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Updated Bookcase with Paint & Paper

Ooh…do I have some fun for you today! You know I love a good furniture makeover, but when I get to share the fun with you, it’s even better. Check out this cutie below that spoke to my heart the minute I saw it. eep! Looks like it’s time for an updated bookcase makeover, right?

Outdated Bookcase Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

When I spied this bookcase at the thrift store, I took note of how cute the lines were and knew that it had potential. It’s made of inexpensive pine and not an antique, so this bookcase is fair game for a makeover in my book. Sounds like fun!


To get started, I pop off the back plywood panel and give it a good sanding. Since I had planned to put the panel back on, I needed a flat surface to work with. So, I flipped it over and gave it a good sanding with my sander. Then, I also sand the top of the bookcase down to get rid of all the wear, and lightly sand the rest to give it tooth (something for the paint to stick to).

Sanding Vintage Bookcase to Prep for Makeover |

*post sponsored by HomeRight (see full disclosure)

Once everything is sanded, I wipe everything down to remove any dirt and debris. Next, time for some spray fun! I set up my Spray Shelter and propped up my bookcase on some scrap wood. Isn’t it amazing this huge thing come from that little bag?

Bagged HomeRight Large Spray Shelter for DIY fun |

HomeRight Large Spray Shelter for Vintage Bookcase Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

You can see how I use all the different sized shelters in these posts.


Since I was after a totally fun aged look with a Boho vibe for my updated bookcase, I chose to use two colors for my finish. One was a soft aqua, and the other a coral color. I’ve used the seconds color aqua before on this dresser, and the Aloe Blossom on these projects. It seems I’m in the mood for these colors as I now have many clothes with this scheme and even crocheted my daughter’s afghan in the same colors. hahaha…Fun!

Paint Color Choices for Updated Bookcase Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Not only do I break out my large spray shelter, but my paint sprayer.

To give you a visual of how cool it really is, check out one of my videos demonstrating how I used it for stain.

How to Use the HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer for Home and More by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |


First, I begin by attaching the blue tip and black cap to my paint sprayer and filling the reservoir with the aqua paint for my undercoat. However, I did need to thin the latex paint I was using per manufacturer instructions. Just be sure to read your labels before filling up.

Spray painting vintage bookcase with HomeRight Super Finish Max by Prodigal Pieces |

Only one coat is needed – let cure for about 2 hours. As soon as I am done spraying, I clean the sprayer to get it ready for the next coat of the coral color. So super simple and easy to do as my first coat was done in minutes. The blue is looking good, isn’t it?

Blue Bookcase Ready for Next Color |

Before I began to apply my second color of paint, I wanted to take a step to make some aging happen. One of my favorite methods to do that is using petroleum jelly.

Use Petroleum Jelly to Distress Furniture |

I wouldn’t put this stuff on my body, but I have a container of it for creating an aged effect. Simply get a tiny amount on a rag and wipe it on corners, edges, and any place that would normally receive time-worn wear. This will cause my second coat of paint to resist adhesion anywhere I apply the jelly and make it have a fun chippy effect when done. You can see other projects I’ve done with it on my blog HERE.


Time for the second coat! Yay! I load up with my coral color to add a fun contrast to the blue. Stay with me here, I have a purpose! tee hee.

Using the HomeRight Super Finish Max to Update a Vintage Bookcase by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Once the second coat cured, I used a 120-grit sandpaper to softly remove the paint where I had applied the petroleum jelly. This gives it the aged appeal I was after.  However, the fun doesn’t stop there. For added depth, I also did a brushed wash of the coral paint that I lightened up with a bit of white. I applied it using my paint brush by brushing on and then wiping off leaving a bit behind.

Creating Blended Paint with Zibra Paint Brush by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

After that, I also added a dark wax as a topcoat to seal the paint and create even more dimension. My toddler even commented, “It looks old.” I responded, “Thank you!” haha.

Applying Grunge Gray Wax to Bookcase |


For the finishing touch, before the backing was replaced I wanted to apply a sheet of this peel-n-stick repositionable wallpaper. Isn’t this a pretty paper? I’ve used wallpaper in so many fashions over the years, including on walls, and I still love the versatility this stuff offers.

