Library built ins update (so close!!)

Hey hey! It’s time for another update on the DIY built ins in the dining room turned library. Last time we talked about this project (it’s been a month!), I explained how we built the bookcases up to this point:

DIY built ins bookcase

The final frontier (well, the biggest one) was to trim out the front of the bookcases, which I figured was going to be the easiest part by far. So Dad came by a few weeks ago, we took some measurements and headed out to Lowe’s to get the trim pieces. But when we go there, we stood in the lumber aisles for a while before realizing our hands were kind of tied.

The vertical and horizontal trim was going to have to be different widths to cover the supports that were already there, and we were walking around realizing that there was nothing with that was the exact size that we needed. Usually I’ll just have the guys at Lowe’s cut stuff down for me (even lots of cuts) but these were going to have to be exactly right to be uniform and cover all the unfinished stuff.

So we kind of aimlessly walked around for a few minutes, racking our brain…and Dad suggested he bring a table saw he has in storage so we could finish it up.

Thing is, neither of us have ever used a table saw. ;) To be honest…and this is going to sound goofy coming from a DIY girl who loves tools…but I don’t really want to use a table saw. They totally freak me out. Not even kidding. I know with time I would become comfortable with it like I have every other tool, but this was not the project to start on.

So I gave the guys who did the basement a call and asked if they could cut down the pieces I needed. Thankfully they could and then they also installed them…WHOO! It is SO nice to have someone else help with a project! Especially one I've worked on forever.

It took me six months to get bases installed and bookcases framed up, and them 24 hours to finish up the trim…can I get a hollaaaa? :)

They went a little above and beyond what I was planning on doing. My plan was to add a thin board (that also had to be cut down with a table saw) to the bottom of the supports for each shelf. They ended up putting one additional support in the middle of each shelf and then supports to the front as well:

I would not have done that and I think it would have been fine, but it does keep that thin plywood from bowing underneath.

They also added some supports at the top where the lights come out of the wall, which we had planned as well. The cords are hidden from below with the plywood:

Now all the unfinished edges are hidden behind trim:

Now do you see why it didn’t have to be perfect? :)

And you can see how under each shelf is finished off here:

Here’s where one of the lights comes through at the top:

header for library light

Much better than how they looked last month!:

I can’t even BELIEVE the difference trim and paint has made! They look like (almost) finished built ins!!:

DIY built ins with bases

I am SO THRILLED. They are coming together just as I had imagined!

There is still so very much to do…lights need to be installed (and purchased!), I’m adding a bit more trim, crown molding to the top, some more caulk, hardware on the cabinets and three more coats of paint to go on the bases.

I had already primed them months ago, but I dropped a can of the back wall color (Storm Cloud by Sherwin Williams) and it went EVERYWHERE. Ever.y.where:

I’m going to prime it over again and then do at least two coats of white paint.

Even though there’s still a ton of work left to do till I finish these, I’ve already started filling the shelves. :) It is SO nice to have our books displayed, I love it! Over the past six months or so, I’ve been gathering accessories and am loving how it’s coming together. I just added these adorable brass birds I found today at Goodwill:

brass birds

It’s been a long process but I’m so thrilled with how it’s turning out! Next time I show you these, they WILL be done. :) It just be a few more weeks cause I’m S.L.O.W.

Did you see my vision from the beginning? Are the lights and all making more sense now? I know it’s hard to see what’s in my head sometimes! My goal is to be done by the end of September…26 days left. ;)