Books, DIY

DIY “Built In” Bookshelves

TBR shelf
My TBR pile finally has it’s own shelf.

I have a lot of books. Most of them are still in England (books are heavy to ship!) but I’ve bought quite a few since being in America, and we didn’t have enough bookshelf space for them all!

So I decided to take on a project to build some fake built-in bookshelves, using floating shelves and a structural grid pattern we have in the living room. I was planning to do it all myself, but I ended up enlisting Brian pretty soon after I started. While I was taking the existing shelves off the wall I found metal molly plugs and wasn’t sure how to remove them. Turns out it’s fairly easy, but needs a bit of brute force (or at least these ones did!).Β You have to twist the outer edge to break it off, then just poke the remaining tube into the wall. Some of them twisted off easily, others were a nightmare. But we got them all done in the end.

Filling the holes was easy, and we sanded the filler flat after it dried.Β Painting the wall was hard work though, but our own fault. We bought a cheap white paint, and really should have bought a primer and better quality paint. We had to do 4 coats of paint to cover the blue! Lesson learned. We were both really happy with how it turned out though.


Finally done after four coats of paint!

Next we sanded down the floating shelves, thenΒ used a spray primer and paint to give two coats of glossy white. I’m not sure if I’d use spray paint again. It has a nice finish, but I think we would have had better coverage with less paint if we’d used normal furniture paint. I’m not sure, but I’ll try it for whatever the next project will be.


We need 6 shelves and only have 4 so far. It’s a work in progress, the other two shelves will be bought, painted and hung in a couple of weeks. And the cupboard doors will be painted, and rehung with new hinges. But we have one side of the “built in” bookshelves finished and looking fantastic!

Lovely glossy shelves!
Books! Yay!


I’ll write another post after it’s all finished. I’m so happy that my books have a proper home now! And we think it’s made the living room look much better than just being all one colour. What do you think?


I’ll be taking part in Stacking The Shelves, and The Sunday Post – check out some of the other posts to find great reads πŸ™‚

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23 thoughts on “DIY “Built In” Bookshelves”

  1. Hey that looks nice, you guys did a great job. Nice to see books on a shelf, I always think that looks nice in a living room.

  2. Your new shelves look great! I love that you managed to make them glossy, so they are slightly different from the wall, even if it’s the same color. And your books definitely look happy in their new home πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

  3. Oooh, I love that kind of posts ! The result was worth the extra paint, it musn’t have been easy covering blue with white. Your books have a beautiful habitat, now !

  4. Love the shelves! They look great! I’m in the middle of moving house, so I’m planning on having a bookshelf wall; one can never have too many books

    1. I agree! A wall full of books makes a room so much more cozy and comforting πŸ™‚ Just need a comfy chair and some hot chocolate, and it’s bliss!

  5. Wow! Your new shelving unit looks fabulous! It’s always such a great feeling when you work hard to build something and you finally have the perfect place for your books. πŸ™‚

    I’ve liked your FB page and hope to keep up with your blog posts from there. I join in with Stacking the Shelves every week so I’ll definitely be looking for those posts. Have a good week!

    1. Thanks! I tried to return the favour but the FB link on your blog says “page not found”, what’s the link I should use to find your FB page? πŸ™‚

  6. I am in awe of those shelves, they look fantastic, I desperately need more book space!!

    I totally missed the fact you moved to America! My other half would love to move to Florida but my books would need a shipping container to themselves, the expense would be scary!

    1. Hehe! The humidity isn’t so kind to books either, so if you move make sure there is a good air-con system wherever your books are πŸ™‚

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