Kitchen Bookcase

The bookcase was one of the first projects we started in the house, and we finally finished!  The whole project has been an exercise in patience.  We started with a tiny pantry barely wide enough for a can.  The door also opened into the doorway.  We didn't like the location so we decided to open it up into a bookcase, which makes the small doorway seem larger and can hold my large collection of cookbooks.
Original pantry with the door removed.
After taking off the door, we removed the shelves and door frame.

Pantry with door frame removed.
We had to add new drywall, because the inside was wider than the frame.  We ended up losing a few inches on each side, but we gained about 6" front to back.

New drywall.

Spackling the drywall.
So after the drywall was up and spackled and painted, we added shelves, which we didn't get a chance to paint because we just wanted it done for the housewarming party.

So we were able to get it to look OK for the party, but it was far from finished.  This is how the bookcase stayed for the next 4 months.  One of the reasons I procrastinated so much in finishing the bookcase, aside from other projects getting in the way, was that I was planning on closing in the bottom.  But then I had to cat-sit for my mom, and we realized that the bottom of the bookcase was a perfect place to put the kitty dishes.  Since we're planning on getting a dog, we decided to leave it open for future doggie bowls.

The other reason I didn't want to finish it was because I needed to spackle again.  I hate spackling.  When I originally hammered in the shelves, the drywall moved slightly, and large cracks appeared at the back of the bookcase.

You can kind of see the cracks from this distance.

And you can definitely see them up close.

So I finally decided to spackle.

And more spackle.
Sponging down the spackle.
 Ugh, that sucked.  But now it's done.  I also decided, since I had to repaint anyway, that I would paint the inside white instead of the same gray as the rest of the kitchen.  I thought it would help the bookcase to stand out and appear brighter.

Bookcase with 1 coat of white paint.

I gave the shelves 3 coats of paint on each side.
We decided that since the tiles on the floor of the bookcase are weird (because of the former door frame) that we would add a rubber mat on the floor.  It would be easier to clean when we use it for a pet food buffet, and will cover up the mess of tiles on the floor.
We picked up this rubber mat from Home Depot for $6.50.

We used a utility knife to cut the mat down.

Then we slide the mat in, and it fit!

After we put down the mat, we added the rest of the trim and put in the shelves.
After the trim was in, the base looked so much more finished.

We added the books and some other knick knacks, and the bookshelf is complete!
Finished!  The streamers are for my brother's graduation party.

yay shelves!

Completed built-in bookcase.
 So there you have it, how to make a built-in bookcase in 6 months :)


  1. Looks great and I think it is a fabulous idea! Should we start a support group for DIYers that take 6 months or more to finish a project? Because I am right there with you...

  2. Great job! Nice finishing touches! Love it!

  3. Great job! I found you from This Dusty House, and I love your blog. Just thought I'd say hello.

  4. Thanks to all!

    @anna - ha, I think that's a great idea. I have some other projects that have been in the works for several months that I need to finish.

    @beth - Thanks for checking us out! I'm glad you like it :)