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

Update a Built In Bookcase with Foam Board

Foam Board and Paint to Update a Bookcase

Simple Built In Bookcase Updates

You will need the following items  to update your Built in Bookcase with foam board:

  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

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

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

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

If you love simple inexpensive DIY updates, check out these posts from 2018: Marble Shelving Unit HackFront Entry Door Gets Update .

And my Instagram account is full of daily inspiration and stories, so click here and give me a follow: Southern Nell Gracious Living

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!

Enjoy Today!
Love y’all,

Lori Nell

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