How can I upgrade an ordinary bookshelf?


How can I do something "different with a small bookshelf I bought at an estate sale ? Not an antique......

  11 answers
  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Feb 11, 2020

    Do you have a picture you could share?

    You could paint it and distress it, but not sure what style you are looking for. Here is a paint distressing tutorial:

    Hope this Helps! Jeremy -

  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Feb 11, 2020

    Leslie....I would paint after cleaning and priming and display, pictures, what knots, use baskets, bins, books, bookends, shelf sitters, flowers, candles, etc. You will love it! Send pic when you finish

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 11, 2020

    I think they are very updated and interesting when you paint with 2 colors or add wallpaper to the back. I use bookshelves for multiple purposes besides books. My kids toys are in bins on shelves in the playroom. We have a small one in the closet for shoes. In the garage for bin holders. Just a few of the "other" uses we have. We inherited some from our neighbor when they moved and I put them to good use.

  • JudyH JudyH on Feb 11, 2020

    Make storage bins! Apply leg, ball feet, or wheels to the back, flip it over and the shelves will look like section dividers. Can be used in kitchen to store potatoes, onions, and/or fruit. In the bathroom, use to store your towels. Kid's room store small toys. Sewing room: Organize patterns. Closet: Store handbags. You could even use it to organize pet food and treats! The uses and your design choices are endless!! My husband even hung a garage sale find sideways on the wall in our storage room to stack and store paint cans (screwed into wall studs).

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Feb 11, 2020

    How small is small?

    What are the dimensions of the bookshelf?

  • Annette Freeman Palanca Annette Freeman Palanca on Feb 11, 2020

    You could paint them a high glass true blue—what’s their name’s color of the year. Sand well and wipe down first. Might want to ask if some other primer or sealant is needed.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 11, 2020


    You could Clean it down and add trims to it and an upstand and legs or feet. You could Paint it , Stain it, or both. You could use a different colour at the back of the shelves and make the frame another colour. You could use crackle paint, Distress it or decoupage some of it, or Wallpaper or Print a design onto it or even free paint a design. Oh so many thing could be done, it rather depends on where it is going to live and what it's purpose will be and of course your talent or courage to make a start! Best wishes.........

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Feb 11, 2020

    Change the color go to Home Depot or michaels crafts and get wood pice decorative style ornate pieces and paint them and put on to change the look .

  • Leslie Packwood Leslie Packwood on Feb 11, 2020


  • Hi Leslie - We took an old bookshelf, cut it down and it's now a much needed side table to accompany a sad lonely chair. Hope this helps with some inspiration! Hugs, Holly