before and after

before and after: sanam’s bookcase

by Grace Bonney

d*s reader sanam found this bookshelf sitting on a curb when she moved into her new apartment. she took it to be an ‘anonymous house-warming gift’ and decided to repaint it and throw some fun fabric in the back to match her home’s pink, white and black theme. and voila- instant facelift. [thanks, sanam!]

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  • You did an awesome job!! Definately shows your personality and style!! I LOVE IT!!!

  • So cute! I did something similar with a display case. We have the same theme of black, white and pink!

  • Love it! Great personality! Now when people say they “painted” something, does that mean with a brush, with spray paint? I tried to paint something with a brush once and it was a disaster! Tips would help for future DIY’s. :)

  • This is great! Is it one of those particle board bookshelves with the wood “wallpaper” covering it? I’d love to know if you had to prep it at all before painting.

  • Oh, I think we have the exact same bookcase at home! It’s particleboard with some sort of plastic-y (laminate?) veneer. How does one paint on it, some sort of primer?

  • wow I loved this ! I have a book case that looks exactly the ” before ” there , i put it in the spare room as something to hide, but after seen this I will defenitly try do something like that !

  • thanks to all :0)
    i was worried about the laminate too, but i didn’t need to prime it. i just threw a couple coats of paint on it followed by a layer of sealant. the only things that gave me trouble were the little plastic pegs…i ended up touching them up after putting the shelves in.

  • what a wonderfully clever and aesthetically charged idea! i have a ton of these not so aesthetically pleasing shelves and i now have a new perspective on them. great inspiration….

  • OMG!! my best friend has the same bookcase only taller and we were wondering what we could do with it!! I LOVE the final result!!
    I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina, by the way, and I absolutely love your blog, found it yesterday… so there’s lots of catching up to do!

  • I love this!! Hubs recently painted some curbside finds that were just cheap laminate covered pressed particle board..w/ a high gloss black paint and it looks FABULOUS.

    I couldn’t decide on a pattern for the INSIDE of the shelves…so he went w/ the gloss black but I was just reading somewhere (probably Pinterest) that you can use spray adhesive and just make interchangable faux backs/sides by adhering fabric/paper to foam board pieces cut to size and just fit them in place…and change when you get bored. Havn’t done it but plan to!