How to Cover Unsightly Wire Holes in Furniture


In this day and age, so many pieces of furniture have holes for electronic cords. These holes can completely ruin a piece of furniture but there is an easy solution to fix them.

The Bookcase

I have been wanting a small bookcase for the reading corner of my master bedroom (see the creation of the statement wall behind the bed here…) and when the company I had managed for 14+ years closed due to COVID, I found just the piece I was looking for. One of the pieces being discarded was a small IKEA bookshelf and it was the perfect size for what I was looking for (and Free was the perfect price!).

old IKEA bookcase with wire holes

In its previous life, it had housed electronics and speakers that required holes in the backboard to accommodate the cords. The holes were of no use to me (and ugly) so I found a way to still use the bookshelf and cover up the holes.

To transform a bookcase like this, it is always easiest to remove the back first. The great thing about most IKEA furniture is that the thin back pieces are removable. They usually either slide in and out or are held in place with a few small nails that can be popped out.

wire holes in a furniture back panel

The Paint

With the back out, I gave the bookshelf two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Grey. Once both coats were dry, the entire bookcase got a coat of clear wax. I also lightly distressed the edges to give them an aged look to match the paper I was going to use.

light distressing on chalk paint to give an aged look

The Paper

A piece of vintage-inspired paper was the perfect solution to cover the unsightly holes. I had found this particular paper on a trip to Pennsylvania a few years ago and had never used it (you can read about that trip here…) and I am so glad I hadn’t! I knew there must be a reason I was saving it 🙂

vintage inspired postal paper

Unfortunately, the paper was a little short but luckily wider than I needed. I was able to trim down the width and use the extra paper for the top and bottom.

adding small pieces of paper to extend coverage

To hold the paper in place, a layer of spray adhesive was applied before laying the paper over it. I added the small, extra pieces to each end first and then worked with the large piece. In order to make sure there were no bubbles, I used the palm of my hand to smooth the paper out as I laid it down. Working an inch or two at a time helps to keep it smooth and straight.

With the adhesive dry, I returned the back to the bookcase and held it in place with several finishing nails.

vintage-inspired paper at the back of a bookcase

The Transformation

The vintage-inspired paper covered the holes completely and you can’t even tell they were there at all. The transformation is incredible and it doesn’t even look like the same piece of furniture. The next time you need to cover wire holes, try using paper or wallpaper. You will not only save the piece from the trash but save some money buying something new as well.

old books stacked in a painted bookshelf

Hydrangeas in a vintage Mason Jar

bookcase transformed with paint and paper

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