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DIY Bookshelf Makeover

A simple way to add something new and unique to your office space is by re-vamping an old bookshelf. All you need is some paint, some elbow grease and if you are using wallpaper – a little bit of patience and encouragement. Most of us have one or more of these bookcases laying around in our space, whether it’s been passed down to use for extra storage or can even be found for a great price at a second-hand store or warehouse.

We had this bookshelf for quite some time in our home and used it for it’s intended purpose – as a bookshelf. Often though, these shelves end up with piles of papers, coupons, books, school supplies and teaching-related curriculum binders and didn’t really get to the point of being “organized”. So, we gave the shelf a well-deserved makeover!

Here are some tips/steps for re-vamping a bookshelf:

Have fun with choosing the colour/design of the shelf! Pick a base colour/pattern and go from there. For me, my favourite colour is blue, and I am really loving anything gold right now in design. So this wallpaper from Lowe’s which you can find here was perfect for this look and to base some design and décor elements on (which I will reveal in a later post).

Put on some music, open some windows and get ready to get your craft on!

Lay the book shelf down on an old drop sheet. If the bookshelf was previously used, wipe down with damp cloth and some vinegar and once dry, give it a light sanding (depending on the look you are going for). Remove the shelves and do the same.

Wipe off the dust and begin painting. We used a primer and paint. Depending on the colour and material of your shelf, you may need to give it two coats of paint.

Allow that to dry for a few hours, if not overnight.

If you are using wallpaper for the backing of the shelf, measure the length and height of the shelf and transfer that onto your wallpaper. If you have a patterned wallpaper, we found it was easier to split the wallpaper in half, working with one half of the shelf at a time (since it is a large shelf and not a flat wall) and match the pattern of those pieces before adhering to the shelf. (Sometimes it was upside down, and especially if it is a pattern, you feel as if you are looking at one of those illusion pictures haha – some trial and error). But take your time, it is all worth it!

On top of a thick surface (we did this on top of our plastic floor mat) cut carefully using an x-acto knife. Follow the instructions on the package of wallpaper.

For this one, we turned it around, back side facing up, gave it some generous sprays, flipped it over and used a wallpaper tool slowly from one side to the other, to smooth out the paper and edges.

You may get some areas of ruffling if it is your first time wallpapering like it was for us haha, or it also can be due to the texture of the shelf too. For a shelf, do not worry too much about perfection, especially if you are going to be styling the shelf with items.

Once you have your pieces secured, give it a wipe with a lightly dampened cloth and there you go. Add in your shelves according to your preference.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post, where we will be sharing how we STYLED the BOOKSHELF!

I am in love with the overall look of the shelf and décor along with a simple DIY shelf to hang over a desk and can’t wait to share it with you!

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