Coastal Décor is Trending: Boat Bookshelf Makeover



As you may have noticed, coastal décor is trending. So, it was basically love at first sight when I first laid eyes on this old wooden boat posted to Craigslist.  A mere $15 later, he was all mine! Beneath the nasty green and gold paint job, I could tell he had loads of potential and would be a perfect home décor piece for my nautical themed living room.

The transformation process from old, wooden boat to nautical “wow” statement was so fun and surprisingly simple!  Because I had the perfect color of blue paint leftover from my chalkboard desk project (see the desk here), I immediately applied a full coat of eggshell blue paint to the boat. While I loved the blue once it dried, the boat was still missing some depth to its personality.  After all, I wanted the boat to look old, used, and loved. So, I took some white paint I had gotten for free (see how I find paint for free here) and applied random, light brush strokes on top of the blue. This gave the boat an added dimension and also made it look like the white top coat was wearing off. The last step to the transformation process was distressing the boat with a bit of sand paper (click here for a reference of sandpaper grit size). To achieve the perfectly aged look I was going for, I heavily distressed certain areas of the boat, sanding all the way down to the wood. Side note: the initial ugly green color that peeked through actually looked perfect in juxtaposition to the blue, giving the boat a perfect sea coloring.


Form and function balance beautifully with a nautical boat repurposed as home décor. Use yours as a small bookcase, shelf, or whatever floats your boat! And feel free to paint it whatever color matches your theme and adorn it with nautical accents. Some ideas include seashells, rope, glass bottles, starfish, coral or moss. I had some oceanic netting on hand that I draped over one side. My favorite thing about this boat project: it was a very simple, quick project with impressive results!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *