I have a china cabinet that I inherited from my grandmother, along with the whole dining room set. I decided to brighten up the inside a bit with a simple DIY project. The wood is a dark color, cherry I believe. The area I wanted to brighten was the back wall on the inside, behind the dishes. I used foam core board and wrapped it with fabric - very simple. Plus it can easily be removed without harming the antique cabinet.
I started by measuring the height and width of the back area on each shelf. My foam core board was about 2" short on the width, so I cut a piece to fit and taped it all together. I used plain old packing tape.
Make sure to have the fabric pulled tight as you are taping the edges on the back. Tape all the edges to keep the fabric secure on the board. Flip it over and you have a nice, new back for your shelf.