Convert a Bookcase into a Wine Rack
To pull off the amazing transformation, follow these step-by-step instructions.
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An old bookcase isn’t just an old bookcase—it’s a wine rack waiting to happen. Sand it, paint it and add a few new pieces and the transformation is complete. Here’s how to do it:
Materials and Tools:
bookshelf (3 to 5 cubbies)
sheet of ½-inch MDF (medium-density fiberboard)
solid birch, 20-feet of 1½-inch
mahogany, 36 feet of ¾-by-¾-inch
mahogany, 8-feet of 1½-by-¾-inch
paint (any color)
1½- inch brad nails
2½-inch cabinet screws
Note: Depending on the condition of the reclaimed bookshelf, some of these steps may not be necessary.
1. Remove backing of old bookshelf.
2. Strip off the existing paint with a planer or sander so you’re starting with a smooth, clean surface.
3. Paint the bookshelf the desired color.
4. To make the wine holders, cut 12 strips out of the ¾-by-¾-inch mahogany, making each strip 11½ inches long. This makes enough strips for three wine-storage cubbies.
5. Cut a slight 47-degree angle on one end of each mahogany strip, leaving a ¼-inch flat reveal on the end of the angle.
6. Cut 1½-by-¾-inch mahogany (verticals) into 14-inch-long pieces. You’ll need two pieces per cubby of wine, so we had six strips total.
7. Attach one horizontal strip flush to the outside bottom side of two vertical strips with glue and 1¼-inch brad nails. Make sure the front and back are flush.
8. Attach one horizontal piece 4 inches above the bottom one. Attach the third horizontal piece 4 inches above the second piece.
9. Repeat this process on the opposite side of the vertical. Make two more verticals exactly the same way for a three-cubby wine rack.
10. Attach one horizontal piece flush to the bottom of the interior of the cubby with glue and 1¼-inch brad nails.
11. Attach another horizontal piece 4 inches from the top of the bottom piece. Attach a third horizontal piece 4 inches above the second piece.
12. Repeat this process so that all sides of the center cubbies have three horizontals. (For our project, we repeated this process on six sides.)
13. Attach the vertical strips 4 inches from one side of the cubby with glue and 1½-inch brad nails. Nail from the top and bottom of the cubby. If the cubby is more than 9 inches wide, use additional vertical pieces or filler strips or both.
14. Cut 1½-inch solid birch to the length of the top and bottom exterior ends of the bookshelf, and then paint the strips.
15. Attach top and bottom facing with glue and 1½-inch brads.
16. Measure the spacing between the top and bottom facing. Cut 1½-inch solid birch to the length of the existing vertical dividers (not on the mahogany verticals). Our project used five total.
17. Attach each strip between the top and bottom facing with glue and 1½-inch brads.
18. Cut the sheet of ½-inch MDF to the exterior dimensions of the bookcase for the backing, and attach it with 2-inch screws.
19. Secure the rack through the studs in the wall with 2½-inch cabinet screws.
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