Yes, shelves are practical, but they also provide a whole world of decorative opportunity (besides making pretty displays with your favourite objects, that is). Tap into your shelves' potential and make a statement with them – this built-in storage unit shows how a couple of accent colours can transform a boring bookcase into a focal point by picking out the odd shelf in a different colour and painting the back wall.

1. Start by picking two or more colours that contrast with your main wall colour, taking inspiration from the accessories or artwork that you already have. Here, we've used Lemon Punch for the shelf edge and Oxford Blue for the back wall, which contrast brilliantly with Mint Macaroon.

2. Prepare your shelves by lightly sanding then dusting off the areas you'll be painting.

3. Apply a coat of primer to your shelves, brushing in the direction of the grain.

4. Starting with the back wall, apply low-adhesive masking to the shelves where they meet the wall to keep your edges sharp, then apply a couple of coats of your chosen wall colour (allowing each coat to dry fully).

5. Repeat the process for your shelves, so apply masking tape to the back wall where the shelves meet the wall, and apply a couple of coats of your chosen colours. Allow to dry, then have fun displaying your things!

Watch our step-by-step video guide How to Paint Your Shelves for more tips, and don't forget to share your before and after pictures with us on our Facebook page.

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