How to Build White Bookshelves

We have been remodeling our Living Room to make it modern with a touch of Glam.  The bookshelves are a huge part of remodeling this space, they are the focal point of the room. The crisp, white bookshelves center the space and we have staged the living room furniture around it.  I wanted to share a step by step tutorial on how we build these bookshelves, so that you can build your own at home. I provided some sketches that will help you plan your space.

white bookshelves

Start by measuring your space

Begin by measuring your space. Measure the height of your wall and the floor length space you are working with. This will help you determine how many bookshelves you need.  When determining how many bookshelves you need, remember that each bookshelf is about 15in. wide, the molding between each bookshelf is about 3in.wide and the edging molding is 7/16 in.  All of these need to be included in your measurements. See the sketch bellow, to help you visualize this. Sketch it out for your own space. Perfection is not required use this as a guide.

Sketch your Layout

A sketch is an amazing way to help you visualize your space.  I have made a sketch of our bookshelf layout including the molding, space between each bookshelf.  Print this sketch and put the measurements for your own space.

bookcase sketch

Start with assembling bookcases

We salvaged these bookshelves. They were brown, full of nails and needed a lot of work. But they were quality built, very heavy pieces and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to love on them.  You can get the look by investing in 4 IKEA BILLY bookcase.

brown bookcase
white bookcase

We salvaged these bookshelves. They were brown, full of nails and needed a lot of work. But they were quality built, very heavy pieces and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to love on them.  You can get the look by investing in 4 IKEA BILLY bookcase.     Assemble your bookcases. We prepared 4 of them, you can assemble all 4 of yours. Click this link to purchase the Billy Bookcases. Shelf Type: Tiered Shelf.  Dimensions: 11″D x 15.75″W x &9.5″H.

Stand individual bookcases next to each other

We re-finished, primed  and painted these bookcases. Removed any additional wood, or unwanted shelves and turned them into beautiful white bookshelves that we stood next to each other.

bookcase assembly

You can get  IKEA BILLY bookcase. Stand them next to each other after they have been built. The Billy Bookcase already comes primed and painted in white.

white bookcase
white bookcase
white bookcase
white bookcase

Once we had our bookshelves painted we lined them up, leaving a 3 inch space between them ( or the size of the decorative molding you decided to use).

Add crown molding.
build a bookcase
brown bookcase
white bookcase

We attached each bookcase to the wall. This extra step secures the bookshelf unit to the wall, making it safer for you and your family. It reduces the risk of it topping.  We strongly suggest not skipping this step.  After each bookcase is secured, add the crown molding. Click here to purchase this Crown Moulding. It will run on the entire surface of each bookcase ( and the space/ gap you left between each). It wraps around your entire top surface- take into account the corners and the sides. You will need to cut those 45 degree angles. Here is a great video tutorial on cutting those angles jus right.  Click here  to see “This Old House ” YouTube video tutorial.

crown moulding bookshelf

Crown Moulding

Measures:

Material:

<<Click image to purchase.

Add base boards.

The baseboards were attached next. We used  Primed MDF Colonial Baseboard Moulding.    Click on the link to purchase the one we bought. We purchased more material than needed, to give us a margin for error.

Colonial Base Moulding

Made of MDF

they measure: 11/16 in. x 4-3/4 in. x 96 in.

<< Click on the image to purchase.

Add trim fluted molding.

One of the most beautiful elements of this bookshelf is the  Fluted Moulding It ripples are perfect for adding an additional architectural element to the bookcase and it hides the space left between each bookcase.   Click on the link to purchase the one we bought. We purchased more material than needed, to give us a margin for error.

Fluted Moulding

It measures: 3/8 in. x 12 in. x 3 in.

<< Click on the image to purchase.

Add finishing molding.

The final detail that we placed on our bookshelf was to place decorative moulding on the front end of the shelves. We used Mullion Moulding.   This moulding gave such an elegant finishing touch on each shelf. Click on the link to purchase the one we bought. We purchased more material than needed, to give us a margin for error.

decorative moulding for bookshelf

Mullion Moulding

Made of MDF

Its measures: 3/8 in. x 1-3/8 in. x 96 in.

<< Click on the image to purchase.

Caulk & Paint.

My favorite part is styling the bookshelves for the different season’s during the year!

Materials to Purchase.

Click on the affiliate links* to purchase materials ( * means I make a small commission from your purchase, at no additional cost to you).

crown moulding bookshelf

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Hello friend! I am Melissa…a Caribbean girl now living in Austin,Texas.  A beach lover living in the middle of hill country; I write about what inspires me to balance a life as a mother, wife, DIYer, traveler, hostess and homemaker.

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