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This Colorful DIY Will Totally Refresh Your WFH Space


Having a work-from-home space that merely works isn’t enough. We need them to also look and feel great to be in — and not just to show off on video calls. Spending eight (or more) hours in a space that expresses your personal style is one of the perks of working from home, plus it tends to be more energizing than sitting in a cookie-cutter workstation under fluorescent lighting.

If your WFH space has been a little yawn-inducing lately, give it a shot of espresso by painting the inside of your bookcase or wall shelves. Go for a bold hue or a minimalist neutral; paint the backdrop, shelves, sidewalls, or any combination. Whichever way you go, the key to making your new color pop is by starting with primer. Priming is essential for repainting a variety of surfaces, and for this kind of project, KILZ® Primers can work wonders.

We love this idea for a few reasons. First, it’s a small, simple project (our favorite kind) that looks majorly impressive. It also doesn’t require buying new furniture or decor. Finally, it’s easy to scale up or down, so if you’re really feeling that caffeine buzz, you can keep going and give the whole piece a colorful upgrade.

When you’re getting started, it’s tempting to jump right into painting, but resist the urge. Give things a light sanding and wipe down with a damp cloth, then apply your primer. Starting with a coat of primer will make your job much easier as you complete your project — and the finished result will be much better. That’s because KILZ primers mask stains, cover small bumps and divots, and create an even painting surface for paint to adhere. In the end, you get a richer, truer color in fewer coats.

An all-purpose primer such as KILZ 2® All-Purpose Primer is a great place to start. It will seal porous surfaces (like new wood) and cover light discolorations and old paint colors. If you need more hiding power, KILZ 3® Premium Interior and Exterior Primer provides thicker coverage for darker stains or existing colors. The full bookshelf redo shown here used KILZ Restoration® Primer, which on top of creating a foundation for successful painting, also seals persistent pet and smoke odors. And as with most KILZ primers, your surface will be dry and ready to paint in just about one hour under typical conditions.

If you’re using an oil-based primer and are sensitive to strong odors, which is an important consideration if your WFH space is on the smaller side, KILZ® Original Low-Odor Primer may be your winner. Its formula dissipates fumes quickly, leaving you to enjoy your space in peace that much sooner. Whichever KILZ primer you pick, they’ll keep your newly colorful bookshelves clean and bright — the perfect pick-me-up on those days full of meetings.


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