The bookcase back panel is a great opportunity to add style, color and interest to a plain bookcase. I found a dozen different ways you can transform a boring bookcase into one that really stands out.
Bookcase Back Panel Ideas
1 Wallpaper isn’t just for walls. It looks fabulous on the back of a bookcase behind all your beautiful accessories. It adheres easily and makes quite a statement.
2 Give warmth to an all white bookcase by adding burlap to the back panel. It quietly highlights whatever you place on the shelf.
3 Jazz up inexpensive store bought bookcases by using fabric on the back panel. This Ikea bookcase is anything but plain with a modern geometric print fabric added to the back. Note: For more great tips on updating Ikea furniture, check out yesterday’s post!
4 Give your bookcase old world charm by covering the back panel with tin ceiling tiles and painting the frame in a bold color.
5 Use grasscloth on the back panel to bring texture and interest to a bookcase or built-ins.
6 Make a stock bookcase sturdier and add charm at the same time. Switch out the flimsy back panel with beadboard. Then paint it out to coordinate with the room.
7 Painting the back panel of an all-white bookcase in a contrasting color gives it depth and helps the accessories take center stage.
8 There’s almost nothing you can’t do with a pallet! Use the boards in place of the back panel of a bookcase. It gives extra strength to the frame and adds lots of style.
9 Cover the back panel of a bookcase with old maps. This would look great in a child’s room, study or game room.
10 A couple of rolls of wrapping paper and some Mod Podge are an inexpensive way to transform a bookcase. Use them on the back panel for an instant and easy update.
11 If you have a bookcase with lots of different compartments, give it some pizzazz by covering the back panels of each compartment in a different pattern. This can be done with wallpaper, paint, or fabric.
12 Add a golden glow to your bookcase by covering the back panel in gold leaf or metallic wallpaper.
A couple of tips I’ve discovered along the way.
- The back panel that comes with some bookcases you assemble yourself is often quite flimsy. Replacing it with a wood panel will give the frame more strength and support. And you can paint or wallpaper over it.
- If you don’t want to remove the back panel and want to make future update easier, cut foam core board to fit between the shelves. Then cover it with fabric, wallpaper, etc. You can easily remove it when you want to change the look. To keep it from falling out, adhere it with double stick tape or better yet, Velcro tabs.
- Cardboard back panels don’t hold up to paint. Change the back panel to something that can be painted.
After doing this post, the bookcases in my office are screaming for attention. I see a fun new project being added to the to-do list for my office makeover! Do you have any ideas for updating bookcase back panels that you’d like to share?