DIY ideas to transform a bookcase

Whether you make a simple bookcase or buy a ready-made, plain bookcase, there are plenty of design ideas to turn a bookcase into a show piece.


The humble bookcase is a staple for many homes. You can use a bookcase to store books (obviously!), as a display case, or even for storage in a home office or craft space. A plain pine bookcase can be easily dressed up with the addition of a few pieces of moulding or trim, or take it even further and add some pine plank or MDF beadboard doors to hide away or store items.

It's so easy to give a boring pine bookcase a completely new look with the addition of moulding at the top and bottom, and some strips down the sides to give the piece more detail and impact.

You will find various moulding and trim at your local Builders and you can use wood glue and panel pins to fasten trim sections in place.

Once you have dressed up the bookcase with a few details you can then choose the finishing option that best suits your home.

If you prefer a more rustic or traditional feel, select a light or dark wood stain and finish off with interior sealer or antique wax.

For a more modern or cottage home, think about painting the unit in white, ivory or cream. Add interest with a colourful backing that complements colours already in the room. Prominent Premium Sheen is water based and washable, and offers easy application either via paintbrush, roller or Bosch PFS spray system. You will find plenty of tips and tricks in our decorating section on painting wood.



If you plan on painting the backing board in a contrasting colour, remove the board for painting and then use a
Bosch Tacker to re-attach, or hammer in some panel pins.

If you prefer something a little more romantic, use floral wallpaper on the backing board to introduce colour and pattern into a space - or your home office.

Double up the impact - and your display or storage space - with side-by-side bookcases. Something as simple as adding a geometric pattern wallpaper to the back of the bookcases can make them a feature in a room.

Affordable, available and easy to DIY, you will find instructions here for a simple bookcase that can be modified to any size.