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Chalk Painted Books and Favorite Quote

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Hey y’all…This past weekend when I was at Jennifer’s home she mentioned that she needed something decorative for her painted secretary hutch. Yesterday, I had some extra time and I came up with an idea that I hope she will be happy with.

Books always look good on shelves and in bookcases. I prefer when they books are vintage or of the same color. I especially like them stacked and displaying something on top. Going through my own book collections, there really weren’t any that I wanted to part with. Then, I remembered some books that I purchased at a garage sale for .25 cents each. After removing the dust covers from the books there were a few that just didn’t go with Jennifer’s decor and they didn’t fit in with any of the other book covers.

IMG_3861I decided to get the look of what I wanted to achieve I would need to paint the exterior of the books. I know it may sound a tad crazy…but I had a vision in mind and I knew that my idea was going to work.

I laid the books out on my outdoor table and opened them up so that the front and back covers were showing…

IMG_3873_2I painted them with one thick coat of slate gray chalk paint…

IMG_3875_2Being that I painted outside in 99 degree weather (not smart) the books were dry in less than 6 minutes.

IMG_3878_2The slate gray finish looks great – antiquated and lighter than a chalkboard paint.

I felt that the books needed something else a little extra. Jenn and I love to travel and I remembered one of our favorite travel quotes. Using a Sharpie paint pen that I purchased from the dollar store, I wrote out the quote on the spines of the books…

IMG_3925I styled the books in my own home and I really love how they turned out. I love this mini globe that I purchased at HomeGoods several weeks ago.


IMG_3918And the more I styled…
IMG_3891…the more I wanted to keep these painted books. Isn’t this travel vignette cute? If I keep decorating, Jenn may not ever get these books!
IMG_3910This was a very easy project that only took minutes to complete.  Let your imagination run wild with ideas.

Gray Books Collage

Think of different paint colors and the quotes that are inspirational or sentimental to you. You could do rustic orange paint with Fall quotes. How about different shades of blue with a beach theme? I hope you give it a try!

Until tomorrow,



Sharing atCanary Street Crafts  Little Red Brick House  Happily Ever After Etc.


  1. What a great idea! I’m going to use this for an upcoming travel themed bridal shower! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Vicki, wow such a great idea and I LOVE the quote. They turned out so great and you can find inexpensive books all day long. LOVE IT. Lisa

  3. very cute. I just don’t know if I could do without a spine title though.

    1. Hey Linda – yeah…this is for more decorative purposes. We would never ruin a treasured or fave book.

  4. This turned out so well. Lucky Jennifer.

  5. Wow… this is very cool, your pretty daring thing of painting book covers for suitable decor(:… that globe and travel quote just completes it and makes it perfect.

    1. Maria – thank you! Our best ideas usually are born from frugality. We truly do love to travel so that is where the inspiration came from!

  6. This is brilliant, I never thought anyone can think of painting books to suit decor. The globe and the quote tops things up. Really cool!!

  7. super creative, ladies, love this idea and the quote too! hugs, coco

  8. This is a brilliant idea! I love using vintage books for decorating too, and I love your idea to make your own with paint. Seriously, I’m doing this for my own home. You guys always inspire me! Pinning and sharing.

  9. Okay I’ve seen folks who put covers on all of their books (to make them patterned or all the same color) but I’ve never seen painted books! This is such a cute idea! Jenn is one lucky gal… if I were you these books would never make it to her house! Thanks for linking up at the Welcome Home Wednesday Link Party! Can’t wait to see what you link up next week!

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