What Color to Paint the Back of Bookcase?

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A bookcase shelters books, but it can do more than that. Painting the back of a bookcase is a way to include it in the aesthetic elements of a room. This way, it does more than just casing books but beautifying along with it.

But wait, what color is best to paint the back of a bookcase?

The back of a bookcase can be painted in several colors. It all depends on the expression that is to be created with the color. It could be painted in neutral colors, bright or dark colors, and even the same color as the wall.

Each color has a peculiar expression it creates at the back of a bookcase. Read on to find out what feeling each of the several colors can create.

Learn more about how painting the back of a bookcase can impact the room and more topics around it.

Colors to paint the back of a bookcase


Painting the back of a bookcase is not just a wood protection procedure. It is a face-lifting adventure. The color choice depends on personal preferences and the desired look.

Here are ten different color options to make the back of a bookcase pop with life and beauty.


The dark contrast of black will allow the contents of the bookcase to show. The books and other things in the bookcase will stand out against the black background.

The black can have a strong voice, but this can be doused with a touch of black in other parts of the room.


Dark gray works in a similar version to the black color. It gives a good shadow at the back of the bookcase for the content to take the stage.

Gray is quite lighter than black and so may be preferred. Navy blue and mud green are also good to give the same dark background like black and grey.


White has never been in doubt as a good decorative color. The back of a bookcase painted in white can be illuminating. White gives an expensive look to the bookcase.

One outstanding application of white is with a white wall.

The back of the bookcase in white matches the wall. The other parts of the bookcase can be in any bright color.

Asides from the back of the bookcase, white is good as trims.


A bright, fun, and energetic color. Yellow is amazing for a charged look. It is good for creating a friendly, warm, and cozy expression.

A bright shade like the sunshine is just good for a children’s room. A darker shade is okay for a living room with a cheerful feeling.


Bright blue shades are lively and make a bookcase pop. Blue is cool when combined with white or cream. White trims and blue as the bookcase back are lovely.

Blue is a warm color that creates a lively feeling.


Quite close to yellow and red, orange is energetic. The back of a bookcase is cool to be painted Orange. The room needs to have fewer bright colors so that it doesn’t look clumsy.

Orange is a good choice when there are several neutral colors around it. It will stand out well in their midst.


In the same way as orange, red can be a bold and strong color. It appears elegant in the midst of softer colors like white and cream.

At the back of a bookcase is a good place to have a good touch of red in a room. Not too loud and not too concealed.


Soft colors like beige are good to give a gentle and calm look. If the desired look is to be conservative, beige is good for the bookcase.

No striking or bursts of energy, but still attractive.


Close to white in effect. The cream is also a soft color that brings a feeling of peace and calmness. A bright color can be used around it, maybe as bookcase trims.

A uniform neutral look can also be the goal.


Still a part of the neutral group, brown is good for the back of a bookcase. Light shades of brown can be a good backdrop for the bookcase.

Leaving a sophisticated look in the room.

Can I Paint my Bookcase and wall the same color?

This is not a bad idea at all. The wall and the bookcase can have the same color. There can be beautiful variants of this design. The utiful variations to that design.

The back of the bookcase can share the color of the wall while other parts have another color.

A beautiful contrast is created when only the back of the bookcase is the same color as the wall. Another interesting variation is to have the whole bookcase share the wall color.

Both inside and outside of the bookcase were painted the same color.

This creates a matching look. The color of the books is given more expression in this case. The wall and the bookcase are their stages to show their color.

It also makes the bookcase appear built into the wall. This makes the room look bigger.

What is the best paint type for a bookcase?

A bookcase is made from wood. Both oil-based and water-based paints can be used on wood. The very important initial step is to use a primer on the wood.

The wooden surface to be painted is ultimately the determinant of what specific paint type to use.

The traditional latex paint is good enough for the back of a bookcase. It is the cheapest and fast-drying option.

There is no need to get other paint types like alkyl-based oil paint since the back of the bookcase is not exposed to moisture like a kitchen cabinet or bathroom.

Semi-gloss or high-gloss sheen can be used for the painting. This is easier to clean, and it is smooth to touch.

Satin or flat sheen can also be used for the bookcase since it is not always exposed.

How to paint the back of a bookcase

The back of a bookcase may be slightly hard to do with a brush because of the corners and edges there. Spray-painting seems to me as the best option to adopt.

The spraying will make it easier to reach hidden corners a brush may find hard to reach.

A paintbrush can also be used if you have the time to meticulously do the painting. It is good to use a brush if you want to paint more intricately.

But it will take more time compared to spray painting. How can you get the bookcase painted?

If books are already in the bookcase, the obvious first step is to remove the books. The basement or garage is a good place to get the job done without having the paint going to the wrong places.

Proper aeration is important wherever you decide to do the painting.

Either with a brush or spray, you should clean the surfaces to be painted with a clean damp cloth. The wood should be sanded if you are using a brush and acrylic paint.

Let the surface air-dry, then start with the primer in either case.

Spray paint is applied after the primer, and so is the acrylic paint if it is the brush option. For a good coating, it is best to add to paint layers.

Spray paints take about 20-minutes to dry. The acrylic paint, on the other hand, can take hours to dry.

Once the first layer of paint dries, the second layer should be applied. But first, a clean cloth should be used to clean the painted surface to get rid of dust.

After the second and final paint layer, leave the bookcase to dry overnight.

How can I color code my books?

How the books in a bookcase are arranged is important. The good looks of the bookcase can be improved when some styles are added to the book arrangement. One way to do this is to color code the books.

Color coding the books is simply arranging them in stacks of the same color. So the first thing is to sort them into similar color groups.

This is a time-consuming process if the books are large in number. But the final result is worth the stress anyways.

This is less of a burden since the books will still need to go into the bookcase after the painting. The sorting can be done while the case is waited to dry.

Once sorted in colors, start arranging each color set in a specific section of the bookcase.

Another spice you can add is to stack some of the books horizontally and some vertically. This can be done within the same color groups or across colors.

Some books may have spines that are multicolored. It is safe to put it into any group that fits best to save time.

Finally, the bookcase can be spiced up with one extra tip. The addition of art pieces, pictures, and ornaments is possible.

Framed pictures or art pieces can be placed between book stacks to add some extra glamor.

In a wrap

There have been several ideas on how to make the back of a bookcase speak volumes. It is left to what statement you desire to make.

Use dark colors to create a good background for the bookcase contents to be the center of attention.

The brighter colors will highlight the bookcase itself. And the neutral colors will blend it all together for a calm appeal.

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