A couple of weeks ago I shared about converting our unused dining room into a library. Today I want to show you how we gave the library's shelving a built-in / custom look by using the most inexpensive particle board shelves we could find.
These are actually five separate shelving units that we got at iKea - three wide & two narrow. They were white laminate which came unassembled in a box. The white color also happened to be the least expensive of iKeas few choices of finishes. More on the costs in a moment.
The transformation just took 3 steps. To DIY just...
PAINT the same color as the wall
In order to make the shelves look like they were built into the room, we painted them the exact same color as the wall. Jet Stream by Behr in this case.
First we de-glossed the laminate with a chemical called Kleen-Strip's Easy Liquid Sander and Deglosser. It was great not having to sand!
The next step we skipped but it comes highly recommended - prime. We did not use a dedicated primer because our Behr paint was marketed as paint and primer in one. It did cover remarkably well, but does not "stick" well. We recommend a $20 can of Kiltz before the paint. Either that or get out the electric palm sander and make a mess.
All-in-all the paint job turned out very well. It certainly was fast as we rolled each shelf before the assembly.
We lined the 4 shelves up together. Notice that one of the two skinny shelves is set diagonally across the corner of the room.
Unify with MOLDING.
To add a final touch to the "built-in" look, we took an 8ft strip of $7 wood molding from Lowes and nailed that across the top of all the shelves with finishing nails. We thought about using caulk to quickly fill the vertical gaps, but we were out of paint to touch up afterwards. Maybe another day.
If we were building these ourselves it would have cost about $300 just for the wood (nineteen 8x12's times $14.15 each at Lowes). If we were to pay someone to build them then we were looking at over $1,000. So there you have it, from pre-fab to fab for just $250! We are glad that we made this investment for our home library.
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