The Little Lack – Part 2

Jennifer —  January 9, 2012 — 1 Comment

Sorry this post is so late.  We had a minor mishap when I opened our water bill that usually is a standard $24.00 the last four years.  December was a $385 month.  Thats 92,500 gallons of water used for a 1500 sq foot house.  YEAH RIGHT!  I had to go meet the plumber to figure it out.  We did, they misread the meter Phew!  I did learn some things that could help you.  No worries, I will blog about it.

Last Friday I shared how we built our bookcases that flank either side of our newly white fireplace.  Our inspiration was Ikea’s discontinued Lack bookcase.  They don’t make a half version of their bookcase so we were not building it exactly like the Lack.  We were going for recreating its modern lines and thick wood.  You can check out this post to see how we built them.

The next step was to finish these puppies.  The goal was to try to minimize the wood grain as much as possible.  We wanted this project to be under $50.00 (which it was), so we chose cheap wood, white pine.  We knew that in choosing cheap wood we would not be able to completely eliminate the wood grain, but my goal was to finish it so well you would have to put your nose right up to the wood to be able to see the wood grain.   To accomplish this we had to call upon our  old friends; sand paper,  sander, and paintable caulk.  We would also like you to introduce you to our new friend… Durham’s Water Putty.


I will be honest, when I asked the hubs to buy some more wood filler he came home with this.  Its powder that you mix with water.  I was skeptical but it has a $2.77 price tag I was wooed by the price tag.   Elmers is $6 and it dries out if you don’t store it right.  After using it, I am officially smitten.  This is an honest referral because they are not paying me a dime to say this.  They don’t even know I am blogging about it.  If I married a wood filler, it would be this one.  You just put a little scoop full of powder in a bowl, mix it with water, and you are ready to go.  It has a runny consistency at first, which is great to get into the little cracks of the knots.  After a while it gets mushy like the wood filler you are used to and then it becomes hard as a rock.  You can use as much or as little as you want and it will not go bad.  It also hardens and make those pesky knots in your wood unbreakable.

Step 1:  Fill the Holes/crackers

I mixed two spoonfuls of the putty in a plastic cup and mixed it up.  I started with the runny substance and filled all the knots with the liquid.  I spooned it in and smoothed it over. I still had the holes from the screws to fill so I waited for the putty to get clumpy.  3 minutes later I filled those holes with the clumpy putty just like using Elmers wood putty.  The great thing is that Durham’s water putty is initially wood colored but it dries white making it fool proof.  I also filled any nicks or dings present, along filled the cracks where the wood meets on the front and top of the bookcase.

Step 2: Lightly sand sand the dried holes/knots and then repeat step one.

Step 3:  Caulk where the middle shelf meets the side pieces.  It helps give a seamless look

Step 4:  Sand the entire bookcase with 60 grit sand paper

The 60 grit helps you even out the wood.  Its rough and will wear down any inconsistencies really fast.  For example, if you ran your hand over the top of one of the bookcases you could feel the left side piece was a little (like 1/64 inch) taller than the top shelf.  60 grit fixed that. The 60 grit also gets off any excess wood putty really well.

This step can be done by hand but do yourself a favor and borrow someones hand sander if you don’t have one.  If you are going to do more projects like this (which will save you moolah in the long run), go ahead and buy one.  The hubs and I always save a little money every year to buy a tool on black friday.  We had our eye on a belt sander so we saved up and bought it on sale.  Here is the hubs using it. (please forgive my old camera’s photo.  This won’t happen with my new camera!)

It didn’t last long because the sander we bought would start smoking after about 5 minutes of use.  It had a malfunction (not the brand’s fault.  Many of our tools are this brand and we love them)  It was just a bad egg.  We returned it and decided to purchase an orbital sander that was on clearance instead.  I guess the sander put us over budget but I don’t really count it in the cost of this project.  We were saving for something and had decided to buy this tool anyway.  I guess you could say that we were motivated to build the bookshelf because we bought our sander.

Step 5:  Wipe off all the dust and refill any holes one more time

Step 6: Sand with 150 grit sand paper.  This gives the fine finish.

Step 7:  Wipe off all the dust and CLEAN YOUR work space.

There is nothing more annoying than getting wood dust on your freshly painted project.  Clean it up!

Step 8:  Prime

We used a sprayer that we got in the summer.  To be honest with you it is hard to spray with oil based primer.  It doesn’t go through the sprayer well so I wouldn’t advise it, but we toughed it out.  Make sure you set up a good tarp for spray protection and use even spray strokes. (here is the tutorial we used.  We don’t have a Graco but the technique is still the same.  Make sure you don’t take your hand off the trigger until you have passed over the bookcase.  Also, with oil based primer/paint make sure you clean out your sprayer immediately.  We used oil based primer because that is what we had leftover from the fireplace.  If I had to buy primer I would have purchased latex primer.

We did two coats of primer and let it dry for about three days between each coat.  Why?  Cold weather is a bad dry time environment.  Be patient.  For some surfaces you need to wait a week.

Step 9:  Sand if you need to.

This is a light sand.  We didn’t need to.

Step 10:  Spray on the paint.

We did this in the same way above.  One thing I did not mention is that we used about 10 painting triangles to allow the bottom of the bookcase to get a good coat.  I love these things and have used then on so many projects, including my kitchen cabinets.  (You can see them under the bookcase)

Step 11:  Patiently let dry and then repeat for how many coats you need.  We did three coats.

Step 12:  Put the bookcases in their new homes!  Yipee!!!!!


Here is the actual Lack Bookshelf:

Source: halcyonhousedesign

I think we got it pretty close…the half version that is:

Stay tuned for how we decorated them.  I also will show you how I hid the wires and made them sturdy for our tv.

Thanks for reading,


Here is part 1 of how we built this living room bookcase

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One response to The Little Lack – Part 2

  1. PHEW!! Glad you got your water bill worked out! Good for you.



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