[Castle Bookcase] Prepping for Paint

I wrapped up the final bits neccessary before painting in the past few days.  Here’s the rundown on what I’ve been up to… 

First, I sanded everything.  This took a whole day’s session…there’s a lot of surface area on this beastie.

When satisfied the kids won’t get any splinters amd everything was nice and smooth, I worked on the draw bridge.  I used the router table to rout vertical grooves to simulate planks.  Like so:


Oops, the picture is rotated.  Well, you get the idea.  Next, I routed two 1/4″ wide grooves horizontally and glued in some 1/4″ square dowels I had laying around. 


Now it’s looking like a proper wooden door.  But it was a little hard to grip.  I thought a out putting a knob on, but that would encourage Kylie to snap it off.  Then I considered having a rope come through from the back and make a rope handle….but that wouldn’t look right to my eye.  Then I happened to be in the car trying to referee a fight in the backseat at the grocery store when i spiration struck:


There in front of me was the window controls…just a hollowed out part that lets you get a finger under the button!  I could do that!   So I whipped out the carving chisels and hollowed out a notch under the upper crossbar:


After a few test pulls from Kylie and Keaton, I finalized the slot and sanded it smooth.  Best part is, if you’re not looking for it, it looks like there is no handle!

All I had to do was stain it!  So I took an old Minwax ebony stain pen and filled in the grooves.  It bled a little, so after drying, I simply sanded off the offending stain, leaving nice smooth dark grooves.  I then applied a Minwax honey oak stain to the whole thing and wiped it down.  Here’s the result:


Looks a proper drawbridge now!

With that done (I’ll add a layer or six to finish it when the castle is painted), I turned back to the castle.  Detail time!  

I plan on putting Kylie’s name on the toy storage front, so I went Michaels and picked up some wooden letters:


These will be primed and painted a contrasting color and glued to the bookcase later.  I also picked up a laser-cut frame and mirror to install under the middle tower platform:


This is gonna be awesome….I decided to go ahead and finally attach the middle tower while I was at it:


Once the frame was trimmed with the coping saw (there were a few too many pointed fleur de lis that stuck out a little too far…) I made the last of the crenelations for the back.  This is decoratve and it will keep anything from falling down behind the bookcase:



Then, at last, it was time to prime.  Last night after the kids went down I spent 2 hours priming the the bookcase and mirror frame.  It is just flat white, but now that everything is a uniform color, it looks great!



I cannot wait to got get the paint and start the final steps….paint and shellac and install the drawbridge and she’s ready for books!!

Time today (three days): 6 hours.

Total time:


About Marcus Richardson

Marcus attended the University of Delaware and later graduated from law school at the age of 26. Since then, he has at times been employed (or not) as: a stock boy, a cashier, a department manager at a home furnishing store, an assistant manager at and arts and crafts store, an unemployed handyman, husband, cook, groundskeeper, spider killer extraordinaire, stay at home dad, and a writer.
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