How to Add Millwork Trim to a Bookcase


Are you looking for an easy way to dress up a plain-looking bookcase? Adding millwork trim is a cost-effective and simple way to add architectural detail and character to an inexpensive, boring old bookcase. With the use of some simple techniques and tools, you can do a job that looks like a pro did it.

Things You'll Need

  • Millwork Saw Miter box Drill Tape measure T-square Finishing nails Stain or paint
  • Determine where you'll be adding the millwork. Some good locations to consider are the top of the bookcase, along the vertical edges and on the front of the shelves. Take measurements of the pertinent areas, so you'll know how much to purchase when it's time.

  • Select the millwork that you want to add to your bookcase. For your design cues, look at the other furniture and trim in the room the bookcase will be in. Matching your bookcase's new trim with existing trim styles will unify your room and lend a polished appearance to your decorating. Go to your local home improvement store and examine the different styles of millwork available and see what you like the best. While you're at the store, pick up any paint or stain you'll need to match the color of your new millwork to the bookcase's existing finish.

  • Plan your cuts. Some of the cuts you make may need to be angle cuts, particularly if you're going around corners with the millwork. Sketch these out on paper so that when you start cutting your wood, you have a definite plan of action. If necessary, take a small piece of your millwork and practice making the cuts so that you'll have a good fit when you do the job. When you're ready, cut your millwork, using a miter box if necessary to accomplish your angle cuts.

  • Fasten your millwork to the bookcase. Use wood glue and small finishing nails for this task. Be sure to countersink the nails. After your millwork is attached, use wood filler to fill in the nail holes, then sand them down even when the filler is dry. Paint or stain the millwork to match your bookcase, wait for the paint to dry and then position and refill the bookcase.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sketching out your plans will make it easier to visualize how you'll cut the millwork to accomplish your job.

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