DIY Network

How to Add Aesthetic Appeal to a Shelving Unit

The DIY to the Rescue team adds the finishing touches to tiered shelving units.

More in Remodeling

  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Add Vertical Trim

To make the shelves a little more stylish, add trim to the outside edges. To do that, put down a bead of glue on each vertical edge, then make sure the trim piece cut earlier (1x2) is flush with the outside edge (Image 1).

Next use a nail gun to solidify the trim’s staying power (Images 2 and 3).

Step 2: Glue and Nail the Trim Pieces

Measure the length of each shelf after the vertical trim has been added (Image 1) and cut three more 1x2 pieces according to the horizontal length of each shelf (Image 2).

Glue and nail the trim pieces like the rest of the trim (Image 3).

Step 3: Round the Edges of the Trim

To give the trim a smooth and finished look, use a router to round off the ends of the trim (Image 1).

Make sure you keep the router pushed against the workspace and that the router goes on the workspace the opposite direction as it spins (Image 2).

Step 4: Add Molding to the Unit

For the crown molding, line up the pieces where you want them to go and cut off the excess length (Images 1 and 2).

To secure the molding to the shelving unit, use a pneumatic stapler along with glue (Images 3 and 4).

Step 5: Paint the Shelves

To make the rest of the shelves, repeat the process above in steps 1-4 according to the height of the ceiling you’re working with.

Before painting the shelves, fill in the holes with wood putty to create a smooth service to paint over later (Images 1 and 2).

To paint the shelves, use a power sprayer to give the shelves an even coat of paint.

If you do not have access to a power sprayer, it is easier to prime and paint the shelves before you piece them together (Images 3 and 4).