Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bookshelf Makeover

I've been contemplating painting the back wall of our built-in bookshelf for a while, and after seeing this post on one of my favorite blogs, I knew it was time. I really wasn't in the mood to paint yesterday, so I scoured our house for wallpaper or contact paper to no avail. I swear I have some somewhere, but it was apparently not in the cards. So I grabbed my paintbrush and some leftover yellow paint from a previous project. This was seriously the easiest paint job I've ever completed. No tape, no rollers, just a small paint brush. I even let Taliila, my 2 yr. old, help. Here's what it looked like before. And, yes, I still have some Christmas decorations up.

Okay, see how it's kind of boring? And a bit cluttered. This is our only real bookshelf in the house, so I wanted to make it count, yet not go overboard. I started by taking everything off the shelves and stacking all the books into piles. I actually had three piles going: The first pile had books I definitely wanted back on the shelf. The second, books that I was okay with either staying or going. And the third pile had books that could be stored somewhere else. 

 I did the same with accessories, but was a little more open-minded about what went back on the shelf based on what would fit. Next, I got to work painting. Side note:  I love Purdy brushes, and am not getting paid to endorse them, but they're seriously the only paint medium I fork over money for. Cheaper brushes tend to lose their hair as you're painting. This drives me bonkers. I've yet to have any problems with my Purdy brush and everything goes on pretty smooth. I'm also able to edge without tape pretty easily with an angled brush.
 I'm not crazy about the shade of yellow at this point, but decided to wait it out till I restocked the shelves. After I started, the color grew on me a little. I did something different with the books I chose, arranging them according to colors. I kind of wish I had a more colorful selection of books, but I wanted them to be books that were meaningful to me, not just for decoration. A couple tips I've picked up along the way are to bring books towards the front of the shelves. You don't necessary need to push books all the way to the back for them to stand up properly, and by bringing them forward a bit they'll all line up at the binding giving a more uniform look. Another tip is groupings. Stack books both horizontally and vertically for maximum visual interest. I've even seen people turn books to where all the pages are facing out and the bindings are against the wall. Just something different. I used some sentimental pieces for bookends- a henna-painted lantern from Morocco, milk glass from an older woman I used to take care of, a coffee pot from Ethiopia, and a wood drum I made in a college wood shop class to name a few.

I took the missions style chair out and switched it with the wing back from our family room (we've had a super hard time finding the right chair to fit in our awkward family room). I also finally took down the last of the Christmas decorations-my mom's chili pepper lights. Tear. I could be okay with leaving them up all. year. round... they're just so cozy. But alas, here's the final result in its context. Our tiny, not-so-boring bookshelf in our dining room. Do you have bookshelves you've painted? I'd love to see them. 


  1. Exactly you are right Proper use of Paint brush is also a keypoint green furniture



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