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I'm finally getting a wall built so that I can put up the shelving and display the trains that are now sitting in boxes.  My contractor has asked what color to paint the plywood and I'm not sure.  I'm somewhere between a white, maybe a sky blue, or black.  The contractor and my wife are leaning towards black but this is a 35 foot by 8 foot wall and I think that might be too dark.   I'd love to hear what others have used for a good background color for the shelving.

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One other possible option: extend a backdrop into the background:

shelves3

Back story: when I was designing the roll-down backdrop for my layout, I printed out (40 pages!) and taped together a "draft copy" of the backdrop I eventually had custom printed:

backdrop

As it happens, the setback behind the hanging backdrop turned out to be the perfect place to create storage shelves, and when I contemplated the blank white waterproofing plastic covering the basement wall, I remembered the paper test version I'd created earlier, which I'd kept for some reason (*cough* packrat *cough*!) and decided to throw it up behind the shelves before screwing them to the wall. The picture is obviously smaller, but IMHO provides a nice visual echo of the rolled up backdrop.

FWIW, if you prefer to spotlight your shelf storage, I agree that white is a good choice for background color, but if the storage is adjacent to the layout and just incidental or supplemental, you may want to consider a background that echoes or supports the foreground layout instead.

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