We recently updated a boring brown bookcase to create an airy corner for reading in our office. With lots of leftover white spray paint from building our storage bed, and this bright orange and gold contact paper I found at the hardware store (I also used it as a window covering in our bedroom.), we had an easy transformation for less than $20. Since we only paid $40 for the bookshelf on craigslist, this d-i-y turned out to be cheaper and better looking than buying a brand new one. We love beautiful bargains!
Here's how we did it:
1. Remove the cardboard backing of the bookcase. If you want to reuse as your backing be careful you don't rip it when taking out the nails. We chose to replace our cardboard backing with tempered hard board leftover from our bed project. It's stronger and gave us a smooth surface to cover with the contact paper.
2. Scuff all of the surfaces you are going to paint with fine sandpaper.
3. Paint the bookcase. We used a flat white spray paint to cover the bookcase. We used two coats. Make sure you paint the underside of the higher shelves as both sides will be visible.
4. Cover the backing with contact paper. Contact paper is best to work with in smaller portions. Instead of covering the backing from top to bottom in one long piece we measured the roll across the back horizontally leaving an inch overhang on either side. This is also the direction the pattern on the paper went as well. Follow the directions on the contact paper for application. Trim off the excess paper by dragging a razor carefully against the edge. It trims very easily without tearing.
5. Attach your back panel to the bookcase with small nails and reinsert your shelves.