I LOVE built ins. I Can’t afford Built-ins. But, I do have a husband and he’s willing to work for food :)
Here’s how we turned our Billy Bookcases into Billy Built-ins, kind of.
I wanted the sides to be recessed and the front to pop out a bit, I thought it would give it more interest, much better then just a line of bookcases against a wall.

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Here’s what we did:

  • We used two Full width billy bookcases, and three half width ones. Then we just pulled out the center three and Lee screwed them together.


  • Then we used MDF for the top. Lee decided to use three smaller sheets of MDF instead of one large sheet because it was much cheaper and much easier to cut nice straight lines. We attached it in three sections:



  • Once the top was glued and nailed into place, we attached the trim. We used a chair rail instead of crown molding (like in our townhouse bookcases) because it was much easier to work with, and gives the same look for approx. the same price.

Here’s the up close final product:


  • And our last step was to fill in all of the seams, sand and paint the top. We chose Martha Stewart’s TALC color, it’s not an exact match but it’s pretty darn close.

I hope that was at least somewhat helpful. I didn’t take any progress pictures, or any useful, non-blurry pictures anyway. So Lee drew up a couple of drawings for me :) I hope you liked them and everything made sense.

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