Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bookshelf (Mini) Makeover-- Drab to Fab in 30 Minutes (or Less!)


1.    Large oak (or otherwise drab and dark-colored) bookshelf

1.    A room already overflowing with wood tones
All this wood makes my dining room feel like a bowling alley!
Something's gotta go....
2. An innate hesitance to make “permanent” changes.
Please don’t laugh, but as much as I’d like to paint these bookshelves, I just have trouble actually working up the courage to pick up a paintbrush and do something so “permanent”—at least not without a way of “visualizing” the end results first! (Tell me I’m not alone!)

3. One roll of white wood-grain contact paper-- 99¢ at Goodwill!
Just the thing for covering the back of an ugly bookshelf!

(Okay, I’ll be honest, this took me a bit longer than 30 minutes. Mostly because I went ahead and made the mistakes [see Steps 3-6] so you don’t have to!) :)

STEP 1: Empty all books and accessories (and shelves) off bookshelf.

At this point, your shelf will look like this (minus the shelves—I forgot to take a picture after the shelves were off) :

And your room will look like THIS:

STEP 2: Measure contact paper by holding vertically (that’s top-to-bottom) against back of shelf, then use handy lines on backing paper to cut to length. Repeat.

          You will now have two strips the same height as your bookshelf. Now please skip to step 7, unless you have excess time to waste, or just feel like making more work for yourself—then continue with step 3 :P

STEP 3: Without removing contact paper from backing, use glue gun to adhere top and bottom of paper to back of bookshelf.

(We’re trying to stay AWAY from permanence here, remember?) Notice that paper is wrinkled. Shrug shoulders and hope that shelves will flatten it out.

STEP 4: Replace shelves.
Nope, still wrinkled....

Hope that books and accessories will cover up wrinkles.

STEP 5: Replace books and accessories on bookshelf.

Take pictures from several different angles, trying to ignore/cover-up the fact that wrinkles are still there, and glaringly visible. >_<

STEP 6: Remove all books, accessories, and shelves AGAIN!
Right back to where we started! :(

Remove liner paper, and carefully scrape off globs of hot melt glue (destroying thumbnail in process) :/ Reconcile self to the necessity of a certain degree of permanence in this makeover.

STEP 7: Following directions on back of contact paper, peel off corner of backing paper and begin adhering in top corner of back of bookshelf. Continue to bottom.

Repeat with second strip. Replace shelves.
Ahhhhh, MUCH better! No wrinkles!

STEP 8: Replace all books and accessories.
STEP 9: Sweep up all the little paper trimmings and globs of hot glue all over the floor :)
The hardest part about a project is the cleanup, because you just want to skip right to the next step….
STEP 10: Sit back and admire your work!
A little change makes a big difference!
BEFORE.......... and AFTER!
  See how the accessories pop? What a difference 99¢ and half-an-hour (more or less…) make! :)

And, you know, one of these days, you might just find me attacking the outside of the shelf with some white paint and a paintbrush! :)

Linking up at:


Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


  1. Yes, DO paint it white! I love white furniture!! The room is already bright now with your new makeover but it will look even lovelier (in my opinion) if it's white! Go permanent!!! :D

    Okay, okay, my attempts-at-convincing-you aside, you really did do a good job! ;)

  2. The back of your bookcase looks great! All of your books and accessories are so much easier to see now. I think they would look great painted or left as is. I'd be afraid that they'd blend into the wall if painted white. From what I can see of your room - maybe paint both bookcases a charcoalish gray???? Either way - painted or not - you did a great job!

  3. LOL. I am glad I jumped over to check out the ini makeover. It does make quite a difference and I got a few laughs as I read your post. I always enjoy a post with a bt of humour. :( for the fingernail.

  4. Funny thing!But I can't spot the difference in the first picture.
    Dining Chairs perth


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