Ideas for Covering a Wood Bookcase

Written by carol ann
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Ideas for Covering a Wood Bookcase
Plain Jane bookcase? Dress it up creatively. (table et chaise image by Christophe Fouquin from

Bookcases do not always have to be painted or stained. Decorate a plain bookcase to coordinate with the design of the room. There are many different media to choose from, including fabric of almost any texture, paper such as wallpaper, contact paper or newspaper and metal in a variety of styles.

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Covering a bookcase with fabric is quick and easy. Fabric choices range from cotton prints, rough weaves, fake fur or vinyl and leather. Fabric can be stapled onto the bookcase or glued on, though stapling is a good choice since it allows the design to be changed to a different style or colour relatively easily. To cover with fabric, measure the bookcase dimensions before purchasing fabric. Cut fabric in panels to fit each section to be covered and staple in place.


Covering a bookcase with paper usually requires glue. If wallpaper is the choice, use wallpaper paste. If contact paper is chosen, no glue is necessary, as contact paper is self-adhesive; just peel and stick. To make a collage of newspaper of gift paper, purchase a special adhesive for this purpose, available at most craft stores. Measure the dimensions of the bookcase before beginning the project to ensure you have enough material to complete the job.


Using metal to cover a bookcase can add a modern or medieval aspect to the room, depending on the finish. Metal decor is available in a wide variety of styles. There are mesh or wire sheets, smooth sheets such as tin, hammered metal coloured to resemble copper, silver or gold, and embossed metal tiles. Metal is a difficult medium to work with, and custom work usually requires a special cutting tool. Metal can be nailed, stapled or screwed onto the bookcase, depending on the type and style. In some cases, such as for thin foils, glue can be used.

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