DIY With Decorative Film – How to Transform Your Sunroom Shelving

A sunroom is a beautiful place to relax, soak up sunlight, and enjoy indoor nature.

One key feature of a cosy sunroom is shelving that looks good and adds functionality to the space. If you have an old, plain shelf that could use a makeover, don’t worry! Here’s a simple guide to transforming your sunroom shelf using decorative film. You don’t need to be an expert; just a little bit of creativity and enthusiasm is all you need to get started!

Transform existing shelving with decorative film

I wanted to transform an existing chipboard shelf to blend more seamlessly with my white-painted walls and bamboo blinds. Instead of painting, I chose to use decorative film.

Decorative film is a great alternative to painting or wallpapering, as it’s easy to apply, durable, and waterproof. Working on a budget, my goal was to reuse existing materials and focus on recycling.

Getting Started: Sanding and Preparing Your Shelf

Our existing shelf is made of heavy chipboard, about 1 inch / 3 cm thick and 5 meters long. The first step to giving it a fresh look is to ensure it’s smooth and fits perfectly in the space.

Heavy chipboard makes great and inexpensive shelving
  1. Sand the Shelf: Begin by sanding the chipboard until smooth. This will create a better surface for the decorative film to adhere to.
  2. Check the Fit: Make sure shelves fit snugly in your space. Adjust as necessary to ensure everything is just right.
I split the chipboard in 3 sections to make it easier to work with. 

Choosing and Cutting Your Decorative Film

Next, it’s time to pick out a decorative, self-adhesive film that matches your sunroom’s style. Various types of decorative films are available, each with its own unique look and benefits. Opt for a natural, wood-grain look, a bright, solid colour or a patterned design. The film covers the chipboard well and gives your shelf a new look.

Measure decorative film carefully before you cut
  1. Select Your Design: Choose a decorative film that complements your sunroom décor.
  2. Cut to Size: Measure the film to match the size of your shelves, then cut it to fit.
Look for information on the backside of the film

Applying the Decorative Film

Now comes the fun part—covering your shelves with the decorative film.

Remove back to apply film
  1. Peel and Attach: Start by peeling back a small section of the film’s backing. Attach one end of the film to the shelf, ensuring enough overlap to cover the edges and tuck underneath.
  2. Cut Away Excess: Use scissors to trim any excess film, ensuring the edges are neat.
  3. Smooth as You Go: Gradually peel back more of the film’s backing, sticking it to the shelf while smoothing it out to remove any air bubbles. A smoother or hard rubber spatula works great for this.
  4. Tight and Smooth: Pull the film tightly but gently over the edges to ensure a smooth fit without tearing.
Smoothen film as you go along

Tips for Decorating Your Sunroom Shelf

  1. Incorporate Greenery: Add a few plants to bring life and colour to your sunroom. Choose a mix of succulents, ferns, and flowering plants for variety. Always place a tray under each plant pot to collect excess water, preventing any drips that could damage surfaces.
  2. Use Storage Baskets: Keep things organized with stylish baskets and boxes. They’re perfect for storing items and adding texture to your shelf.
  3. Display Personal Items: Show off family photos or favourite books. Personal touches make your sunroom feel inviting and unique.
  4. Add Lighting: Use string lights or small lamps to highlight your shelf and create a cosy ambience.

Transforming sunroom shelving is not difficult. With some sanding, decorative film, and a few creative touches, you can turn a plain shelf into a neat feature that enhances your sunroom. So, roll up your sleeves, get creative, and enjoy the process of making your sunroom even more liveable!

Final thoughts

  • Plants are a great addition to any sunroom, bringing in natural beauty and a sense of tranquillity. Great plant choices for a sunroom include succulents, ferns, and flowering plants like African violets or begonias. These plants do best in direct sunlight and add vibrant colour and texture to your space.
  • Remember to place a tray under each plant pot to collect excess water. This will prevent drips onto shelves or the floor, which could ruin surfaces. Surfaces like tiles should be waterproof and easy to clean to ensure long-lasting beauty and functionality.

Mattias Magnusson: Hello, I'm Mattias, a passionate and experienced gardening enthusiast. I am the creator of, your guide to year-round herb and veggie growing. Let's simplify green living, no matter your space or location.