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What can I do to "liven up" this bookcase?

I have a bookcase that my grandfather built years ago, before I was even born, and I remember it being in their house all my life growing up. So I love it because it was made by his hands. It's a great bookcase, large, sturdy, but over the years it's become worn. I think he painted it brown (see pics). My living room is white mostly although I do have their coffee table as well that is dark wood and extremely HEAVY as well. I want to paint my living room (again don't know what to do color-wise, I'm not good at picking colors) and I want to do a collage of old family photos on the wall next to this book case. Any ideas as to what I can do to liven up this bookcase that won't mess up the wood? I have NO IDEA what type of wood it is??? Thanks!
  • what can i do to liven up this bookcase, painted furniture
  • what can i do to liven up this bookcase, painted furniture

Have Questions About This Post?

  • Z

    Thank you Angela. I'm a bit obsessive about planning. It's the doing that comes way slower. The room this is for, the Gentleman's Parlor, still needs walls painted, the fireplace surrounded stained, built and installed, plus new furniture and rug.

  • Angela A
    Angela A Lula, GA

    This is the wall beside the bookcase that I want turn into the "family wall"...I want to paint my living room as well...and am wondering if that strip across the middle can be taken down, OR should I just paint over it?? I live in a mobile home so

  • Joy Kelly-Warner
    Joy Kelly-Warner Lincoln, NE

    I would paint it?

  • Stacey Cannon
    Stacey Cannon Rathdrum, ID

    I saw somewhere where they used different color cordinated bookcovers. It was like a work of art.

  • M. M..
    M. M.. Pleasant Hill, CA

    Wait a bit to do the bookcase, then depending on what colors/themes you choose for the wall/room,try decorative paper inside the back wall of the bookcase, not a busy pattern, but something to lighten up the wood. I might restain/repaint the bottom