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April 24, 2014

Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield M321 Straight Bookcases

By Sara In AZ

Some of you might remember when I posted about finding and refinishing our Heywood Wakefield corner bookcase – I had wanted one for a LONG time and lo and behold one popped up for sale about a mile down the road!

Well, I always thought it would be nice to have a straight bookcase to go along with the curved one. I wasn’t avidly looking or anything…..just checking out Craigslist every now and then to see what H-W was up for sale.

One day I came across an ad on Craigslist from a guy down in Tucson was basically clearing out his whole collection of Heywood…and in that collection were not one, but two, straight bookcases!


Mike and I decided to make to drive down to Tucson and check out the bookcases in person. When we got there this is what we saw…………………………….


These bookcases were in HORRIBLE shape! There was hardly any finish left in the pieces and what was left was pretty much destroyed.


We struck a deal for $75 each since they were in such poor shape………..so ‘Sara’ to the rescue again!


I dismantled everything on each of the bookcases.


Even the feet were eventually taken off.


You MUST mark what screw went where and……………………..


…………..what piece of wood attached to what!!!


And we are off to the races….well, sanding anyway!


I don’t know if you can clearly see all the scratches and gouges in the shelf…..so sad!


Ugggghhhhh, it was just in SUCH bad shape!


Here is a fully sanded shelf next to an un-sanded shelf.


Ahhhhhhhh, one complete bookcase sanded and ready for stain!


If you would like to see an in-depth look at my staining process please see the post Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield M328 Desk Bookcase…….The Definitive Post on Refinishing! – that post will give you all the in’s and out’s of my refinishing process.

Time for the stain!


This piece is getting the first coat of stain!


And 4 coats later we are finally done…with one side that is!


Here we have a whole new set of pieces starting the staining process.


I always use the same Wheat ‘Heywood’ stain I get off of a seller on E-Bay. There is a seller on there, needful useful things, who mixes stain to match Champagne and Wheat finishes of Heywood Wakefield blonde furniture. It is a stain and topcoat all in one so you do not have to worry about a lot of steps. I have always had really good luck with his stains, and he will mix custom colors for you if you need that as well. Here is a link to his E-Bay store needful_useful_things . He is a really great seller who is super nice to deal with and is really customer service orientated as well! Check him out!!!

Now, onto re-assembly!


It’s SO much fun seeing everything come back together!


And here we have our new refinished bookcases!




Not a scratch, stain, or watermark to be found anywhere!




Oh my gosh, it’s like night and day…..you would not even think they are the same bookcases!


I am SO excited to have this project behind me! YAY!!! I can’t wait to get them all set up at the new house!

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8 Responses to Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield M321 Straight Bookcases

  1. RetroRuth Reply

    April 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Oh man, they are so gorgeous when you get done! How can you even use them!?! 🙂

  2. Janice Reply

    April 24, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Outstanding! Good for you for saving these wonderful pieces. I can’t imagine people letting their furniture be destroyed they way these were, but they look brand new now – thanks to your time and effort! Well done!

  3. Andrea Reply

    April 24, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Yikes! Those really were in awful shape – such an AMAZING job you did refinishing them, you’re so good at it! Too bad you don’t live closer, I would trade you refinishing for sewing 😉

  4. Kim Campbell Reply

    April 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Beautiful job!!

  5. Sara In AZ Reply

    April 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks everyone! 🙂

    And yes, I am terrified to use them Ruth!!!

    Andrea…..OMG, yes….I would SO trade refinishing for sewing!!!!

  6. Kathy Reply

    August 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Hi Sara…Do you refinish for others or just yourself ? Your work is amazing.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      August 10, 2015 at 10:42 am

      Kathy – just sent you an e-mail!

  7. Pingback: Mike and Sara Rehab a 60s Retro Ranch : I Think the Dining Room is Finally Finished! | No Pattern Required

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