Stenciled Bookcases

I've been thinking about starting this blog for a really long time now.  I've finally decided to be brave and put it all out there, the good, the bad and the meh.

For the past several years, I've been fixing up my house so that it's pretty, functional and more organized.  One of the things I've always wanted were bookcases because I love that library look and also because my house is really lacking in storage space.

This is one of the projects that I finished last summer in my living room.  I made the mistake of starting this project around 7:00 pm, thinking that it would only take a few hours.  Little did I know that stenciling is tedious work that takes a long time to finish.  I think I was up until 2:00 am determined to finish it because I only wanted to clean up the paint mess once.  Of course, I might have finished it a lot faster if I didn't have the TV on to a marathon session of Weeds reruns on the TV Guide Channel.  When you stencil, you have to do a section and then wait for it to dry.  So, I would stencil a section, watch TV and realize I was hungry and have to get a snack (always telling myself that I would only wait for "five minutes" and then get back to the stenciling).  I don't recommend this method for stenciling.
I had been scouring Craig's List for used bookcases for months.  The thing is, people sell one bookcase, or two bookcases, but no one seems to ever sell three bookcases, which is what I needed for this space.  I considered the Billy bookcases from IKEA because I wanted something clean lined and not too deep because then they would stick out too far into the room and minimize the space behind the couch.  We don't have an IKEA here though (sigh), and the shipping would have cost more than the bookcases, so they were out.  I finally decided to go with the Carson book cases from  They were on sale and the shipping was free.  They are only about a foot deep and I like how the shelves look substantial and are adjustable.

I was originally going to paint and stencil the back of the bookcases but the back they come with is just cheap cardboard that can't be painted.  What I wound up doing is painting the wall behind the bookcases.  The green is a Martha Stewart color and I'm sorry I don't remember what it is.  The white is Polar Bear from Behr and it's what I use on all of my doors and trim molding.  The stencil is from Hobby Lobby, more than likely purchased with a 40% off coupon because I'm cheap like that.
I decided on the green paint color to coordinate with the mossy green color in the rug and the green pillows on the couch.
Or, maybe to coordinate with the green snake on the couch?
Before I got the bookcases, I had this mirror hanging on the wall.
And, here's an "After" shot.  Or, more accurately, a "Progress" shot because almost a year later and I'm still not done with styling everything I want on the bookcases.
I do like how they fill up the space and have a pop of color on the neutral walls.  (The big white marks on the wall above the bookcases are from the huge holes I put in the wall when I took down the mirror.  That sucker was heavy and I had to hang it on a stud with a big ol' nail, and man, that nail was a bear to take out!  I guess I will paint over them eventually;)

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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