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.

23 Responses to Guest Room: Bedside Bookcase

  1. cassie says:

    super cute! love how the room is coming together- and the headboard is still killer. love the pop of color inside the nightstand.

  2. Morgan says:

    That looks beautiful — I love the blue-green color on the back. I love seeing a pop of color in the back of bookcases. At our place we have 3 bookcases in our living room and we just left the backs of so you could see the paint on the wall through the bookcases. =)

  3. Too cute! I love the outcome, it coordinates perfectly and I stinkin’ love that brass duck standing atop the magazines! Way to accessorize, Meredith!

  4. Desirae says:

    Love the bookcase – super cute! Love your blog – not sure how I even happened upon it but I have it bookmarked now and you can count me as an official subscriber!

  5. April C. says:

    Oh, I LOVE it! I was just thinking of doing something similar with my pantry, but have yet to decide on a color. And I am completely IN LOVE with your guest room – all you need is a guest, and I can help you there 😉

  6. Samantha says:

    I love using fabric for the back of my bookcases. Maybe I’ll post about it tonight! I love that elephant book end by the way!

  7. Wow! I am so impressed that you got the paint color you wanted in the end. I never would have been brave enough to mix two colors. I guess you don’t have a lot to lose when you’re only spending a couple bucks, right? The bookshelf looks great. Good call on just painting the back since it may have been too much if you painted the entire inside the peacock color.

  8. CAS says:

    I think it turned out great & the color looks perfect! I have a bookcase that I may do that to, but it’s probably going to need an all-over paint job, too. First I’ll have to decide where it’s going to go!

  9. This looks great! I love the color and the depth. I have been continuously THINKING of doing this to something and never ever do. I need to step out of my comfort zone already. 😉

  10. Rita May says:

    Yes! I like it with the painted back. The bookcase is also very cute. Love the idea of using it as a bedside table.

  11. Janet Lawson says:

    I love it and the color is perfect..Great job..What a deal on the paint..You really are coming along in the bedroom..Can’t wait to see your next project..Enjoy what little bit of summer we have left..Fall will be here soon..Again it all looks so beautiful,Meredith..

  12. It looks fabulous! That’s hilarious, I painted the back of the bookcases in my office peacock blue over the weekend . . . kinda freaky!

  13. Jenny B. says:

    Lookin’ good! I’ve been pinning a lot of bookcases with painted backs, but I don’t have a bookcase to paint. I’ve wanted to do that to our entertainment center since we bought it (10 years ago!), but it has that cardboard stuff for backing, so I’m thinking it wouldn’t work so well. I’m considering some sort of paper, though… we’ll see! I love seeing all your projects!

  14. Love it! It looks FABBO! Love bookcases with a different color at the back. Dang …. now I have to add “buy a bookshelf” to my list 🙂

    Our books are in an old cabinet with a beautifully detailed door with an oval mirror. It needs updating, maybe with paint? not sure yet. It’s too far down on the list to decide just now.

    I’m so appreciative of you sending a personal email to my replies. It’s like a little present in my mailbox from a friend. I’ve never had any other bloggers reply like you, you are very dedicated!

    Suzy xxx

  15. Michelle says:

    I love that you’ve painted the inside and tried to mix the right colour and with the books and ornaments on it I think it’s a pretty good colour match. To make it perfect you would need those peacock heels sitting next to the bed, yes that would make it a perfect match 🙂

  16. modern jane says:

    Great idea! I love that you share my love of brass figurines.. they are so fun!

  17. carol ann says:

    Great idea and great color!

  18. Oh my gosh I love it!! The room looks amazing and I love love love that you read Janet Evanovich too! I love her books, we usually race to see who can read the newest one first in my family. For some reason no one has gone out to buy it this year yet! Maybe I’ll go do that tomorrow!

  19. Nora says:

    Not really related but I’m loving the brass animals! I’m usually not a huge brass fan but everyone has white animals and brass seems fresh!

  20. Kelly says:

    Just love the peacock blue bedroom and the addition of your shelf. Colorful backs are a great way to add a fresh touch to a room. Great post!

  21. What an adorable DIY project! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Happy Monday!

  22. Pingback: Guest Room: Free Curtain Update | Welcome to Heardmont

  23. Pingback: Taylin’s Bedroom…Time For An Update! | ruetimestwo

Leave a Reply to carol ann Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *