The Best Paint for Bookshelves 2022: The Extraordinary Guide

Bookshelves are just the ways of expressing ourselves in a new way. Also, a bookshelf full of books on known and mysterious subjects creates a good impression. Especially, it attracts everyone’s attention when we keep it tidy, colorful, and shiny.

Painting the bookshelves has a lot of benefits. It can give the stuff a new look. Additionally, you can design or paint images with the paints.

The Best Paint for Bookshelves: Extraordinary Guide

But it is always confusing during the selection of the best paint for bookshelves. Searching the web, you will see paints with hundreds of brands and multiple styles. They may not be a compelling idea as there is a chance to fade, yellow, or sticky.

Here, we are sharing some valuable intelligence upon selecting premium quality paints. We picked them, applied them, and get the best result. Stay with us till the last word for a better idea

Which Paint Works Best for a Bookshelf?

1. Best White Paint: FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft Paint
“3-in-1 paint works like paint, primer, and sealer to give a perfect white paint on bookshelves.”

2. Best Chalk Paint: Chalk Style Paint from Country Chic
“excellent chalky finish with 55 huge color options.”

3. Best Satin/Metallic Finish: Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Satin HP Interior Paint
“Fantastic metallic finish within just 30 minutes.”

Top 3 Best Paint for Bookshelves Review

1. FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft Paint – Best White Paint for Bookshelves

FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft White Paint for Bookshelves

Many of us love to paint bookcases in white colors. FolkArt Home Décor paint for bookshelves is far better than ordinary white paints. We have found the lush, creamy texture of this product is friendly for painting. It can blend and glide on the bookshelf surface well.

This acrylic paint is available in the Cottage White color. But there is a variation of finishes you can choose from neon, glitter, enamel, chalk paint, etc. You can pick this paint like a professional or newbie product. Also, some modern finishes are available to initiate dazzling colors.

We found it as an easy-to-use paint on our bookshelves. It requires no prior sanding or priming to apply on any furniture or crafts. Furthermore, it is water-based, free of toxicity, and comes from the United States. Lastly, you would love to repaint or newly paint on any indoor furniture, including the bookshelves.

Why we liked it:

We remark FolkArt Home Décor as a 3-in-1 paint for the bookshelves. It can prime, color, and seal the object while giving the thing a white layered or distressed look.

  • Crafters, painters, artists, and newbies can use this acrylic paint
  • Available in different regular and modern finishes
  • It saves time of sanding and priming as these are not required
  • No toxic elements were found in the paint 
  • Suitable for most surfaces like metal, wood, plastic, etc
  • It takes only 3-4 hours for drying, which is comparatively faster
  • Not recommended for outdoor applications
  • Some people found it stinky, which can be normal to others 

2. Chalk Style Paint – Best Chalk Paint for Bookshelves

Chalk Style Paint for Bookshelves

If you love an array of attractive colors, Country Chic Chalk Style Paint is ready for you. It is another all-in-one paint product to make bookshelves look chalky, smooth, and pleasant. Likewise, we admire the paint for its all-rounder performance as a primer, topcoat, and paint.

You can purchase the pint (16 oz.) or the quart (32 oz.) size container depending on the size of shelf. Unlike FolkArt, you can apply the paint on any interior or exterior projects. Also, the drying time is reduced here to just 30 minutes. So, it is a timesaving item while focusing on the distressed look with a chalky finish.

You do not need to prepare the shelf by priming or sanding. It requires only cleaning to apply the pain. In addition to these, it produces a low odor after drying. The ultra-low VOC pigments formula with no phthalates, formaldehyde is an exciting part of the product. As a matter of fact, it meets the European Toy Safety Standards for safety.

Why we liked it:

We liked it for its eco-friendly quality, 55 color options with all-in-one package service. It leaves a perfect finish with low odor and long durability.

  • Built-in primer and topcoat for locking the beauty
  • 55 color options to select from
  • Waxing is optional, while no requirement of priming or sanding
  • Most suitable for the chalky finish with a distressed look
  • Takes only 30 minutes to dry the color
  • Low odor, ultra-low VOC makes it safe for the environment 
  • You may need more time and attention if you are covering a large surface
  • It dries quickly that increases the possibility of scuffing; more coats are needed

3. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Satin HP Interior Paint – Best Paint for Wood Shelves

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Satin HP Interior Paint for Wood Shelves

Few people are there who do not know Rust-Oleum paints. First thing to remember, Rust-Oleum serves most variations of paints for soft and hard surfaces. 240288 Painter’s Touch is a top-class satin, metallic finish paint for bookshelves. It is oil-based acrylic paint to color any indoor or outdoor objects from wood to ceramic ones.

