How to Upgrade a Plain Bookshelf – HGTV

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Transform a fundamental shelf right into a custom-looking item by including trim as well as a layer of paint.

Get step-by-step directions at


ready-to-assemble bookshelves
tape measure
pencil and note pad
semi-gloss paint
paint roller and also cover
paint frying pan and lining
1×2 MDF trim
nail weapon
extension cable
ground cloth
cut saw
medium-grit sanding block
spackle and also putty knife
caulk as well as caulk gun
utility knife
safety and security joint
wet fabric


1. Action and also mark wall. Use tape measure to establish correct width, elevation and deepness for shelf positioning. Transfer measurements to wall with pencil. Next, measure area of outlets, air conditioning vents and also light switches in connection with wall surface, writing dimensions on note pad with pencil.

2. Preparation and also paint back panels. Lay bookshelves' back panels out on a long, level surface. Describing dimensions on notepad, procedure, then reduced openings into back panel to suit outlets, cooling vents and also light switches. Pour paint right into paint pan, after that cover back panel with two coats of finish shade, allowing paint to fully completely dry in between layers.

3. Construct and also position shelfs. Get rid of shelf items from box and put together adhering to manufacturer's guidelines. When working with numerous bookshelf devices, make sure to put each shelf at the exact same level from entrusted to right. Next off, attach painted back panels to shelves utilizing hammer and tacks. Place shelfs versus wall assuring outlets, air conditioning vents and also light switches are lined up with cutouts in back panels. Assure stability by fastening top of each bookshelf to studs in wall with screws using safety joint and also drill.

4. Cut as well as affix trim. Usage measuring tape to identify horizontal as well as upright spacing of all racks, noting measurements down on note pad with pencil. Describing measurements, mark 1×2 MDF trim with pencil, after that reduced to size with cut saw, mitering any type of required corners. Next off, hold each cut item of MDF as much as front of shelfs and also affix with nail weapon.

5. Spackle and paint. When all trim is affixed to front of bookshelves, fill up any nail openings with spackle utilizing putty blade and any kind of voids with caulk using caulk weapon. Wipe away dirt with moist cloth to ensure clean surface area. Sand lightly with medium-grit sanding block, then paint trim very same color as shelf.

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