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A Lego bookshelf for Zoe

Zoe loves to build Lego kits, and she didn’t have much of a place to store some of her bigger pieces. 

So, I told her I’d poke around on Facebook Marketplace to see what I could come up with.

Eventually, I came across a teal solid wood bookshelf for $25, so I went to pick it up.

teal bookshelf.

However, when I got home I was like CRAP! I didn’t take into consideration that the shelves were pretty close together, which did not leave enough room for Zoe’s taller buildings.


But then I realized something!

Remember this Buy Nothing bookshelf?

before and after

It was a disaster when I got it, and it had so much damage to one shelf, I had to turn the whole thing upside down.

shelf with damage.

When it was finished, I put it into our downstairs den, where it held books and some games/movies.

Anyway, I realized that since it’s upside down, the top two shelves are pretty tall and perfect for Legos.

So, I decided to swap the two bookshelves!

I moved the shelf with legs into Zoe’s room, where she promptly filled it with all of her things. 

shelf of legos.

And she did put some books in there too. 😉 


A nice thing about using the same paint over and over is that this shelf is exactly the same shade of white as Zoe’s bed, which I painted several years ago when I took apart Sonia and Zoe’s bunkbeds.

white bookshelf.

You can see a bed post in the lower right corner 🙂

Anyway! Back to the teal bookshelf. 

I almost just put it into the downstairs den as-is, but then I thought, nah, I’ll fix it up, and that way if I end up wanting to sell it down the road, it’ll be worth more than I paid for it.

Plus I wasn’t really digging the teal.

So I scuff-sanded it, just to remove the top bit of finish, and then I hauled it inside. Because it was toooo cold to paint outside (paint prefers more temperate temperatures. 😉 ) 

sanded bookshelf.

I primed it…

sanded bookshelf.

primed bookshelf.

I did use a drop cloth! 

And then I began the laborious process of painting it.

Bookshelves have SO much surface area, they take a long time to paint. 

partially-painted bookshelf.

You start to think you’re getting close and then you’re like, “Ohhhh wait, the bottom of the shelves!”

bookshelf in process.

And this one had those annoying grooves on the back. That took a lot of careful painting, plus plenty of caulking.

See how those grooves look dark? 

Now we’re getting closer! 

I finished painting the shelf shortly before we left for Hawaii, so Zoe and I moved it downstairs and let it cure while we were away.


For things like dressers, I worry less about curing…most of the painted surface of a dresser gets left alone.

But it’s easy to mess up a bookshelf finish by putting heavy stuff on the paint before it’s reached maximum hardness, so I always err on the side of caution! 

It was all good by the time we came back home, so now it’s holding our miscellaneous stuff downstairs.

white bookshelf.

That room has zero windows, so the pictures are a little dark. Sorry!


Incidentally, the little stool next to the bookshelf is from my Buy Nothing group.

And the lamp was an extra that got thrown in with some that I bought from Facebook Marketplace. 

black chair.

Ooh, also that black chair is free from Facebook Marketplace. 

It’s pretty amazing what you can get for cheap/free. 🙂

I had all the supplies for this project on hand, aside from a $4 tube of caulk, so in total, I spent $25.

There is no way I could have gotten a new Lego shelf for Zoe for anything close to $25. And even if I had, it wouldn’t have been solid wood, and it wouldn’t have perfectly matched her other bedroom furniture.

Of course, there’s an investment of time, but I just put my earbuds in and listened to the nursing textbook chapters that were assigned over winter break. So I don’t even really look at it as lost time!

And as I mentioned, if the next place I move to doesn’t have space for this bookshelf, I can always sell it for a good bit more than I paid for it. That’s the beauty of buying used!

Furniture Painting Supply List

The basics I use to get my painting jobs done!

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Carla G

Thursday 1st of February 2024

Did you consider just painting the area that was teal, rather than the whole thing? That could have tied it together without as much work.... Those grooves, gah! Looks great!


Thursday 1st of February 2024

That occurred to me AFTER I started sanding. lol Whoops.


Wednesday 31st of January 2024

Great job!

Liz Nesbitt

Wednesday 31st of January 2024

Wow! So beautiful! Love what you did with it

Barbara Harris

Wednesday 31st of January 2024

Hi Kristen! Long time lurker and fellow nursing student here ( just started my last term!). We have the same Nursing Foundations textbook. How do you listen to it? I am soooooooooo over reading right now and we have a new puppy so being able to listen instead of just read would be wonderful.

I plan to start posting once I pass my finals, and the NCLEX, and get a job and catch up on sleep.......

You, this community and all the kindness here has kept me going through some hard times. Thank you all! Hi A.Marie!!!!

Barb in CNY


Thursday 1st of February 2024

Hey there! So, I listen to mine through the Bookshelf app, where I have all of my Lippincott books loaded. Do you have digital access to your book, or do you just have the physical version?

If you have the digital version, then you should be able to use the Bookshelf app!


Wednesday 31st of January 2024

I am a bit concerned re: no window in the room in the basement. Are there an egress window(s)? The basement in our current home was a death trap (my term) - no egress anywhere. So an addition to the house has a full basement with a large egress window (with custom, well built window well cover). I probably need to put a two/three step stool/ladder in there - I'll need to make sure I can reach the latch if I am in the well.

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