RoomMates Peel & Stick Repositionable Wallpaper for Vintage Bookcase by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

It just happened to be the backing of my bookcase was the exact width of the wallpaper. How cool is that? I love it when projects are made easy. So, I simply laid the backing on the wallpaper to mark and cut. Then, I make sure my surface was clean and dry, and peeled back the top edge to line up the paper. The key is to only pull back the wallpaper backing in small increments as you go smoothing out bubbles and working your way down.

Applying Repositionable Wallpaper to Bookcase Backing |

Instant success. And if you happen to get off center, just peel it off and try again. So for all of you looking down on wallpaper for the frustration of hanging and removing. No more worries!


To attach the backing back on to the bookcase, I whip out my stapler and tack it on. I love my tools. #toolsoverjewels, baby!

Stapling Bookcase Backing with Ryobi AirStrike Stapler by Prodigal Pieces |


So, are you ready to see this updated bookcase all together? I am. {{happy dance}}

Vintage Coral Bookcase with Boho Vibe and Wallpaper Backing by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces

Coral and Teal Vintage Bookcase with a Boho Flair by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I love how the color is soft, yet fun, and how the wallpaper adds a bit of drama. Also, there’s even a party on this inside.

Vintage Bookcase in a Coral Color with Teal Accents by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Paper Lined Drawer of Vintage Coral Bookcase for Boho Style by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

So there you have it…an updated bookcase with paint and paper. Likewise, it’s fun to recreate these pieces that needed a little umpf and pizzazz. If you’re loving this piece, you can find it in my shop along with all my other creations. Sign up for my newsletter below for an instant discount.

Shop Prodigal Pieces Furniture, Vintage Finds, Handmade Goods, & Supplies for your home | #prodigalpieces

DIY Updated Bookcase with Paper & Paint by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Boho Style Vintage Bookcase in Coral and Teal with Wallpaper Backing by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

In addition, pin and share this updated bookcase makeover to inspire others to get out there and get their DIY game on. Woot!

Look how fun! Larissa of Prodigal Pieces gave her updated bookcase a paint & paper makeover for a Boho style DIY project. Easy to do with the HomeRight Super Finish Max paint sprayer. Come see at #prodigalpieces #homedecor #furniture #shopping

Up next, these cast-off will get a new life and purpose. Any guesses what they were? Come on over to see! (<– CLICK)

Thrifted Finds Before Farmhouse Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Until next time!

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Also, more projects like my updated bookcase:

Such sweetness! This is an wonderful way to update a set of vintage nesting tables. All it takes is a DIY spirit! Get the DIY details at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comWith a can of spray paint, you can update those flea market finds in no time. By Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces


  1. Felicia says

    Gorgeous and what a fantastic giveaway

  2. JILL NELSON says

    I have a set of shelves that have a lot of detail on them. The sprayer and shelter would be perfect for all those little crevices!

  3. ColleenB.~Texas says

    Oh, how I could really use a sprayer and paint shelter.
    Hubby is building me some plant stands so would be perfect to have a sprayer along with a spray shelter to do them with.
    Thank you for this Wonderful giveaway opportunity

  4. Claudine says

    This is such a fun piece! I love that wallpaper backing and the colors you painted are perfect for it. 🙂

  5. Nancy Sartori says

    You did it again…. what a great makeover.. love it. That book case is adorable.!!! I just love your make overs.

  6. WENDY A OLGINE says

    Always super fun to follow and I’m loving those colors!

  7. Ginny says

    Loved your project! I’m planning to paint my son’s room this summer and also update his dressers with some paint. A paint sprayer would definitely make this project easier! Thanks for the chance to win this giveaway!!!

  8. Michele Branham says

    I love the colors! You have such great vision.

  9. Alison S says

    I have a set of chairs that I would like to paint and use these to help me!

  10. Denise C says

    Love your project! The wallpaper is a fun touch. Thank you for the giveaway.

  11. Kim says

    May I come and just be your lackey for awhile? Maybe some of your visions an inspirations will rub off on me. Nice job…as always!

    • Larissa says

      Come on over, Kim! We are used to a large family. tee hee!

  12. Annie says

    Love this bookshelf. I really like how the aqua comes through after distressing. Cute matching drawer pull too.
    If I were selected to win the HomeRight paint sprayer and paint tent, I would be able to paint all my wicker furniture at one time instead of investing in 3 cases of spray paint and painting for 6 days non stop. I would actually have time to sit and enjoy the fruits of my labor.?

    • Larissa says

      Makes for fun surprises all over. Thank you, Annie! Yes, painting wicker is THE WORST!

