Fast Fix: Kids Rooms

How to Upgrade Ready-to-Assemble Bookshelves

Give basic bookshelves the designer treatment with paint and added molding.

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Materials Needed:

  • ready-to-assemble bookshelves
  • tape measure
  • pencil and notepad
  • semi-gloss paint
  • paintbrush
  • paint roller and cover
  • paint pan and liner
  • 1x2 MDF trim
  • nail gun
  • extension cord
  • drop cloth
  • chop saw
  • medium-grit sanding block
  • spackle and putty knife
  • caulk and caulk gun
  • utility knife
  • safety hinge
  • drill
  • hammer
  • tacks
  • damp cloth

Measure and Mark Wall

Use tape measure to determine proper width, height and depth for bookshelf placement. Transfer measurements to wall with pencil. Next, measure location of outlets, air conditioning vents and light switches in relation to wall, jotting dimensions on notepad with pencil.

Prep and Paint Back Panels

Lay bookshelves' back panels out on a long, flat surface. Referring to dimensions on notepad, measure, then cut holes into back panel to accommodate outlets, air conditioning vents and light switches. Pour paint into paint pan, then cover back panel with two coats of finish color, allowing paint to fully dry between coats.

Assemble and Position Bookshelves

Remove bookshelf pieces from box and assemble following manufacturer's instructions. When working with multiple bookshelf units, be sure to place each shelf at the same level from left to right. Next, attach painted back panels to shelves using hammer and tacks. Place bookshelves against wall assuring outlets, air conditioning vents and light switches are lined up with cutouts in back panels. Assure stability by fastening top of each bookshelf to studs in wall with screws using safety hinge and drill.

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