Updated: 2/24/2020 – This post explains how to Update a Built in Bookcase with Foam Board and a little spray paint.

You can update a built in bookcase with foam board and paint. I get your hesitancy to throw paint on custom built bookcases. But, here’s a way to tame the trepidation and add color and style without a huge commitment.

DIY Update Bookcases on a Budget
You can update your built in bookcases on a budget

Check out these posts for more DIY ideas: Chinoiserie Chic Powder Room Makeover DIY Designer Lamp Makeover Master Bedroom Makeover – Reveal

Update a Built In Bookcase with Foam Board

Foam Board and Paint to Update a Bookcase
Simple Built In Bookcase Updates

Update your Built in Bookcase with foam board:

List of Items

  1. foam board
  2. sharp knife – x-acto type
  3. paint – spray paint seems to work best
  4. measuring tape
  5. metal yardstick
  6. spray tent

Measure the Individual Shelves you Will Be Updating

First,  measure the back of your bookcase. My bookcase shelves are all the same size, but that’s not necessarily the case so be sure to measure. Once you’ve determined how much foam board you will need, head to your favorite craft store, and choose the boards that will provide you with the least waste. You should check websites, or call the store to verify the sizes of board sold. Not all craft stores carry the extra large pieces.

Update Built In Bookcase on a Budget with Foam Board
Add Foam Board to Back of Built in Bookcase for Simple Update

Find a Large Space for Cutting the Foam Board

Now it’s time to cut. Our ping pong table provided a large space, so I spread  old lumber on the table to protect it. I used a metal yardstick to guide the  knife. I cut all my pieces before I started the spray painting process. Whenever you use spray paint, be sure to protect all surrounding area from over spray. You will want to follow the directions of the can for ventilation.

Simple Bookcase Update
Update Built In Bookcases with Foam Board

Use Patience and Caution When Installing the Foam Board

One problem I ran into was the trim work on my bookcase is not flush with the sides. I had to really work to get the foam board into place without cracking it. This is the trickiest part, because you want the fit to be as tight as possible. With patience, you will be able to bend the board into position.

DIY Built in Bookcase with Foam Board
Colorful Foam Board Updates Built in Bookcase

So for all of you who are averse to color, this is a great way to add some without a lifetime commitment. Come on, go for it!

DIY Bookshelf Update

Enjoy Today!
Love y’all,

Lori Nell

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