  13. Barb Beri says

    Love the fun colors and the wallpaper back! And such a great and generous give away. I have wicker patio furniture to paint and the sprayer and shelter would make it easier.

  14. Sharri Sims says

    I love how easy this looks. Great job!!

    • Larissa says

      It truly couldn’t be easier. Even my kids use it! 😀

  15. Michelle says

    Cute little bookshelf! I have been scrimping & saving for a couple of years for a HomeRight sprayer & paint tent. I would like to try and earn a little extra money by refurbishing & selling some furniture, too. I think paint is so transformative, and there’s so much good furniture that just needs a little love & refresh! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! I hear ya, tools are always on my want list. My pleasure and hope you win!

  16. Rebecca - Knoxville,TN says

    Nice little makeover – it’s completely different. Love it!
    I’m happy that the warm weather and longer days are here. Can’t wait to see the creative things you do this summer.

    • Larissa says

      I’m happy to hear it. I had such fun giving it a new look. Viva la color!

  17. Janet says

    I have the spray painter you feature but have never used it! Your post inspires me to get it out and get busy!!

    • Larissa says

      You gotta get on it, girl! It really is easier than you think. Practice on scrap wood or cardboard if that would help.

  18. Heather Rose says

    Beautiful work as always! I have a book case I’m planning out and that wallpaper would be perfect!

  19. Maureen Clipperton says

    Your project looks beautiful as always. You are blessed! I would love to win this giveaway. My office desk still needs to be painted and I’d love to have both of these things to do the job. would be so much easier. Thanks for the great giveaway.

    • Larissa says

      I totally enjoy sharing and doing, especially with wonderful people like you, Maureen. Thank you for the smile!

  20. Sandi Jones says

    Perfect look for summer!

  21. Sandi Allen says

    How cute s this, I Love it! The wallpaper adds the perfect fun touch! What a wonderful giveaway! I have a sofa table and a few chairs I would paint, if I won.

  22. Carol S says

    I love the addition of the wallpaper to the back of the bookcase. And, the contrast paint on the drawer when it is opened. Drawer liner too! It’s those extra touches that you do that keep me inspired! Thanks!

  23. Kimberly says

    What a fun color combo!

  24. Carole says

    CUTE! That sprayer would make life a lot easier. I hope I get picked!

  25. Rebecca Drake says

    I wasn’t sure about that coral color, but it turned out beautiful! Just the right amount of aging and aqua showing through. I also love that wallpaper! Thanks for a beautiful project!

  26. Paula says

    What a great find! Super cute makeover! I have a couple of bookshelves that need some lovin’ so a Home Right tent and sprayer would be welcome here. One shelf has some very outdated wallpaper (pink and blue hearts and stripes) on the back. It’s so filled with books, I forget about it, but the outer part sure needs a good painting. Thanks for another fun giveaway!

  27. Denise says

    Love your color choices! And my husband would definitely appreciate it if I had a spray shelter! He just doesn’t seem to appreciate the color on the concrete……

    • Larissa says

      Glad to hear it! I had so much fun and my husband didn’t even pay attention to the bookcase sitting in our kitchen for 2 days, so I get it. 😉

  28. Rita Heath says

    I love it when your posts pop up in my in-box. Your ideas are so inspiring and makes me see things I come across in a different light. I have started picking up a few pieces that really need makeovers, and am ready to get started. The paint sprayer and tent like yours are definitely on my wish list. Thank You for sharing your finds and your sweet family.

    • Larissa says

      How awesome is that?! I love it. Thank you for the smile. 😀

  29. Doreen says

    My daughter’s favorite colors are aqua and coral. Thanks for the FUNtastic giveaway.?

  30. Pamela Brazier says

    Sooo cute! I would love to have this sprayer. Thanks for all your inspiring make overs and tips. Blessings❤

  31. Debra Wise says

    Another great makeover! Your baby is right … it does look old, which I love. Would love to have a paint sprayer and shelter as I don’t have any tools. Great giveaway and thanks for the opportunity! Wishing you God’s blessings as He opens new doors for you!

    • Larissa says

      Sweet! Such fun to recreate pieces with a fresh new look.

