Chevron Bookcase

Sometimes an old piece of furniture seems like it’s so ugly or plain that it has no hope for a successful DIY make-over. Take this bookcase for example.  

bookcase before

This bookshelf was a staple in my teeny-bopper bedroom. It held things that awkward pre-teen girls loved back then; like picture frames, Michael Jordan books and bug cages (yea… don’t ask).

Thankfully, this poor bookcase escaped the misery of being called home to grasshoppers and earthworms and graduated to my classroom. In my classroom, this shelf served as a place for my students to store their binders and any other supplies they needed during class. Although this shelf has had an adventurous life, it just hasn’t been able to find its inner glam.

I know she doesn’t look like she has a lot of potential, but don’t be fooled- looks can be deceiving. To bring out the inner glam that I feel like this old thing deserves, I decided to add CHEVRON to the backing.

To kick off the project, I removed the backing. Just like many successful make-overs, the poor thing had to strip down and start from scratch. #allinthenameofglam

chevron template

1. Stencil a Chevron design on a piece of paper. I used wrapping paper because the grid made creating the chevron lines much easier.
2. Cut the chevron design out of the wrapping paper, this will be your “chevron template”
3. Using the Chevron Template, trace the Chevron design on the backing of the bookshelf using pencil.

chevron DIY

4. Tape every other chevron (warning: this part is tedious and a little time consuming)

Rookie Mistake: Make sure your tape is tightly secured to your surface… no one wants paint sneaking onto any areas it’s not welcome.

5. Spray paint (I needed 3 coats because of the dark color)

Give the paint ample amount of time to dry. You don’t want to start peeling the tape until you are certain that your piece is completely dry.

6. Take off the tape and admire your work!

DIY chevron

I was amazed at the pop of glam that these chevron stripes provided. I was even more amazed that some of the navy spray paint seeped onto the white chevron. With some tedious scraping, I created a more crisp, clean line.

6. Nail the backing back onto the bookshelf, dress her up and enjoy!

chevron bookcases

Who knew that this teeny-bopper bookcase could turn into such a masterpiece? I can’t wait for someone to come over and say… “Oh my goodness, I love this!”

I will reply modestly, “Oh, this old thing?” …and I’ll really mean it.
Chevron bookcase

This “old thing” had far more potential than it originally appeared to have. Don’t underestimate the potential of your “old things”. With a little creativity and lots of spray paint, there is no piece of furniture too ugly or too plain to makeover.

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Leave a Comment

  • Jan O’Halloran

    I have two of these old bookcases in my basement bedroom. They used to be in Liz’s teeny bopper room. I think you just gave me my next DIY project, Bridget. Love it!

  • Thanks Jan! Other than the tedious taping part, this project is one definitely of my favorites!

  • ejm852

    Ok, this may be a dumb question, but how did you get from drawing a chevron on the back of wrapping paper to having it on the back of the bookshelf? I’m stumped. But I want to do this project! Love it!

  • Oh my goodness, definitely not a stupid question… I should have been more clear.

    1. Stencil a Chevron design on a piece of paper. I used wrapping paper because the grid made creating the chevron lines much easier.

    2. Cut the chevron design out of the wrapping paper, this will be your “chevron template”

    3. Using the Chevron Template, trace the Chevron design on the backing of the bookshelf

    4. Tape every other chevron and spray paint the backing

    5. Remove tape to see your newly painted chevron backing

    6. Nail the backing back onto the bookshelf and enjoy!

    I hope this helps. let me know if you have any other questions. And the most important part…. send us pictures if you create one!! We’d love to see your work. (diyplaybook@gmail.com)

  • Jan O’Halloran

    I’m so glad your other reader asked that question. I was wondering the very same thing!

  • Maggie

    I’m staring at a random white bookshelf that I recently inherited but have no clue what to do with. This is perfect! I’m wondering why I never thought to paint the back. Cute idea!

  • DIY Playbook

    You’ll HAVE to send us a picture!!

  • samni

    thanks for share..