How to Upgrade Modern Wooden Bookends with Craft Paint

Inside: How to use acrylic craft paint to customize modern wood block bookends to match your decor. BONUS: all the supplies can be found at Target!

This post has been sponsored by Plaid Crafts. All opinions are 100% mine.

This post includes affiliate links. When you click and purchase from these links we may get a commission from the seller. The cool thing is, this doesn't cost you any extra money!

Bookends are one of the easiest accessories to use to dress up any space. Especially bookshelves! Any item that has some weight and heft to it can be used as a bookend:

  • rocks, like geodes and marble
  • filled piggy banks
  • figurines and statues, especially if they are made of metal
  • wood blocks
handmade modern wood block

When I spotted these chunky wood blocks in the craft aisle at Target, they immediately jumped into my cart. I didn't know what I was going to make with them until I started dusting the bookcases lining the hallway in my home: these bookcases needed some personality. They needed some bookends!

Speaking of ways to display books, this idea is stunning!

Where to find wood block bookends

Made by Handmade Modern, these fab modern wood blocks have a wide hole bored in one side to be used as a pencil holder, plant pot, or craft supply storage (my favorite).

The weight of the blocks makes them a no-brainer to be repurposed as bookends to decorate my home library.

My home has a lot of modern design elements in it. Because modern design usually incorporates wood or earthy elements, I knew I wanted to customize these wood blocks with a modern geometric pattern.

The blocks are already stained a rich walnut color, which is pretty, but plainer than vanilla.

Luckily, we can customize the blocks to match any decor with acrylic paint. And guess what? Target has that too!

What's the best craft paint for wood?

Delta Ceramcoat is my absolute favorite acrylic craft paint. Seeing this paint in Target's craft aisle brought back fond childhood memories using this paint for crafts, school projects, and the occasional painted rock.

Made in the USA, Delta Ceramcoat satin acrylic paint pot sets at Target are perfect starter sets for new crafters or for small projects because you get 18 different colors of paint in one package. The rich creamy colors provide excellent coverage or can be thinned with water for a more translucent finish.

There are so many color combinations possible with this one set:

  • Mix them with a little dab of black or white paint to get darker or lighter shades of each color
  • Mix the colors together for new shades
tall graphic with word overlay and wood block bookend holding up books

What do you need to customize wood blocks for your decor?

The Hand Made Modern brush sampler set I chose has every kind of brush you'll likely use in general crafting.

This is my go-to brush set when buying craft supplies for birthday and Christmas presents because the wood handles feel expensive and luxury (but this set's totally affordable).

Did you know Hand Made Modern makes green packaging a top priority?

I met with their team at Alt Summit (a blogging conference) earlier this year and we discussed their initiatives.

According to their rep, they try their best to minimize their use of plastic and instead opt for recyclable, renewable materials like paper packaging whenever possible. I love companies who are responsible and use renewable or recycled materials, like the felt I used for this project.

Not only do Handmade Modern craft products look good and perform great, you can feel good about buying them!

painted modern wood block book end holding up books

How to upgrade plain wood blocks into modern wooden bookends

Acrylic craft paint like Delta Ceramcoat for wood, terra cotta, plaster and paper mache makes upgrading and customizing decor quick and easy. No prep is needed since the wood blocks are already finished with stain. Now to customize them with paint!

Step 1: Choose a pattern or design

Find a geometric pattern or design you like by searching Pinterest, looking in design magazines, or browsing wallpaper catalogs. Take a photo or screenshot with your phone to use for reference later.

supplies to paint modern wood block bookends

Step 2: Select paint colors

Decide on a color palette using the colors in the Delta Ceramcoat satin acrylic paint pot set.

apply masking tape to colorblock wood block

Step 3: Mask off the pattern

Starting with the largest block of color first, apply masking tape to the wood block using the design you chose as your guide. Use a craft knife or scissors to cut or trim the tape if needed.

paint wood block

Want to get fancy with masking and stencils? Check out this project idea!

Step 4: Apply paint

Carefully apply the paint with a flat brush, brushing away from the tape to avoid paint bleed under the tape.

Allow to dry. Then peel away the tape.

paint masked wood block

Step 5: Repeat

Apply tape for the next set of shapes in the pattern. Paint, dry, and repeat until the pattern is complete.

Place the painted wood blocks on either side of a set of books on a shelf. Add dried flowers, potted succulents, or even the Hand Made Modern paint brushes to the hole in the top of the block to complete the look.

colorblock wood block book end

Ready to make this project?

Pick up Delta Ceramcoat at your favorite local craft store. Learn more about Plaid Crafts acrylic paint at

About the Author

Author Profile

Jennifer Priest is a 20+ year designer in the arts & crafts industry and home DIYer with a passion for creativity. An Army veteran raised on a ranch, from her experience, she shares smart DIY projects that save money and fun craft ideas that anyone can make. Besides blogging, Jennifer is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, and MER, and coaches other online entrepreneurs on money mindset, business, and living an intentional life. When not blogging, Jennifer is having adventures in the wilderness, on road trips, playing with her cats, and making paleo food.

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