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How To DIY Decorative Colorful Books

Difficulty Level: Easy


I finished decorating my Bookcase see my post 7 Easy and Affordable Tips To Style a Book Shelf but it didn’t have enough of the colors that I wanted to incorporate.   The main colors that I wanted to blend into my office were light pink, turquoise and gold.  I thought books would be a good way to incorporate the colors that I wanted.  I looked online and found books that you can buy in custom colors but it was a little expensive.  This inspired me to find a cheaper way.   At pretty much every estate sale we went to I found a ton of super cheap book sets like Encyclopedias.  Once I had a few uniform sets of books I decided to paint them to the custom colors I wanted.

Items I used:

  • Encyclopedia sets from Garage sales
  • Paint leftover from other projects
  • Metallic Spray Paint
  • Painting Tarp
  • Foam Paint brushes

Finding The Books

The first thing I did was I found three sets of encyclopedias/book sets at Garage and Estate Sales.  I picked three different sets. I made sure that each set was a different size.

Picking the Colors

I decided on three colors that I wasn’t to use.  I had leftover turquoise paint from other projects.  I bought the pink paint in sample size.  I really liked incorporating a gold detail so I used metallic brass spray paint.

Dividing The Books

I divided each set of books by three since I picked three colors. I picked 1/3 of the book sets to paint turquoise, 1/3 of the book sets to paint pink and a little over a 1/3 of the book sets to paint metallic. I had one extra book so I chose the metallic color for it.

Painting the books

Some of the books had a really unique gold design on them that I wanted to keep.  I added a little water to my foam paint brush to thin the paint so that the original design would still poke through.  This gave it a more antiques weathered look that I was going for.  It kept the old feel of the book while giving it a new twist.

Setting the Books to Dry

I let the books dry overnight.  Once they dried some of the book covers absorbed the paint so I had to apply additional coats.

Add to the Book Shelf

I mixed the colors in the book sets when I put them up.  Since I had an equal number of each color it was easy to mix and match.

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