How to Build Floor to Wall Bookcases


Built-in shelving not only provides a practical solution for storing and displaying books and other items, but also lends character to a room. While there are many styles of shelving, this project employs the same kind of board for both the horizontal and vertical surfaces, and the final product is painted the same color as the room. It should be built into an existing inset in the room, where there is a flat wall at the back and two adjacent walls coming forward by at least 18 inches on either side.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 by 10 pine boards
  • Metal L-brackets, 2 to 3 inches long, with screws
  • Plastic wall anchors
  • Power drill
  • Level
  • High-gloss interior paint
  • Sketch out the configuration of your bookshelves on the wall with a pencil and level. Leave 18 to 24 inches between the horizontal shelves. Stagger the vertical lines (where the supports will be), dividing the wall in halves and thirds.

  • Cut the 1 by 10 boards to size according to the length of the drawn lines.

  • Set the bottom vertical boards on the floor, with the long edge along the vertical lines on the wall. Then set the L-brackets where they will go on either side of the boards, and mark the holes on the wall where the L-bracket screw-holes are. Take everything down, drill holes in the wall where the hole-marks are, and tap the plastic anchors into the wall.

  • Screw in the L-brackets to the plastic anchors on the wall, on what will be the left side of the vertical boards. Set the boards against the brackets and screw them into the wood. Then affix the L-brackets on the right side of the boards and to the remaining plastic anchors on the wall.

  • Lay the lowest horizontal shelf across in place, resting it on the tops of the vertical boards. Mark the L-bracket holes underneath it, and screw the shelf into position.

  • Continue building upward on the wall, securing the next vertical support, then the next horizonal shelf, until all the pieces are in place. Paint shelving, including the wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dress up the front of the shelving by nailing 1/2-inch trim to the front edge of the boards before painting.

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