When we moved in... this is what we had on either side of our fireplace. (Not very pretty I know!)
The other night I showed Hubby the Great this picture from Bibbidi Bobbidi Beautiful at 5 pm.
Here's what you will need:
a design in mind
graph paper (optional)
2 colors of paint (one for the background and one for the design)
Step One: Draw your dimensions and sketch your design on a sheet of paper. We ALWAYS have graph paper in our house for these such occasions!
Step Two: Sand your surface and wash them with soap and water. I used to skip this part, but learned my lesson! Let it dry thoroughly. If your design is going to be a different color than you already have on the back of your bookcase, paint the backside in the new color and let it dry for a few days so that the painters tape doesn't take it off when you remove it.
Step Three: Use a ruler and/or tape measure to tape design on the back of the bookcase. Use a razor blade to create clean corners.
Step Four: What you should do is this: Paint over the tape with whatever color your design is going to be (in this case white) and wait for it to dry thoroughly. This will prevent any paint drips and messy lines from the paint seeping through the sides of the tape. What I did was this: spray paint over your tape because you are impatient and want to get the mess out of your living room. Worry about touch up later. This was a bad idea :-)
Please ignore the ugly tangled mess of cords.... they are hidden better in the future :-)
Step Four: Paint over your design with your new color. In this case we chose a color we already had which could probably never be matched again (a whole other story for another day). We will call it "dusty blue" :-)
Step Five: Let it dry thoroughly (again I failed at this part due to my very impatient nature) and carefully remove your tape.
Step Five: Touch up what is necessary with some white paint and wait (arg!) for them to dry.
Step Six: Return shelves and all your other things and spend hours putting them up there just right.
Step Seven: Grab a beverage of choice (Mountain Dew!) and bask in the newfound prettiness of your built-ins (while Hubby the Great basks in the excitement of a new football season.) I know on the inside these built-ins are thanking me a million times over!
Let's look at that before one more time....
Another tip.... you can make any bookcase look more interesting by changing the look of the back panel. It makes bookcases look less like a big black hole and more like an open display shelf by bringing your eye all the way to the back rather than having it stop at the front. You can use wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, paint, whatever! It's a quick and easy thing to do that can really change the look of a room.
Just a thought :-)