What Kind of Paint to Use on Shelves – Everything you need to know

Almost every room of the house now has shelves, which can be used to store anything from cookbooks in the kitchen to quilting instruction manuals in the craft room. Along with your books, they also house any other trinkets or unique collections that give your rooms character.

However, this is only true if you use the best paint for shelves. Painting shelves is surprisingly simple and inexpensive. The style, theme, and atmosphere of any room will be improved by painting your shelf in the appropriate way. It is possible to paint a bookshelf, whether it is free-standing or built-in, to blend in well with the overall color scheme of any room. Continue reading!

What Type of Paint to Use on Wood Bookshelf?

The type of material used to construct the bookshelf will determine the best paint to use. Although wood makes up the majority of bookshelves, some are made of laminate, which mimics wood. So let’s examine which paints are most effective for the various materials.

What Kind of Paint to Use on Shelves - Everything you need to know

What Kind of Paint to Use on Pantry Shelves?

Gloss paint is the best option for high-use areas like pantry shelves because of its better coverage and resistance to scuffs and wear. Gloss paint is also simpler to maintain because it can withstand repeated cleaning from spills, which are unavoidable.

For wooden pantry shelves, high-gloss, oil-based paint is the most durable paint finish. However, applying it can be messy, and cleanup calls for solvents. Strong odors are also produced by oil-based gloss paints, which necessitate good ventilation for a few days after painting.

However, semi-gloss paints are a good second option in terms of coverage and durability if you don’t like the mirrored effect of gloss paints. Any spills in the pantry can be easily cleaned up because it is still simple to clean.

What Kind of Paint to Use on Shelves - Everything you need to know

Types of Paints to Use on Wooden Shelves

Acrylic Paint

Given that it works well with wood; acrylic paint is one of the best paints to use on wooden bookcases. Additionally, it adheres to both waxy and oily surfaces, making it incredibly versatile. It is also extremely resilient and doesn’t crack, peel, or yellow.

However, keep in mind that most wooden bookcases already have a varnish layer before painting them with acrylic paint. Using the best varnish will keep your wood safe. Additionally, some paints are oil-based and contain Tung oil or Linseed oil.

In other words, if your bookshelf has a varnish topcoat, you should take it off before painting. Otherwise, the surface of the bookshelf won’t allow the acrylic paint to adhere.

What Kind of Paint to Use on Shelves - Everything you need to know

Chalk Paint

Because of the preparation required before using it, chalk paint differs from enamel and acrylic paint. To use acrylic paint, however, you must first sand the wood and remove the topcoat. Similar to this, make sure to perfectly sand the wood before applying enamel paint to ensure a glossy finish.

You don’t need to sand your furniture before using chalk paint, unlike acrylic and enamel paint, which both require extensive preparation. As a result, chalk paint is the ideal choice for a quick paint for your bookshelves.

But chalk paint is not as long-lasting as acrylic and enamel paints. By adding a wax layer, you can increase durability, though some people might find this more troublesome.

Enamel-Based Paint

Another well-liked option for painting wooden bookcases is enamel-based paint because, like acrylic paint, it is durable. However, unlike acrylic paint, it turns yellow over time.

Enamel paint, as opposed to acrylic paint, gives all furniture a glossy finish. Therefore, for the best results when painting, choose an enamel-based paint if you want a glossy finish.

However, the toxicity of the enamel-based paint is a serious drawback. The enamel-based paint has chemicals that emit a potent odor and are extremely flammable because it is an oil-based paint.

You can always choose acrylic paint, a water-based paint alternative, if the toxicity of enamel-based paints bothers you. Enamel-based paint is also free of harmful chemicals.

Types of Paints to Use on Laminate Shelves

Have you ever considered painting laminate bookcases? Indeed, you can! They have grown in popularity because they are more reasonably priced than wooden ones. Despite looking like wood, laminate bookcases are made of synthetic materials rather than real wood.

Because of this, you should refrain from painting laminate bookshelves with the majority of paint choices that you would use on your wooden bookshelves. Instead, where it provides a smoother finish and more durability for the laminate surfaces, latex paint works perfectly.

Contrary to oil-based paints, which can take up to eight hours to fully dry, latex paint coats are fully dry in one to four hours. As a result, latex paints are less likely to exhibit the brush strokes seen on alkyd-based oil paint coats, have lower volatile organic compound (VOC) levels, and are more affordable.

The flat to satin sheen latex paints also reflect less light than the glossy sheens, so the super smoother coats will cover up any imperfections in the furniture. Last but not least, latex paint is among the cheapest sheen options for furniture that you don’t use frequently.

What Kind of Paint to Use on Shelves - Everything you need to know

What Paint to Use on Wood Shelves?

Your best options are semi-gloss or high-gloss paint sheens because they are easier to clean, have a smoother, non-porous finish, and don’t weather or fade over time because moisture beads on them rather than being absorbed.

What Paint to Use on Wood Closet Shelves?

All shelving, baseboards, and closet ceilings look great in satin. Satin closet finishes require little maintenance, but when they do, cleaning them is a snap. not having to paint as frequently. In actuality, you can skip painting the closet when you repaint your interior!

Final thoughts

The advantages and disadvantages of each type of paint should be weighed carefully before choosing the best paint for shelves. Consequently, before choosing a paint color and finish, first get a sense of how shiny your shelf is. Read on to learn which paint is best to use on your shelves to avoid having to start over.

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