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.  

This old, plain white bookcase definitely needed a DIY upgrade

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.

First remove the fiberboard backing of the bookcase

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

Life hack: use wrapping paper with a grid on the back as a chevron pattern 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.

Use painters tape to create a more sturdy chevron pattern template

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.
Spray paint over the painters tape pattern

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

Coat with as many layers of spray paint as you need to reach your desired 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.
Carefully pull off the painters tape

6. Take off the tape and admire your work!

You've got an almost perfect, easy chevron pattern on the backing for the bookcase

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!

Reattach the backing of the bookcase and it has a whole new look!

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.
DIY Chevron Pattern 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.

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.