{Living Room} Bookcase Makeover

We’re off to a good start on the Living Room projects! I decided to tackle the bookcases first, since they have annoyed me the longest. Also, I think painting them and the armoire will be the most impactful changes to the room, so I’ll get those done first, before deciding on the other elements.

Here they are, lurking behind the yummy sofa, ruining the whole shot.


I knew they’d eventually get painted, so I paid less and less attention to them. Then they became the resting place of all leftover and random decor in my house. You know what I mean, you just casually set something down, while turning a blind eye to how cluttered the whole thing has become? Could there be any more crap on these shelves?!?

Now you see why you never saw full pictures of these in my posts? That’s calledDeceptive Selective Blogging!’

I’m not a fan of the color or generic shape. And since they are the same height as the doors on either side, the wall looks like a row of soldiers. (In spite of my shoving crap on top to add more height.)


The first job was to completely empty the shelves and scrub them clean. Then stand back and gawk at just how much crap came out of such a small space.

Mr. Sugarplum is fussy about covering the air intake vent, hence the cut-out.

Then, to give them a more finished look, as well as add some height, we added crown molding to the top. I simply measured the sides and front, then had Home Depot cut my pieces 1/2-inch longer. They do the cuts for free, and the molding was less than $3. Mr. Sugarplum used a miter box and hand saw to cut the ends so they’d join at the corners. Then we filled in all the gaps with paintable caulking TWSS.

Picnik collage

Of course I only bought a quart of paint (Glidden Dove White, color matched in Behr Paint+Primer semi-gloss), and was assured I wouldn’t need to prime first. But after 4 coats on just the shelves, I opted to prime the base of the cases first, for fear of running out of paint. One coat of primer and two coats of paint later…


The backs of the cases didn’t get painted completely since I was adding fabric (but didn’t want the wood showing through). I fell in love with the fabric when making this tray, and immediately depleted JoAnn’s inventory. I’ve yet to see this particular colorway since. So needless to say, I measured 82 two times before cutting the pieces for each opening.

One at a time, I sprayed directly on the backs of the fabric with spray adhesive (do it outside, it’s stinky, and sticky TWSS), and mounted it to the cases. It takes a few tries to get it even, and smooth out all the wrinkles. Swearing tends to help me.


I am not a straight shooter cutter, so I always line the edges with strips of ribbon. It helps give it a clean, finished look.

Picnik collage

Not a huge difference, but better than seeing jagged edges. I’ve used Fabri-Tac to apply the ribbon in the past (messy), but this time I used a piece of double-sided tape every foot or so instead, and it was quick and easy. Hopefully I don’t wake to a pile of ribbon on the floor soon.


Here they are, minus a few places demanding a touch-up. Why oh why did I wait so long to do this?!? Ridiculous.


I chose a light color paint since I don’t want to bring too much attention to them. And the little piece of crown molding on top was just enough to break up the line of the doors.


Love how they pull the pink from the rug! The bookcases are a little sweet right now, but I have an idea of how to balance that out a bit. Now comes the hard fun part, styling all the shelves! What do you think…big change? Have you been giving a piece of furniture the stink-eye for too long? Paint it, it’s liberating!

Paint Armoire
Paint Brick
Paint/Fabric Bookcases
Re-Style Bookcases
Paint Table Tiles
Paint Hall Chest
Paint/Wallpaper Nook Walls
Paint Backdoor?
Add Nailhead to Wingchair
New Covers for Barrel Chair Cushions
Change Out Lamps
Clean Secretary
Gold Leaf Back of Secretary
More Coordinated Sofa Pillows
Determine Fate of Side Table
Loading comments...