- $0 for bookshelf (inherited from an old roommate)
- $0 for paint (left-over)
- 2.5 hours
Our apartment was painted with a lot of cream wall colors & white trims through out. It’s nice and serene and makes white furniture disappear.
I have inherited a large white bookshelf from an old roommate years back. It’s a nice size and decently built but definitely showing its age. While brainstorming what color to paint it with by using what I already have, nice boyfriend suggested “grey”! Perfect. I have black, and I have light blue and white. Isn’t grey just black mixed with a lighter color?
So the great mixing process began. Hand mixing paint colors reminded me of mixing baking batter without recipe. You have your base of whatever already in the bowl. Then, you slowly pour in the additional ingredient. Too much, your cake won’t rise. Too little, you cake tastes funny. My mixing bowl looked like this:
Oh, forgot to mention that before any paint job, you need to prep your surface. That means sanding, wiping with damp towel, and taping the edges so you don’t paint over the area that you don’t want to paint. This is also my least favorite part of the painting. It’s time consuming, and I’m much more interested in taking my paint brush to the object.
I decided to go with grey on the exterior to the bookshelf while leaving the interior white so the color wheel that I am going to organize the books by will stand out. To be clear, I didn’t invent this method. I saw it on a HGTV show sometime and have been wanting to try it. Here is my top 3 reasons why I think it’s a good idea:
- Visually Appealing: organized colors make the space look more thought out, instead of just piling books on your shelf. Would’ve been even cooler if I had a horizontal shelf.
- Discovering new books: sure, organizing books by subject makes perfect sense. I had been doing that for as far as I can remember. It’s great for finding a book that you already know you’re looking for. But what happens to the other less-favored ones? When will they ever get read if you don’t pick it up? This way or organization throws you in an unfamiliar order and forces you to pick up more books.
- Why not? I’m not operating a bookstore or a library here: It’s really not like I have seas of books that I need to reference to all the time. Besides, it’s in my own space. As long as the 2 people living here are happy with the arrangement, it’s all good.
Adding a small detail to make it more interesting, I also painted the very bottom black. It kind of reminds me of the ‘exposed legs’ of couches/sofa/love seat.
After painting, I left the shelf to dry for hours. I touched up some of the backing with white paint I had because there were scratch marks. The colors weren’t really a match. Oh well… the books will color them.
Shelf finally dried. I sanded it with super fine steel wool for the finished look. Then the great arranging began. I arranged the books by colors first. Then within the piles of the same color, I divided them by shades. Having a color wheel image near by was pretty helpful.
Here is the finished look!