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March 30, 2017

Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield C3971 Corner Bookcase – Thursday Retro Rewind

Continuing on with re-posting my Heywood Wakefield refinishing series…….we are refinishing a Heywood Wakefield Corner Bookcase this week! As I say in the post below, I had looked for one of these bookcases for what felt like forever…..the price was always too high. I was thrilled when I came across this bookshelf for $100 and it was only a mile away from my house! 

By Sara In AZ

It’s kind of funny how things work out sometimes isn’t it? I have wanted a Heywood Wakefield Corner Bookcase for as long as I can remember…..the price was never right though, or the ones that were available on eBay were too much to ship. It just never felt like the “right” one to buy. The all of a sudden one day up pops this ad on Craigslist.


And even more weird is it was literally one mile from my house! This was actually for sale at a local consignment store and I was kind of on pins and needles because by the time I saw the ad the store was closed. Soooo, I had to wait ALL the torturous night long to see if I would finally be the proud new owner of a Corner Bookshelf.

As luck would have it the bookshelf was still there and I took it home for $100! Whoo-Hooo! Of course, as I am sure you can tell from the Craigslist pictures, I have also signed myself up for another refinishing project too. eeps! I can never seen to get away from those can I?!

Now you can see, in even more detail, how bad the finish was.

It had definitely seen better days!

Crazy, right!?

I definitely had my work cut out for me!

And here we are just starting the sanding process…………………………

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.

Most of the disassembled pieces waiting to be sanded.

I have removed the backers to the bookshelf in order to make the sanding/staining process easier.

And the sander is out and ready to go!

Here is one backer already sanded and one waiting to be sanded…remember to always sand ALL of that old finish off!

Starting to sand one of the shelves…………………

………and here I am starting to sand the bookcase.

And now we are finally onto the staining!

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!!!

Yes, I did bring the bookcase into the house to finish staining….and yes, Mike DOES really love me to deal with all of this craziness! ha!

One of the shelves getting a final coat.

And here is the final result!

No more stains, no more water marks…you wouldn’t even know it was the same bookshelf!


I am SO excited to finally have a corner bookshelf!

And, here is the bookshelf in the living room of our new house!






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9 Responses to Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield C3971 Corner Bookcase – Thursday Retro Rewind

  1. Jennifer Reply

    March 30, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Awesome! I have two of these in the dark color. I use them in my guest room on either side of vintage maple twin beds my Uncle’s slept in as kids. With a MCM night stand in the middle it is a perfect fit in the room. I love anything with a curve in it. Love your blog too!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 30, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind words Jennifer! 🙂

      And lucky you to have TWO of these!!! Super jealous!

      Your room sounds fabulous and I agree….anything with a curve – the BEST!

  2. Susan from Boston Reply

    March 30, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Nicely done, Sara! As always. You are like the H-W Whisperer.

    I spy a pink chair in one of the photos. I need to see more of that pink goodness. Could you send a photo?


    BTW, I’m meeting with the cabinet guy on Monday, at his shop, to review the computer design, make any unnecessary tweaks and then he will give me a price. I can’t wait. Hopefully he’ll come in on budget and not over.

    Fingers crossed.


    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 30, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you SO much Susan!!! Ha! The H-W whisperer!!! 🙂

      You are in luck, I did a post on the chair…..7 years ago…EeeEEeeps!


      SUPER-DUPER excited to hear the outcome of the meeting with your cabinet guy…I’m on pins and needles, I will keep all my fingers and toes firmly crossed for you!

  3. Beth Reply

    March 30, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Beautiful work, as usual, Sara. You’ve nudged me from ‘afraid’ to ‘inspired’ with your HW refinishing projects. With your instructions and the proper equipment and supplies, I feel like I can tackle this, too. All I have to find is a HW piece that isn’t a fortune, even when in horrible condition.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 30, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you so very much Beth! 🙂 I know….it is REALLY hard to wrap your head around something like this when you’ve never, ever done it before. Lord only knows why I had the moxie to take a dining room table set on for my very first project!!!! Anyways, yes – you can definitely do this….there is a bit of a process/learning curve in applying the stain….but if you follow my post you will be good to go! Let me know if you ever find a piece to refinish!

  4. Clarence Ellis Reply

    April 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Sara: another BEAUTIFUL renovation. After you put the stain on, you don’t have to put a clear top coat over that? Also…I’ve just done a mini kitchen remodel on my 1963 knotty-pine kitchen. Where would I send my photos?

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      April 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Thank you Clarence! 🙂

      No, a top coat is not needed at all with the stain I use from eBay…..it is a stain and topcoat all in one and that is one of the reasons I LOVE it SOOOO much!!!

      Send your pictures to Ruth and she can forward them onto me


      I am very much looking forward to seeing your kitchen!

  5. Monica in RVA Reply

    May 12, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Great job! Thanks for sharing! I just love it.

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