Our primary target was finding the finest oil-based paint, and we got this. It works like magic on small to big furniture without leaving any odors. Identically, it can prevent chips and increase the lifespan of color on shelves. It takes 30 minutes only to dry like the Chalk Style Paint.

We liked the container size somehow as it is available at only half-pint (8oz.) size. But it is enough for one shelf as it can cover up to 30 sq. feet. In contrast, we found it a bit complex to use as it requires sanding with 180-200 grit paper, degreasing, and a little drying time. Overall, this product is a ready-to-use product for a small project.

Why we liked it:

As it is oil-based paint, it gives extra shine and a chalky finish on the shelves. We loved to test this product on a couple of furniture and got brilliant feedback.

  • Small size pack for painting 30 sq. feet area
  • A perfect choice for enthusiast painters
  • Oil-based paint leaves no odor and resists chipping
  • Adds extra protection to the object
  • Takes half an hour to dry but the color remains protected
  • You need to sand and prime the object before painting 
  • A bit pricy compared to its quantity 

Related Topic: Acrylic and Oil Based Wood Paint Review

Can you paint a bookshelf with wall paint?

Some people would say, yes, you can use wall paint to paint a bookshelf. We agree with this thought but do not recommend it. Wall paints cannot stick to wooden surfaces properly. Again, the durability would always be questioned.

You will need to sand, prime before using wall paint. Even if you do so, repaint will be required often as the paint will go off. Moreover, choosing the right paint for shelves is always a better and proven idea for durability, protection, and glaringness.

How do you protect painted bookshelves?

Usually, paints designed for bookshelves are enough to protect painted ones. But you can apply sealer using several thin coats. Some experts recommend applying more coats to make the finish stronger. We also found this concept efficient.

There are also wax or polyacrylic sealers available at the market if you doubt your paint for the bookshelf. They resist any fading, stain, decolorization, etc., for a long time.

Can you spray paint a bookcase?

Of course, you can. But you will need to remain extra concerned about the environment.

Spraying is fun, but it can spread into a more extensive range. So, you will need to cover the nearby area and your mouth with a mask. Then, clean the shelf of books to remove any dirt, oil, grease. Apply primer separately or use 3-in-1 or all-in-one products like our chosen ones to prime the furniture.

Lastly, you can start spraying on the bookshelves. Take time to dry and apply sealer on it. Thus, you can spray paint bookcases.

Buying Guide – Paint for Bookshelves

Would you like to know why we have selected these three products to paint shelves? Here are the thoughts behind picking the right product:

Color Options:

Color is always the top priority in painting a painted wooden shelf or a new one. We suggest you choose a white or silver color to paint bookcases. Always check the color options when selecting paint. As an example, Country Chic has almost 55 color choices.


Water-based and oil-based acrylic paints are mostly chosen for painting any indoor or outdoor shelves. We do not prefer latex-based paints as they are good for walls, not qualify for shelves. Again, the formula should be eco-friendly, sturdy, and resistant to scuff. It should not contain any harmful chemicals such as phthalate, formaldehyde.

Finish Type:

Most artists and craftsmen choose paints of matte or chalky finish. But you can look for paints with more unique finishes. It can be classical or the modern finish, the choice is up to you.


On average, a 32oz. paint can cover up to 100-120 sq. feet area. You can purchase different size containers starting from 8oz. as we found. It entirely depends on how many areas you want to paint. Adding to these, quantity is also a matter of pricing. Our suggestion is to choose small or medium size paint to start without wasting.

Drying Period:

If the drying time is short, you will need to paint the bookshelf faster to cover the full area. Again, fast drying time saves time for the whole painting job. Paints taking a long time to dry can give sturdier results without going off.

Final Verdict

Still, do you find it hard to filter the best paint for bookshelves? We think we already shared all the necessary information about the products to paint bookcases. Just be sure what you actually need, a paint, a primer, or a sealer.

These select items for painted wood shelves or new are affordable high performing. They also achieved a lot of appreciation from the users. So, what are you waiting for?

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