No one responded except Melody, who pretty much said don't do it unless I am going to paint them white.
Well, guess what.
I did it anyway. And I love it!
What I really love, even more than the patterned brown paper that gives my wood - otherwise boring - bookshelves some pizzazz, is the fact that papering the back of the shelves forced me to clean them out, organize, and somewhat style them. My hands are slightly tied though - since we live in a tiny tiny place, these shelves serve many purposes and are the only book storage we have in this house.
And while I was able to take a pretty picture or two, let's be honest, the reality is the shelves look more like this 99% of the time - toy central. I'm okay with it though - at least most of the toys have a home.
I should also mention a really important (and easy) safety feature. Putting these shelves in the main living area of our house, and knowing how rickety they were, attaching them to the wall was a total necessity. And very easy to do, too. After all, if you were an adorable one year old named Levi, wouldn't you think this view might be an invitation to go climbing?
I used four two inch L brackets. I didn't even screw them into studs, I used self drilling drywall screw anchors and screws, of course. These dudes are seriously my best friend. They hold SO MUCH weight. I'm pretty sure I could safely climb the shelves without them coming out of the wall. The only downside is that when you remove them, you have a 1/2" hold in the wall (hello, putty!).
But, better safe than sorry, right?
I have about a roll and a half of the Macbeth shelf liner left - I am dreaming up DIY projects and craft ideas as we speak. Any suggestions?