Southern Mom Loves: How to Update a Boring Bookcase

How to Update a Boring Bookcase

Monday, September 19, 2016

We all buy them. Those inexpensive bookshelves in a box that you have to assemble. While they get the job done, they aren't exactly interesting to look at. The good news is there are simple things you can do to update the look. Whether you paint with chalkboard paint or use contact paper to decorate, you can update a boring bookcase in no time!

How to Update a Boring Bookcase

Paint with Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is such a fun option because, once painted, you can turn your boring bookcase into a work of art. You can use chalkboard markers that come in a variety of colors to let your creative personality shine through. The side even makes a great area to write your daily to-do list. It's a fun addition to a kid's room or a home office. 

For another fun, chalkboard paint project, check out my DIY Library Book Organizer post.

Add Trim

Another great way you could update a plain bookcase is to add decorative trim around the top and bottom. You can find trim in your local home improvement store in a variety of styles. You can cut the trim at home or take the measurements with you and get the cuts done at the store. This will turn a plain bookcase into a pretty piece of furniture. All you need to do is paint the trim to match the bookcase and nail or glue into place.

Use Contact Paper

Contact paper is a great option for adding visual interest to the background of your bookcase. You can find contact paper in a variety of styles. Just cut the paper to fit, peel off the backing, and attach. It's really that simple. You'll love the pop of color this provides. You can also use a wallpaper if you find one you really love, but the application won't be as easy. Just follow the instructions that come with the wallpaper.

Decorate with Accessories

A big mistake people make it to only put books on their bookshelves. Space your books out by adding decorative boxes, small figurines, etc. It instantly gives that boring bookcase visual interest. The decorative boxes are also great for storing small odds and ends in your home office.

Hang LED Rope

Last, but not least, installing LED rope light along the inner edges of the shelves can give your bookcase a cute look. You can find this rope in any home improvement store and it's very easy to install. Another option is to use LED fairy lights.

Whether it's a bookcase you purchased from a big box store or one you made yourself that lacks visual interest, you can use these tips to update the look. Best of all, all of these tips are very affordable and easy to do. Enjoy your new-ish bookcase!


Are you looking to spruce up a plain bookcase? What's your favorite tip? I love to read your comments!

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