Home Updates // A Quick DIY Bookcase Update

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The 'Before' shot of the bookcase. It's okay here, but nothing to write back home about.

The tools: Painter's Tape, Wooster Pro 1.5" Brush, and Behr Beluga Interior Paint in Eggshell.

Hi!!! It's been a while, sorry for the disappearing act! We had quite the weekend packed with fun events and activities and then yesterday we got our powder room wallpapered (woohoo!), so I've been a little bit tied up. BUT, I am happy to say that the newly wallpapered powder room looks fabulous and I can't wait to show you the Before and After of it. But in the meantime, let me share with you the little (and somewhat quick) DIY that I did on our bookcase. If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a tiny sneak peek of it. Another reason to follow me on Instagram, you get sneak peeks of projects before seeing them on the blog!

We have a lot of books in our house. We used to have A LOT more. Between all of Steve's wide range of books (art, religion, travel, economics, statistics, math) and mine (web design, crafts, interior design, art history, fiction) we cleaned house and donated a bunch of books that weren't seeing the light of day. As you can see in the first photo above, the bookcase looks okay. I was happy that it wasn't filled to the brim with books so that we could style it with some accessories. But it still wasn't enough to check it off my home decor list as a 'done' thing that I wouldn't have to worry about.

There was something I wanted that was missing or rather something that wasn't tying everything together in a cohesive way. And because all of the books we have are of varying color, I knew that this was the problem. It seemed too scattered and visually busy. So I decided that painting the inside back of the bookcase would help tie all of the books and accessories together so that it would look cohesive. Plus, it would help make all of the items on the shelves really pop, which I love. I've seen that on Pinterest a bunch and just love the way it looks so I figured let's give it a-go on this bookcase. And can I just say I am SO glad I did! It was a relatively easy DIY, the only hard part was putting the painters tape up. Kind of tricky when you have to tape the insides, but really not that difficult in the grand scheme of things.

I'd say total time for me to complete this DIY was about 2.5 hrs. I'm sure I could've gotten it done faster had I lightly sanded the inside of the bookcase (sorry, I was too lazy and honestly didn't think to do that - whoops!) but I didn't so it took 3 coats of paint to get good coverage. And waiting for paint to dry when it isn't being absorbed quickly takes a long time.

I was too eager and just started with one of the rows without emptying the whole bookcase out. Couldn't help myself. I had to see the paint on it ASAP. Because I didn't lightly sand the wood, the paint didn't stick as easily as I had hoped. So, it took about 3 coats to do the job. The moral of the story here is to sand and paint even before you put the bookcase together. It will be much easier.

Such a transformation just a little bit of paint does to a simple Ikea Hemnes white bookcase. I keep asking myself, why didn't I do this sooner?


Sooo much better in my opinion. It finally looks closer to being done. I might want to get a few new accessories to switch out with some of the other ones, but I'd say I'm almost done with the bookcase for now.

Have to show you a side-by-side of the 'Before' and 'After' so you can see how much the books and accessories really pop with the darker background color.

properhunt signature


  1. A simple thing that makes such a huge difference, everything pops now!

    1. Right?? Sooo simple and yet it took me years to do this, haha. So typical of me ;) xoxo

  2. great job! I love the transformation! So simple but such a big difference.

    1. Thanks Sara!! It's seriously amazing what paint can do. And I barely used the quart I bought too! So it's easy and inexpensive! Xoxo

  3. Totally agree with Gaby! Love what a little paint can do ! Love the transformation!

    Xx jana

    1. Thanks so much Jana!! That means a lot coming from you - you're an amazing designer!! Xoxo


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I enjoy hearing from you, so keep the comments coming!


Get an email of every new post! We'll never share your address.

Popular Posts