Tuesday, October 2, 2012

From Pre-fab to Fab! DIY Built-In Shelves




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.

ARRANGE together.

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.


So, all together we spent $200 for the five bookcases, $20 on the extra gallon of paint, $7 for the liquid sander, and $7 for the molding.  So, we were able to have bookcases with a custom look for under $250.

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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19 comments:

  1. This looks amazing! You did a fantastic job! And I love the color! Nice!
    http://www.the-finishing-touches.net/

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  2. You definitely would have me fooled into thinking this was a one unit built in ! Great job!

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  3. Can't tell you how much I love this look - what an amazing job!!!
    My entire dining room in my last home was painted that very color!
    I'm also loving that table!
    Your newest follower - would love to have you come by for a visit and a follow back when you have the time!
    Hugs,
    Suzan

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  4. Can I just tell you how jealous I am of all that storage!!! Love it!

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  5. That looks awesome! Great job! I wish I had some of these in my living room - great storage. Thanks for linking up to the CHQ blog hop! Hope to see you back again next week!

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  6. This looks sooo good! Thank you for sharing. Visiting from A Creative Princess. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2012/10/make-it-pretty-monday-week-17.html Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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  7. Looks great- really like the idea of painting same as wall color. Wondering if you did anything besides molding to connect each unit to the other?
    PMG

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    1. PMG,

      The individual shelves are connected to the wall, but not each other. The only thing that truly does "connect" them is the molding.


      Melissa

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  8. That is a beautiful room. But I have to ask, don't you have a problem with those shelves bowing under the weight of books? I have a few pre-fab shelf units, and that has been a problem for me.

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    1. Juanita, bowing happens often with prefab shelving. The IKea shelves are built very sturdily, so we have not had any problem. Trust you can find some that work for you too.

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  9. Gorgeous! The paint color is awesome, and I have to agree with ditching the old, staid dining room for something more welcoming and useful. I haven't posted it yet, but we have made an office and home school room of ours. Works great - but doesn't have fantastic built in shelving. Love yours! Great effort, and thanks for the breakdown of cost. I'd say it makes sense to go this route!

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  10. coming over from Thriftiness Miss....WOW! awesome project, I just wish I could do that but there's no one to help me and I have no patience to paint!

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  11. I love your room, wow! Those shelves look so gorgeous, great idea painting them the same colour as the walls - brilliant! I have this linked to my built-ins post too today, well done!

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  12. Wow! This looks great! I am so impressed!

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  13. Could you use crown molding at the bottom as well?

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