Bookcase Week – Part One

Building a library wall using  what we have!

The Ogre and I are readers.  He moreso than I now, as I’ve been moving more into blogging and working on projects.  (It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading, I just seem to have far less time for it!)  Nonetheless, we do own a fair number of books.  They’re not pretty books, not display pieces.  They’re friends we visit regularly and they look as well used as they are.  We also have several thousand digital books, but they get stored nicely in our computers, so I don’t worry about those.

I love the look of library walls, particularly those with space for accessories.  That probably won’t happen here for quite some time – just because of the volume of books and the dearth of bookcases  Eventually, I’m hoping to have sufficient bookcases to be able to store books AND display pretties.

I had originally planned to purchase several Billy’s from Ikea, but got bullied encouraged to purchase my Canon Rebel T3 instead.  I have to say it was the right choice.  My photos, even with it on full on auto, have really become much better.  Whodathunkit?

Regardless, this left me with some older, mismatched bookcases that I need to work into the plan for our living room.   On hand, there are two 5′ tall cases that are 9″ deep and two 30″ tall cases that are approximately 7 3/4″ deep.  These four are a faux beech finish.  I also have three beech finish 30″ Billy’s that are 11″ deep.  The Billy’s are substantially wider than the others, which limits how I can arrange them.

The plan for these cases is to stack the narrow ones to create tall units and have them flank the shorter Billy’s. The short cases (7 3/4″  deep) will be stacked on the tall ones (9″ deep).  There will be a discrepancy in depth when viewed from the side, but I ‘m choosing to see that as a design feature.  To make them match in color, I’ll be painting them with Benjamin Moore’s Stone White.

To make it more interesting, I’m also going to be experimenting with homemade chalk-y paint.  No priming, no sanding?  It’s worth a shot!

I started by removing the books from the thinner bookcases and placing them anywhere I could find a flat surface!  With that accomplished, I got to work.

First, I removed the top shelf of the shorter units by simply unscrewing them.  Doing this lets me very nicely attach the short unit to the tall without having it look too frankensteined.   The small case will be attached upside down.  This gives the same detail on the top of the completed piece as on the bottom.  Removing the shelf gives me a “floater shelf” to use where needed  – which is a very, very good thing in this house!

Because I’m intending this to be a permanent hack, I used Gorilla Glue AND corner braces to attach the two together.  I didn’t remove the backs, choosing instead to just attach them more securely with glue.

With the cases attached to each other, it was time to let the glue set up and cure.  During this stage, I moved on to other things…. like watching B movies while sewing curtains and spending time with the Ogre.

The back of the cases are really not in good condition.  To strengthen them and disguise the flaws, I covered them with some of the fabric I got for $3.25.  I diluted Wellbond with water and coated the back of the bookcases quite liberally, then laid the fabric on top.  Another coat of Wellbond, and I walked away to let it all dry.

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.


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