Goodwill Bookshelf gone custom woodwork….well, sorta – Part 1
A goodwill bookshelf is something I find nearly every time I’m there. Y’all….I promise I don’t LIVE in Goodwill…although it probably seems that way. Who DOESN’T need a bookcase? Whether it’s for supplies, or display, I don’t know ANY home that couldn’t use one. I bought two last summer for $20 each. I’m going to show you today how to turn these bad boys into something that looks custom built. I’m going to show you the construction part today, and the painting portion another day.
Start by deciding where you want your adjustable shelves to sit. You can keep them adjustable, but moving them becomes somewhat difficult once your finished. I always choose to pick a spot and make them stationary. You will glue them into place then nail them from the outside. Then you’ll caulk the seams where they meet the bookshelf walls. This will secure them and then you can spackle all the holes and take out the pegs once the glue dries.
Measure up each edge from the floor to the top of the bookshelf and multiply by two. Then measure across the face of one of the shelves, and multiply that by the number of shelves plus the top of the bookshelf. Now add up all your measurements and that’s how much furring strips you’ll need. Furring strips are different sizes…mine are 2″ x 3/4″ thick. The hardware store in town didn’t have enough of them…so I got stakes for the shelf fronts. They will require more sanding..but it saved me a trip to Lubbock.
If you want your “false crown” to look a little “BEEF-IER” you can do what I did. There is no law that says you have to place your crown flush with the top of your bookshelf. I like mine sticking up from the top just slightly so that anything I place on my bookshelf has a “lip” to secure it. If you are adding crown then decide where you want it to hit on the top and subtract that much from the measurement of the side boards….see below
I left my chop saw in Montana with my hubby. I have another one….but it’s huge, and very hard for me to move. It’s in my shed…and I use it there when it’s warm…not so much when it’s cold. I decided that this was actually okay, because not everyone has a chop saw…and almost everyone has a jig saw. If you don’t….you need to. These little saws are supper handy to have, and any woman can handle them!
When cutting my boards I placed them over a five gallon bucket so that my blade had a place to come through the wood…and the bucket catches most of the saw dust.
Don’t skip gluing. This is invaluable especially if you’re using a brad gun. And it makes your shelves extra sturdy. Remember these bookcases are usually particle board, and your nails may wallow out over time. Glue is your backup.
above is a picture of a pre-drilled hole with a finish nail in it. If you don’t have a brad gun, you need to do this….or your wood is going to split. I have a brad gun which saves TONS of time and loads of energy. If you plan on doing more than a few projects involving trim…baseboards and the like…these are well worth the money. But keep in mind…you have to also have an air compressor.
Once your two side mouldings are in place you can start cutting your shelf trim. Measure each one individually, I promise they are rarely the exact same.
Now glue and nail these as you go. You should have something similar to this when they are all glued and nailed into place.
Now here’s where it gets tricky with a jig saw…but I’m kinda glad that I didn’t have my chop saw, because this will serve as a really good lesson. You don’t have to have one to make miters. Jigs saws are adjustable…and you can set an angle on them, just like a chop saw. Now, grated…it’s not quite as perfect as a miter or chop saw…but the seams aren’t bad.
Every saw is a little different, so refer to yours’ manual for instruction on adjusting the bottom plate.
Now carefully measure from corner to corner on the top of your bookcase. This measurement will be the measurement you want the back of your “crown” to have. No…you don’t have to have any knowledge or skill to do this. I didn’t use really crown. I used chair rail. It will look very similar to crown.
Be sure when you cut your board, that you cut where the backside is always the short edge.
Once you cut the first end, you can then measure from the short, or back side of the board….see how my tape measure is sitting on the back edge. Measure from there…and measure the distance you got across the bookcase. Be sure the BACK of the trim is the same measurement as the bookcase. Now repeat on the sides….only the end that goes at the back of the bookshelf….of course will be at a 90 instead of a 45.
Here is one of my joints…just to prove that the jigsaw can make decent joints….maybe not perfect…but hey, nothing a little spackle or caulk can’t handle!
Now you’re ready to spackle or caulk. Unless it’s just a teeny hole, like the brad holes in the picture above, I use caulk. It stretches, and gives a little, so it’s less likely to chip out over time like spackle can.
Here it is….ready to paint up!
Sand the imperfections and you’re ready to paint….see why I didn’t do that in this post? lol :\