife trim and door, medium base, in 'Saphire' (Purchased at Canadian Tire)
- 1 can black spray paint
- 1 can white spray paint
- Masking tape
- Parchment Paper
- Mini paint roller/tray
- Small brushes

NOTE: I would not recommend using spray paint for this project! If I were to repeat I would instead use a tester can of trim paint in both black and white for the "POLICE BOX" along the top!

Step 1: Tardis Bookshelf Project Step-1

After getting all my materials together it was too late in the day to start painting, so the first thing I did was make the stencils for my lettering along the top. I first measured the space I had to work with, then using tape and parchment paper, I made little adhesive letters to later use to add the 'POLICE BOX' along the top. The space was too small to worry about stenciling the "PUBLIC CALL", I intend to add it later using a fine brush and white acrylic paint. At this point I also made my own shelf pegs by cutting wooden dowel to size.

1- Lay out a piece of parchment paper, be sure to leave lots of space to work with, it's okay if this piece is way larger than the stencil you intend to make.

2- Cover the parchment with strips of masking tape, cover a large enough portion to draw out your stencil, again, this piece can be MUCH larger than your finished product.

3- Draw out your letters. I freehanded mine, using a ruler and a pencil, but parchment paper is pretty see through. Even with the masking tape on top, if you hold it against a window or use a light table you could just as easily trace the letters from a computer printout. 


If I were doing this project again I would certainly NOT try painting the top part with spray paint, which could omit this step all together. Ideally, I would just paint the top portion of the bookcase black, and create/buy the lettering made out of adhesive vinyl. Failing that, using acrylic or latex paint would likely do a much better job than the crappy spray paint I tried to use. 

Step 2: Tardis Bookshelf Project Step-2

I started by painting the shelves, using a mini roller and tray, I got a fairly nice, even coating right on the first try. Not a bad start!

I had to work in my back yard so I used black garbage bags as drop cloths. It works fairly well, as long as it's not too windy, and it makes cleanup a lot easier because you already have bags handy. 

I think I ended up doing three coats on the top side of the shelves, and two on the bottom. It looked fine after two, I was just a bit nit-picky about roller marks. 

Step 3: Tardis Bookshelf Project Step-3

My bookshelf was in bad shape before I began, I was an 'artistic' child so there were remnants of crayon, marker and paint all over it. Not to mention scraps of scotch tape, there were tiny little pieces of tape and stickers all over the damn thing. So I took a bit of sandpaper and some goo-gone and set about repairing the damage I'd done as a kid. Lesson learned, I now know why my mom never left me alone with scotch tape. 

At this point I took my white spray paint and coated the crown moulding along the top, to later block off for the lettering. This was a HUGE mistake. I should have used similar trim paint to the rest of the shelf, or even just acrylic. The spray paint (Krylon multi surface in semi gloss white) spewed out everywhere, dripped all down the sides of the shelf and left an awful transparent finish on the top of my shelf. Not to mention that it had coated both my hands nearly to the elbow, and it did a better job on my skin than it did on the wood.

I had my first coffee break, bought some vinyl gloves then set back to work.

I had intended to paint the six pane windows on the sides, but after seeing the finish left by the spray paint I scratched the idea and opted just to do the part along the top. A few more coats of spray paint and it was the white colour I wanted, though there were drips all over my poor shelf. 

Step 4: Tardis Bookshelf Project Step-4

I got a bit over zealous at this point and made a pretty obvious mistake. I did the first coat of Tardis blue on the shelf before stenciling off the letters and doing the coat of black along the top. Don't do this, don't be me, stencil and paint your letters before painting the body of the shelf. I got black drips everywhere, and had to triple coat some parts of the shelf to hide the spots.

I used my tape and parchment letters, lined them up along the crown moulding at the top then sprayed the area black. Again this is not the best method, though I suspect it would work better with better quality spray paint. I wouldn't use spray paint at all for this project if I were doing it again, but my experience with the stuff is minimal. I would probably get a little tester can of black trim paint, paint the area then use vinyl letters, or carefully hand paint the letters on top. 

Step 5: Tardis Bookshelf Project Step-5

I went over all the corners, edges and tight spaces with a small brush, did two coats like that, then another full coverage with the mini-roller. It took a few extra coats on the sides to cover the white and black spray paint drips, and a couple extra on the built in center shelf for the same reason. I chose to paint just the very top arch in the crown moulding the Tardis colour, then carefully removed the tape letters. 

The letters didn't turn out great, the black paint had soaked through in spots, and the lines weren't very clean like I had hoped they would be. A fine paint brush and a bit of white acrylic fixed the problem, but by then it was more than obvious that I'd made the wrong choice on how to do the top of the shelf. 

I let the paint dry for a while, then did one last coat of the blue, just to be sure everything was nice and even. 

Step 6: Tardis Bookshelf Project - Complete

There you have it! My tiny Tardis shelf. It was a fun project and only took me a few hours to do, even if I would do some things differently if I went at it again.

Thanks for looking, and good luck with all your projects!



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    3 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Cool though this project is, it's giving me a stiff neck - you need to rotate and re-upload your images.