Building a Floor-to-Ceiling Shelving Unit

An unused corner in a dining room is turned into storage for dishes and glassware.

HRIPR310-after-shelves-s3x4

The new shelving unit takes up little space, yet it still gives the homeowner plenty of room to display her dinnerware.

Materials and Tools:

table saw
brushes
rags
nail gun and nails
construction adhesive
3/4” birch plywood
1x4 poplar
1x6 poplar
white stain
wood glue
wood putty
sandpaper

Steps:

1. Create backing and sides for your shelving unit by cutting down a piece of plywood to size. Our unit was built in a corner, so we attached the back and one side directly to the wall using construction adhesive and a nail gun. The other side piece is fastened to the back piece with glue and nails.

HRIPR310-Shelf-Ledger-s4x3

2. Create the ledger pieces for the shelves to sit on. Determine how many shelves you want and their spacing. Cut a 1x4 to size and fasten the pieces to the inside back with glue and a nail gun.

3. Cut the shelves to size, making sure they fit snugly within the unit.

4. Secure the shelves in place by shooting a nail into the ledger at the back and through the sides of the unit.

5. Once all the shelves are in place, start adding the finish pieces that will overlay the unit. Make the front and side panels out of the 1x6 poplar. The top and bottom of every piece should be cut on a 45-degree angle.

6. The two pieces that will be on the corner(s) will also need to be ripped along the edge with a 45-degree miter cut, so that they will fit together tightly and wrap around the corner.

HRIPR310-Shelf-Face-Frame-s4x3

7. Using the 1x4, cut the horizontal pieces that will cover the edge of each shelf. Make sure the top sits flush with the shelf before attaching with glue and a nail gun.

8. To complete the trim work, cut down a 1x6 to run across the top and bottom of the unit so it will meet the ceiling and floor. Cut each side of the trim at a 45-degree angle then put them into place using glue and a nail gun.

HRIPR310-Shelf-White-Wash-s4x3

9. Fill any nail holes with wood putty and sand down as needed.

10. Stain as desired. We used a white stain for a whitewashed look.

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