Disguising an Unattractive Piece of Furniture.

When buying furniture on a budget, it is not uncommon for less seen or less noticeable parts of the furniture to be unfinished. This is certainly the challenge I encountered with a bookshelf I had purchased from IKEA. I used the bookshelf to divide my living space from my bedroom space which it has done wonderfully. The backside of the bookshelf, however, is unfinished fiberboard. I wanted a quick, not messy way to make the back of the bookshelf, which faced my bed, more attractive or just less ugly. Here is what I came up with:

Purchased Supplies

  • Matte Black Contact Paper (You can choose whatever color you would like. I was surprised by how decorative some contact paper now is so get creative if you chose.)
  • Clear Contact Paper
  • Black and White 5X7 Prints (These can be in color if that will better suit your overall decor. I would also chose a smaller size print, like a 4X6, if you are working with a smaller piece of furniture.)

Budget: approx. $30

Other Supplies

  • A Helping Hand (Not vital as I did this on my own, but it may make the job a bit easier.)
  • Patience

How To:

There isn’t much to explain. The goal here is to cover the fiber board with the contact paper as smoothly as possible. Getting the contact paper to stick smoothly without sticky to itself is a challenge. I also tried to remove as much dust from the fiberboard as I could. For this I simply used a paper towel (real high-tech) and a vacuum. If you have the time and patience you may want to try sanding it lightly.

Once the contact paper is covering the fiberboard, you can start on the fun part – placing the prints. I cut the clear contact paper a little larger than the prints (6X8). The prints I chose were from my trip to Hong Kong and Beijing. I did this because my duvet cover is silk and was purchased in Beijing. While the pattern of the duvet cover is not overly Asian inspired,  I wanted to bring in my memorable trip to attempt at some sort of theme. I used black and white prints so they were more subtle and didn’t clash with the colors in the duvet cover which is what I want to really stick out.


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