Saturday, September 6, 2008

easy shelf makeover

For under six dollars and just about one hour of my time, I transformed two IKEA Lack shelves from boring black to warm and woodsy. In black, they weren't exactly jiving with the dark brown walls of my TV room. I thought about my options to remake them: wallpaper seemed to messy and possibly pricey, and I knew that spray paint might not stick and would eventually scratch off and look bad.

The black shelf before. The accessories weren't working right either.

The shelf after. The new look suits the room and the accessories make more of an impact.

I went to Home Depot looking for a solution, and found it right away: Contact paper. Normally applied as a shelf liner in cupboards or used on the inside of drawers, the paper is sticky enough to adhere to a surface, but is not a permanent commitment. The only downside is the lack of options. There are lots of ugly ones, and just a couple of decent basic colors. I chose a faux bois look, in light pine.

The process was simple. I just measured the shelves, then cut the paper using the handy grid on the back side. Leaving the shelves attached to the wall, I applied the contact paper, wrapping a single long piece around the entire shelf. It took a little fidgeting to get it to lay straight and smooth, but it was extremely easy. I cut separate strips for the front edge of each shelf.

A close up of the application of the contact paper.

The result looks pretty darn good. The warm and natural tones certainly play up the brown wall paint, and show off accessories better than the black did. A super inexpensive do-it-yourself decorating project, with instant gratification!

Shelf #2 before its makeover.

Now it fits with the room so much better!

Different accessories add a little more variety and warmth.