Just an Old Bookshelf? Think Again

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At some point or another you may have had a sturdy bookshelf somewhere in your home. Perhaps at one point in your life it was filled up with books, sometimes assorted knick knacks. Before you decide to toss it out for a newer version or some floating shelves, think again. With some hardware and creativity, and these DIY makeover bookshelf tips, you can give your old bookshelf a drastic new lease on life.

Paint job

The first and simplest DIY makeover you can give your old bookshelf is to cover it in a fresh lick of paint.

  • Step 1: Use a good piece of sandpaper from your local paint and hardware store and sand the bookshelf down, removing any paint and varnish.
  • Step 2: You can then paint the wood with whitewash for a vintage feel, or even a bright colour of your choice.

The backboard of your bookshelf can transform its entire look all on its own! Get those creative juices flowing and paint a beautiful stencil pattern on the backboard of your bookcase.


You can even remove the backboard piece and cover it in a beautiful fabric; although even a brightly coloured backboard against a white framed bookcase is stunning. Transforming the backboard of your bookcase can really turn it into a statement-piece display case. After all, you won’t want to be covering up that beautiful pattern with too many books!


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Sometimes bookcases are discarded because they simply don’t have a purpose anymore. Before you send this versatile piece of furniture away, bear its other potential uses in mind:

  • Kiddies’ storage: Children keep their rooms tidier when they have storage on hand. In addition to this, being able to reach their toys and such makes playtime a lot easier, and fosters a great sense of independence too. Consider turning your bookshelf on its side, and voila! You have a lovely set of cubes where you can store wicker baskets containing toys, easy-to-reach books and teddy bears – all at a child-friendly height. The best part? Add some pillows on top and you have extra seating or space for extra plush toys.

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Room division: Many modern homes are designed in an open-plan fashion. Although this is widely popular, sometimes a space is enhanced with division and cordoning off. A large bookshelf can be an excellent room divider and an attractive one too. Bookshelves with or without backing look good for this, and for a true room divider all section of the shelves should be decorated differently – with books, ornaments, vases, photo frames – however you see fit.

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  • Storage space: You can simply move your old bookshelf into the garage and utilise it as somewhere to store tools and other DIY bits and pieces. One shelf can have a box containing paint brushes, another with a basket full of the bits and pieces that every DIY fanatic needs but has nowhere to keep, and so on.

As you can see, transforming your bookshelf can not only be easy, it can be fun, too! Get creative with your painting techniques, and even more so with the decorative appeal of your bookcase. Simply pop down to your local Jack’s Paint & Hardware, get all your hardware and paint supplies, as well as some valuable painting advice to take your old bookshelf from drab to oh-so-chic.

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