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How to Install a Recessed Book Shelf

Bookshelves can take up valuable space, but by recessing them, you get the storage without any of the cons. Learn how to add a recessed bookshelf to any room in your home with these easy step-by-step instructions.

More in Remodeling

  • Time

    Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Sketch Out a Plan

Sketch out a plan. The bookcase in this project slips into a knee wall in the renovated attic for extra storage. Sketch out the dimensions for the bookcase to determine the dimensions for the individual pieces.

Step 2: Cut the Lumber

Use a table saw to cut the bookcase pieces from birch plywood.

Step 3: Assemble the Bookshelf

Use wood glue and a nail gun to assemble the bookcase. Make sure all corners are squared off and the shelves are level before driving nails.
Safety Alert: Always be careful when working with a nail gun. These powerful tools can drive a nail through wood – or a hand or foot – instantly.

Step 4: Finish the Bookshelf

Sand, prime and paint the bookcase as desired. Allow the paint to dry completely before installing.

Step 5: Install the Bookshelf

Slide the bookcase into the opening in the wall. Check the bookcase for level, using shims as needed to level the piece. Use a straight edge to make sure the frame is flush with the wall and fits close to the wall studs. Drive nails through the sides of the bookcase into the wall studs; if using shims between the bookcase and studs, make sure to drive nails through the shims. Break off any shims that stick out past the front of the bookcase.

Step 6: Add Trim

Install wood trim as desired to frame the bookcase and hide any gaps between the bookcase and the wall.

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