Behind the books

One thing I’ve learned about myself over the past several years is that I like a lot of variety. In fact, I’ve been accused of changing the paint colors on my walls more often than I change the oil in my car. 🙂  But one thing I’ve never painted is the interior of bookcases. We’ve all seen the style — particularly white bookcases with a contrasting interior paint color; but all that cutting in and out with a paintbrush, particularly with fixed shelving, wears me out just thinking about it!

There is a solution, however — one that is easy AND will appeal to those of us who like to “change things up” from time to time without having to spend a fortune.  Rather than paint, use wallpaper:

  • Cut cardboard to fit the dimensions of the interior back of your bookcase(s);
  • Paste, mod-podge, or use spray-adhesive to adhere a great solid or designed wallpaper or contact paper to your cardboard;
  • Push the cardboard into place; and
  • Reinsert your shelves (if they are adjustable).

Anytime you want to make a change, just re-paper!  Of course, you can always adhere the paper directly to your bookcase, but that means a little more work to replace it should you ever change your mind.

Case… or should I say “bookcase” in point 🙂 is the example below — white bookcases in my living room, with a tight grey and white patterned wallpaper.


Other examples are below — one with a yellow and white herringbone design and another with a dark polka-dotted paper against a turquoise bookcase.

polka dot wallpaper turquoise bookcase herringbone-bookcase-decorate-with-vintage-goods-as-storage-600x875








multi wallpaper bookcaseOf course, if you want to be more creative and use different types of paper for each shelving “cubby,” your results can look like the bookcase featured to the left.

This project is simple yet brings a lot of life to an interior space with minimal effort.  And when your decor changes, you can easily alter your bookcase to accommodate.

Best of all, papering rather than painting allows you to avoid the cumbersome “taping off” of all the bookcase edges and navigating a paintbrush in tight, awkward spaces.


Photo credits:  White bookcase with yellow and white herringbone paper – The 36th Avenue.  Turquoise bookcase with dark polka-dot paper – Pinterest.  White bookcase with multiple paper designs – Brabourne Farm.






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