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Updating Old Bookshelves

We recently replaced our mismatched living room storage with one cohesive entertainment center. I’m so in love with the look, but I didn’t want to ditch the bookshelves that we already had. Keeping them in the condo allowed me to sort of focus on “styling” the entertainment bookshelves without feeling like I had to display all our books. And we have a ton of books. Even though Sean loves his Nook, we both love actual, physical books. I’m constantly picking up paperbacks at thrift stores and ordering new releases on amazon. I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of storage for our ever growing collection.
Since we were emptying and moving them anyways, I decided to take this opportunity to give the shelves a facelift.
The first is a 3 tier shelf made of solid wood. It’s my mom’s from when she was in college, and it’s got a lot of coats of paint on it.
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
I started by roughing up the glossy coat with some sandpaper.
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Then, I wiped the whole thing down with a rag, just to get off all the dust.
I decided to paint the back of the shelves bright yellow to match the comforter and curtains in the master bedroom. This shade is called Orange Toffee and I had a sample made up at Lowes.
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
I know that people typically just paint the back of the inside of each shelf a bright pop of color, but I decided to paint the entire inside of each shelf (5 sides instead of just 1). The main reason for this is that the top 2 shelves are very short and are about the height of a paperback. I wanted there to be plenty of yellow peeking out.
I painted the outsides of the shelf a light, light, grey. It was actually $3 for a quart on the mistint rack at Lowes. It’s really almost white, but just so slightly grey.
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
We stuck it in the “awkward corner” beside the gallery wall. I crammed it fairly full with paperbacks, but couldn’t resist a little styling.
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
I stuck this large framed fabric collage on top for now – who knows if it will stay!
Updating an old Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Then, Sean DIY’d the bookshelf that he’s been toting around for years since college. It is made from fake wood, so we were limited on what we could do. We decided it might look nice to go with a striped idea.
Sprucing up a bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
As you can see, there was a large hole in the back of the shelf that Sean had covered with another piece of wood. So he filled in the hole using wood filler. After he sanded it down, he spray painted the whole thing blue (indigo cloth by valspar).
Sprucing up a bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
After creating evenly spaced lines with painter’s tape, Sean used the same grey from the other bookshelf to paint lines on this one.
Sprucing up a bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
After a little styling, this goes great right underneath the heart shaped gallery wall!
Sprucing up a bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
Sprucing up a bookshelf - Charleston Crafted
I love that there’s lots of room to grow our paperback collection!
Do you have certain bookshelves for loads of books and certain just for looks??
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