DIY Painted Books

DISCLAIMER: No books were harmed in the making of this DIY project! I have simply changed their outside appearance aesthetically like they say, never judge a book by its cover! I promise you, these books can still be enjoyed and read if desired!

One thing you will always find a surplus of in the thrift store is books. Books, books and more books! I had a few I was finished reading that I wanted to create something with. But what? Then the idea came to me, they can be painted!

What you will need:

  1. A can of white paint (I used wall paint but acrylic would do fine too). Depending on the finished look you wish to achieve, you can use a transparent paint and build up the coverage with several coats.
  2. A sponge or brush to paint with.
  3. A book with a natural cover that can absorb paint. Remove the sleeve if it has one.

The Process:

  1. Using the sponge or brush, paint thin layers going with the grain of the cover. If you want a more textured look you can also use brush strokes in different directions.
  2. Apply paint lightly to the crease as it can pool and may not dry correctly.
  3. Tape the edge of the pages if you want to protect them from excess paint.


I wanted to create an aged appearance with colours that would compliment my home, so I used two small cans of spray paint in silver and gold. Lightly spraying here and there, allowing it to drip from the nozzle adds unique effects as well.


One of the books I had was already white, so using the same gold spray paint I experimented with texture by laying a piece of burlap in a variety of positions over top of the cover and softly spraying over it. Adding text or words to the spine looks quite pretty too!


I have a lot of natural tones in my house with hints of silver and gold. One of my favourite little details is adding burlap! I found a large roll at Talize a few months ago in the mixed bag wall (its so full of treasures!) and simply cut it in half to make it more like ribbon. I also had a few long pieces of sheer green ribbon that I fed through the holes in the burlap to create a rustic bow. To hold the ribbons in place I created a loop and used a clear push pin to fasten it to the cover on each side. Voila!

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Talize is a proudly Canadian owned and operated national for-profit retailer offering quality resale apparel and housewares at unbeatable prices. Fantastic deals on brand names and designer fashions as well as accessories, leather goods, footwear, housewares, books, toys and more. Talize is a proud sponsor of the Childrens Wish Foundation!