Wow. Thanks so much for your advice about how I should paint my pine bookshelves. I definitely feel better about it after getting first hand advice. When I googled this, I read all sorts of conflicting information. Too confusing for moi.
I've already made a start on one of the bookshelves by removing the decorative moulding with a hammer and chisel. I asked Jason to cut some plain flat timber to replace the gaps.
A good quality water based primer was suggested, so I shall see what the Oracle (a.k.a Bunnings hardware - Thanks Edwina. It's got a better ring to it) will have in store. Apparently, I can use gesso, Zinsser or Resene.
I will also pick up an acrylic white and a choose a colour for the interior. I'm still partial to teal blue or perhaps even black...
But Michelle from Paper Tree Designs suggested I could wallpaper the interior. Now that would look great with funky Florence Broadhurst paper like these:
above images courtesy of Signature Prints
However, I am getting ahead of myself already, since what I have to work with currently looks like this: