How Can I Give my Bookshelves an Elegant and Custom Look?

Dear Marlene,

I have three old wooden bookshelves in my basement that I think I can make look almost new if I sand & painted them. I actually have two questions. First, is there a way to make the three bookshelves look like one big bookshelf without their looking uneven? And second, is it possible to give them an elegant custom look without actually spending lots of money?



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Dear Orla,

Before bringing them up from the basement make sure that the width and height of all three bookshelves together fit in front of the wall you want them moved to. To make the three bookshelves look as one you should screw each book shelf to each other. Use a level and shims to make sure that all seams butt against each other correctly. Once the three units are one, the next step is to secure them to the wall. By itself the book case is heavy, with books and accessories it can be deadly. So make sure to attach the bookcase securely to the wall, especially if you have small children that like to climb furniture. How you secure them depends on what type of wall you have.

Select a color that will compliment the space, since your bookshelves have been in the basement for a while make sure to clean and lightly sand the surface before priming and painting. Let bookshelf cure for at least 48 hours. If you do not allow them to completely dry, the items will stick to shelf.

Making them look elegant is easy. Dress the top of the bookshelf with one continuous crown molding. The size or design of the crown molding is totally up to you. At the bottom of the unit apply a tall continuous base molding to give the unit an old custom built-in look.

The financial investment will be small because you already own the book shelves. Without interruptions this could be a one weekend project. With interruptions it could be a two weekend project.

Please send me a picture when you are done. I look forward to seeing the end results!

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  1. dien dan rao vat noi that
    Jul 28, 2016 - 02:00 AM

    Thanks for finally talking about >How Can I Give my Bookshelves
    an Elegant and Custom Look? | Casa Latina interior design and remodeling <Liked it!


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