  32. Renee Pedersen says

    I love that cute little shelf! It is the perfect colors for my granddaughter, Rowan, room. The one she is using now is a left over from her first room makeover from when she was a baby and really doesn’t fit her room anymore! I might have to direct my daughter to your website!! I would use the paint sprayer and the shelter for all kinds of projects. The first one would be painting my wicker furniture in my sunroom. It needs a pick me up and a new paint job would be just the ticket. The second job would be to tackle my kitchen cupboards. I would paint the cupboard doors with the sprayer. It would make a much more even finish than using a paint brush. Thanks for this opportunity Larissa!!!

    • Larissa says

      Sounds like she’s a gal after my own heart. You will love this tool for your cupboards…I hate painting them! 😀

  33. Sue Pagels says

    Very cute – I love bookcases! Those colors were my kitchen colors back in the 1980’s and I still like them! Updated with the new wallpaper makes them as fresh as every! Thanks for the giveway too!

    • Larissa says

      They are so addictive because they go most anywhere. Fun!

  34. Jane says

    I never thought of using wallpaper in this manner. You teach me more things! Love it! Thank you for the blog and the give-away, too.

  35. Joan Ness says

    I couldn’t imagine how you were going to use both colors on the bookcase, I should have known you would make it work and so cute! I love the wallpaper you used too, perfect with the paint colors and girly look.

    • Larissa says

      Kinda scary, wasn’t it? haha! It is a process that I have fun with. Thanks!

  36. Jenni says

    I wish I could do pink in my house full of boys! So cute though. I have a china cabinet that needs a good coat of paint but with the wind in North Dakota it’s hard to spray and not have it all over everything. The sprayer and tent are on my wish list so thank you for the opportunity to win one in a giveaway!

    • Larissa says

      Aww…maybe you need a girly corner. tee hee. I hear ya on the wind. Ohio has the same where we’re at. Crazy!

  37. Frances Batson says

    The paint tent is great! Spray painting with cans has so much waste. The paint sprayer would be awesome. Love them.

  38. kimmylouwho says

    super cute and just my style! And boy, would I love that sprayer and spray shelter! Great job on this updated bookcase!

  39. Mary Milnarich says

    Great colors on the shelving unit you painted. When I saw the paint sticks with pink and blue, I thought Oh No. baby colors but you know how to get colors to work well together. Good job. I sure could use the prizes you have in the contest today!

    • Larissa says

      tee hee! You know it can be done…right? 😉 Thanks for the giggle!

  40. Melissa Storms says

    I love how your bookcase turned out, the peel and stick was the perfect extra touch. I have a couple tables and my bedroom set that need to be painted. I think I would work on my dresser first.

  41. Kim says

    Great Job, love how you do a lot of your projects, and how you take the time to explain 🙂

    • Kim says

      Oops, Where to start with what I would Love to use them on… I have so many projects to tackle, and my favorite saying to my daughter is “We can do that”, and her response is Yes Mom, but When 🙂

      Thank you for the chance to win, and hopefully help me along a bit faster with some of my projects 🙂

    • Larissa says

      It’s all for you and all who are out there wanting to try DIY. Fun!

  42. Carol Claremont says

    Love, love, love!!! You inspire me with every project. I have a smallish dresser that was my grandmother’s and it is stained very dark. i want it white but now I see I can put a color under the white. I love the wallpaper too so might use that on the drawers. The sprayer would help me as I don’t have a lot of strength in my hands and it would make painting our metal lawn/patio furniture much easier.

    • Larissa says

      I’m so stoked to hear it, Carol. Thank you! Sounds like this is right up your alley. I wish I had one for everyone.

  43. Marie says

    Love the colors, Larissa and the pretty knobs and paper add the wow factor to this bookcase. Another gorgeous makeover and furniture save! As for the giveaway, Mama needs a new finish max pro because I wore my old model out. Not having a garage, Mama needs a spray tent too. Fingers and toes crossed my name is chosen 🙂

    • Larissa says

      Here’s hoping! I seriously would send one to everyone if I could. Hugs!!

  44. Maryann Smith says

    I’d tackle a small bookshelf I have been waiting to paint. Thank you for the inspiration.

  45. Patty Soriano says

    LOVE this piece! I might have made a door for it. I have so many projects to paint, but lots of tables, so that would probably be the first! Would be so thankful for a chance at this generous giveaway.

  46. Meleah Jurasek says

    I love how this project turned out! I would be thrilled to win this prize!!!

  47. Sara says

    I would paint a vintage Costco stool I picked up for a steal at the world’s longest yard sale last year.

