Fake a Built-In With Prefab Cabinets and Bookcases
With the clever use of ready-made bookshelves and kitchen base cabinets, you can get the look of a custom built-in bookcase at a fraction of the cost.
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- kitchen base cabinets
- 8' sheet of 3/4"thick paint-grade plywood
- ready-made bookcase (either tall or short)
- measuring tape
- screwdriver or drill
- circular saw
- decorative molding
- liquid bonding adhesive and caulk gun
- nail gun
- belt sander (or orbital sander)
- tack cloth
- 2" angled paintbrush
- roller handle and cover
- paint pan
- quart of semigloss paint
- 2" wood screws
- putty knife and wood putty
- sanding block
- wallpaper, wallpaper paste and wallpaper smoothing tool (optional)
Take Proper Measurements
Use a measuring tape to determine what size built-in you need. Referring to these measurements, purchase ready-made kitchen base cabinets and bookcases. Place kitchen base cabinets in the proper location then measure to determine the dimensions needed for a plywood top (Image 1). Note: Kitchen base cabinets don't come with a top surface because the countertop is installed separately.
Cut Plywood Top Surface
Referring to measurements, mark then cut plywood to size (Image 1). Tip: Use a level as a straight edge to create a perfectly straight line (Image 2). Place cut board on top of kitchen base cabinets to ensure a proper fit (Image 3).
Sand Plywood and Paint
Before painting plywood top, use a belt sander (or orbital sander) to smooth any rough surfaces (Image 1). Next, use a tack cloth to remove dust then apply several coats of semigloss paint, allowing the paint to fully dry between coats (Image 2).
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