Wood Finishes in Tight Places

Dear NH,
Last summer, I had a full-sized mirror, light and four 3/8-inch glass shelves professionally installed into a niche, which sits beside my fireplace in my home's "great room." This area, as all my walls, is texturized and painted.

I'd love to have this area appear to be a display case, matching the red oak of my dining room, as there is no space for a hutch. I have tried "contact paper," which creates the right effect, but have not been able to get it to remain in place. Expert cutting of the shelves barely allows room for even this very thin covering, so applying an oak "skin" is out of the question. Is there some adhesive or other application I can apply that will make the contact paper adhere more permanently?
SB from Lancaster, CA

Visit a local paint store and ask about your options for "faux" painting on those walls. There are a number of techniques that might give you the effect you want. At worst, you can repaint over the faux color with no harm done.

The other option would be to make thin plywood "inserts" to fit between the shelves and against the wall. If properly cut and if there are no significant obstructions, this might work. Then, you could apply the contact paper to the pieces of wood, solving your current problem, or paint them. A dab of construction adhesive or adhesive caulk (or a few well-placed finishing nails) would suffice to hold them in place, assuming you have no need to remove them regularly.

Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here NaturalHandyman.com/aitikia. For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links NaturalHandyman.com. If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page NaturalHandyman.com/Friends.

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