Recently Jeff and I have really caught the DIY bug, which is easy to do if you start looking at all the fabulous projects and tutorials there are on the interwebs. We’ve done some really BIG projects lately, which I’ll blog about later, but there was one project that I wanted done before all the others.
A recessed bookcase.
When our homebuilder was building our house, we were living in NC at the time. Though we did make a few trips out during the construction process, a lot of our plans and modifications that we wanted them to do were made via the phone. We had them take out a door and wall it in, totally flip a closet around so that we had a linen closet in the boys’ bathroom and add a small linen closet in the hallway. On the plans, it looked as though this would all work out perfectly. Well, that was on the plans. In an effort to make us happy, our builder did as we asked without raising any flags.
Fast forward to closing day and our final walkthrough when we find the world’s most ridiculous closet ever!!! This closet measures 22inches wide and 7ish inches deep. 7 inches. What one earth can anyone do with 7 whole inches? I challenge you to try and fold a towel or sheets small enough to comfortably fit in a 7 inch deep closet. LOL. On one hand, I appreciate the builder doing what we asked, but on the other… I wish they would’ve just told us that it would be ridiculous.
So… I knew right away that this closet would have to be our first DIY Project!! Lucky for me, I love recessed bookcases and although 7inches is crazy for a closet, it’s perfect for a bookcase!!!
First thing we did was remove the door and all the hardware! I then used A LOT of mud to fill in all the holes left by the hardware… and then I sanded. And sanded. And sanded. I supposed if you wanted to get really fancy, you could totally replace the molding around the door but using mud just seemed easier and worked out great in the end.
Next I removed all of the ugly and cheap shelving that the builder used. I actually giggled and what they used because I’m sure that it was hard to find closet shelving that was only 7 inches deep. And… as an added bonus, when I removed one of the side supports, I found 17 pilot holes drilled within those 7 inches in an attempt to find a stud??? 17 holes people… so, I filled all of those in too!
Next I decided to paint the inside walls of my new bookcase a delightful green color. I’m a Sherwin-Williams girl so we used a quart of “Parakeet” to get the job done. I was a little unsure of the color when we first picked it, but now I’m in love with it.
Now came the hard part, building the shelves from scratch. I knew I wanted the shelves to appear thick from the front but that they didn’t actually need to be that substantial. Jeff decided to cut supports for the sides and the back out of 1×2 wood. He then used 1/4inch plywood for the actual shelves and cut them to size! (I love watching my man work!!!) We laid them out in the garage and painted them white! (Sherwin Williams Shoji White to be exact.)
Once everything was nice and dry, it was time to install the shelves!! YAY! Jeff first installed the supports on the side and the back, making sure they were all level and evenly spaced. Then came the plywood. Surely they would just sit nicely on top of the supports and look awesome, right? Wrong. When we put them in there, they looked weird and were bowing. Bummer. I also wanted to be able to use a 1×2 in front of the shelves to give them a thick, uniform look. We weren’t sure how to accomplish this.
Then Jeff had an idea that ended up working out wonderfully!!
We had some scrap 1×3 (from another project) laying around in the garage. He took the 1×3 and turned it on it’s end so the short side faced out. For this reason, you could really use any kind of 1x piece of wood. So he turned it on it’s side and then used his nail gun to sink nails from the top down, through the plywood and into the 1×3. He made sure to countersink the nails slightly so that we could later mud them in and make them disappear. This gave us sufficient surface area to nail the face of the shelves into.
This is basically what it looked liked…
Finally, he nailed the remaining 1×2 pieces that we used as the face of the shelves into his plywood/1×3 combo. This ended up working out perfectly!!! To finish we mudded over all the nail holes, sanded and applied a final coat of paint. After doing all of this, it looked FABULOUS and I was really happy with the way it all turned out!!
All that was left to do was decorate my new bookcase and show it off!!! YAY!!
In the end, I was super glad that this crazy weird closet was there because it made for a terrific bookcase!! It was fun working with my hubby to make our house more beautiful and it makes me look forward to our projects in the future!!!
Now that I know just how handy we are together, our to-do list will be ever growing!!!