Guest Room: Bedside Bookcase

A few weeks ago, I showed you this image from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Bookshelves with painted backs are hot right now in home decor, and I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for the perfect candidate around Heardmont to try this look out on.

Painted Bookshelf

This weekend, I was doing some organizing in our guest room when it hit me.  See the bedside table in the right corner of this photo?  That is actually a small white bookcase my mom gave us years ago that has been standing in as a bedside table for awhile now.

Headboard right

The idea of having a bookcase here for extra storage has been growing on me, and I thought it would be the perfect piece to try the new look out on.

Here’s a better view of what we had to work with.  The bookshelf is pretty old and has a hand-scraped look to it.  I thought a pop of color would be the perfect way to modernize it a bit.

Bookshelf Before

I took a trip to Lowe’s, thinking I would have the paint department mix up a sample pot of a pretty peacock blue to match our headboard.  The Valspar samples run about $3, and that would be more than enough paint to cover the back of those shelves.

While I was there, I stopped by the mis-tinted paint shelf and came across a quart of bright blue and a sample pot of green that looked like they’d make the perfect peacock blue when mixed.

Paint Colors

Instead of paying $3 for a small sample of the perfect hue, I scored 4x as much paint for the same price.  The quart was only $2.50 and the sample was 50 cents!

Lowes Sale Paint

This is the part where Meredith learns (yet again) how difficult it is to mix paints.  I thought it would be as easy as dumping the 2 colors together and being done, but after SEVERAL iterations and adding paint colors I never would have thought to use, I was still pretty far from the perfect peacock blue.

Mix Paint 1 Mix Paint 2

Mix Paint 3 Mix Paint 4

As the plastic container I was mixing in started filling up, I realized I should probably divide the paint so I would only have to add small amounts of other colors to modify the paint further.  Here is how the color finally looked when I got some darker green (from my acrylic paint stash) in it.

Mix Paint 5

By this point I thought the color was pretty close.  I cleaned up the shelf and started painting.

White Bookshelf Ready Testing Color

The last image shows the paint before it was dry, but you can see we were getting somewhere!

Painting Back of Bookcase Painted

Much to my disappointment, when the bookcase was finally dry and I hauled it back in the room, the peacock blue was a bit too blue and not green enough compared to the fabric on the headboard.  So I added more green to the paint and went for a second coat.

You can see in the first photo below how the bottom shelf is too blue and the top shelf is looking greener after the first coat of paint.  The second photo shows both shelves with the second coat still wet.

Painting Top Shelf Repainting

Finally after a lot of mixing and 2 coats of paint, here’s the finished bookcase!  I threw a few accessories and books on it to see how it looked in the room, and I love it!  I have a feeling we’ll be tweaking the accessories and having a lot of fun with this shelf between now and when the first guest comes to stay.

Bookshelf painted

So what do you think of the change?  Do you prefer all-white bookcases or are you on board with colorful bookshelf backdrops?  Have you taken the plunge and painted the back of a bookcase or any built-in shelving yourself?

By the way, don’t forget the Pouf-a-Long (another Better Homes and Gardens-inspired project) is coming up on Wednesday!  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Click the button below and read all about it.


Only 2 days left, y’all!  Thanks for reading. 🙂

The DIY Show Off

This entry was posted in Before and After, guest/craft room, Paint and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.