  48. Pam says

    I was surprised by your method of painting one color over the other. Your method of using the Vaseline to protect the first layer while adding the second is really interesting. However, I had a serious problem trying to read your info today because a black box of advertising would swoop down from the upper right corner and cover up most of your instructions. There was no way to get rid of it and it was for chemical cleaning, which I’ve never clicked on before. very annoying!!

  49. Claudia Hughes says

    Love the bookcase and the wallpaper touch. You inspire me!! I have a coffe table that needs a refresh, and a dresser and an end table. Oh and a table and chairs. I guess you could say I have a list.

  50. Sherry Riggs says

    I have a kitchen hutch that really needs some paint and love. I would love to win this giveaway. Thank you.

  51. Tess Stephenson says

    Love the colors. Would like to spray paint some upholstery and update our patio furniture.

  52. Terri Hughes says

    Very pretty….love the colors. I have a dresser that I need to paint.

  53. Nancy says

    Such a cute makeover!
    I’d love to try the sprayer and spray shelter on a dresser set I’ll be refinishing!

  54. Charlene says

    Absolutely beautiful choice of wallpaper !!! It made a very pretty bookcase.

    • Larissa says

      I’m delighted to hear your kind words, Charlene. Thank you!

  55. Cheryl says

    I love what you did with that bookshelf. I have a couple sitting around I’d like to do the same with.

  56. Kim says

    Your projects are always beautiful and inspiring! I would paint my dining room chairs which are in need of some serious love.

    • Margie K Berry says

      Hi Larissa, your little bookcase turned out SO cute. I am buying a home, and I can’t wait to incorporate DIYs in my new garage/basement. (I presently live in an apartment). Thanks for the inspiration.

  57. Cherie Laiche says

    This inspires me – would love to win!

  58. Kaycee says

    Larissa, This is such a fun and sweet piece! I love the color combination, the cute knob, and the peel off wall paper on the back. She is the perfect bookcase! I have had the HomeRight spray shelter on my wish list for awhile. I have a couple of little chairs that I use for plants stands during the summer that could definitely use a refresh, LOL! Thank you for the opportunity to enter.

  59. Staci says

    What a cute piece of furniture! Love your color choice and that peel-n-stick. I seriously have to try some! So cool that you have a big spray shelter. My parents’ shed had a rectangle white outline on it forever due to my dad leaning something up against it and painting. Love your work always and this bookcase came out so pretty!

  60. Donna Gonzalez says

    I may have to try something similar on a backless bookcase I have. I think even I can manage to add a back to it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  61. Judy Willoughby says

    Gorgeous! Love the colors! Going to try out my cheapo sprayer on 2 rockers soon. You inspire me!

  62. Shirley says

    I love this piece!! Love the color, love the background…just love it all! If I had a sprayer I sure would love it for my latest buffet for my living room. I’m not looking forward to working that by hand. It would also be nice to have the spray shelter. I miss a lot of paint days because of the wind around here. I think that shelter is really cool and would make an excellent place for painting.

    • Larissa says

      Fantabulous! Thank you so much for making me smile. 😀 You will love it Shirley. It’s so easy to use!

  63. Tori says

    OH my goodness that turned out so cute!! Love it! I would LOVE a paint sprayer!! I’m starting a TON of DIY home improvement projects and this would be so handy!! Especially on the six, yes, I said 6! dressers that are in the garage waiting to be painted!!

    • Larissa says

      Happy dance over here! Thank you, Tori! You will rock the DIY…I know it. 😉

  64. Margaret Waters says

    I wasn’t wanting to reply to the person above me, I was wanting to say how much I enjoyed the blog article. Thanks.

  65. Cheryl B says

    I would use this to repaint my daughter’s dressers.

  66. LuAnn says

    Super cool! I would use it to refinish a headboard

  67. Becky says

    What a cute little bookshelf! I like how the wallpaper ties the colors together. I need to paint some chairs… sounds like a job for a sprayer!

  68. Sheila says

    I love your projects plus they provide me with a lot of inspiration! Winning a sprayer would be awesome as I have a garage full of furniture to paint this summer or I have to donate them back. I’d really like to paint and sell. The weather in the PNW makes it hard since the rainy season is so long. Can’t wait to see what’s your next project!

    • Larissa says

      Sounds like you’re a gal after my own heart, Sheila. Thank you!

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