I feel like the story of "The Tortoise and the Hare" in regards to our family room built-in bookcases. I think my brain is the hare and the progress and the LOML are the tortoise. I'm so past the built-in bookcase project and we haven't even made a dent in it yet. It's kind of frustrating for everyone involved. 


The LOML is having a lot of fun buying, studying and playing with all his new tools.


I decided I'm going to take you on a little journey of (DA DA DA…dramatic pause) 



(You have to imagine the Allstate guy saying it in his very deep melodic voice)

Each of the next few blog entries will cover a tool that the LOML has either bought or made and what step we used it for in….




 Before we start on our journey, I want you to know we are by no means carpenters. We google everything! The LOML has spent many an hour in front of his laptop watching videos on how to build built-in bookcases.  I want to keep all the information that we have learned here in one hopefully organized place so if you ever want to follow in our footsteps and are novices like us, you can learn from our MANY mistakes and our new found knowledge from the many hours of googling research.


So far, we have completed the bottom portion of the built-ins. You can read about the cabinets here and the butcherblock countertops here

Here is a picture of the cabinets all painted and trimmed.



The box under the desk is the green desk chair I bought for that space. I can't wait to put it together.


The next step in this crazy journey was the inevitable trip to our friendly neighborhood Lowe's Home Improvement store.

There we bought enough wood to build 1000 houses our bookcases.

The LOML bought a table saw on Craigslist.


This will be used to cut the wood for the sides, shelves and tops of the bookcases. 

On a side note, the guy we bought the table saw from spent some time teaching the LOML how to use, take care of, and store the table saw. This man loved his tools.

The LOML built a cross cut sled for the table saw to make it easier to cut multiple boards the same length. Here is the youtube video explaining how to build one.

PicMonkey Collagetablesaw

Because we have two sides of bookcases, one on each side of the desk, we had to figure out how many cases on each side and how long we wanted the shelves. Each side is 6 feet long total. We decided to have three sections on each side, each section being 2 feet wide. We are building each section separately so each section has two sides, a top and four shelves. 

Here is a very poorly drawn picture to give you an idea.


The bookshelves will go all the way to the ceiling. 

In all the research the LOML did on building the bookshelves he used this site the most. It's a great reference for what kind of wood to use, good measurements for the bookcases, and different ways to attach the shelves to the sides of the bookcase. 

So we ended up with each section being 6 feet high, 24 inches wide, and we will space the shelves at different heights to add some interest. 


Tomorrow, I'll talk about how we decided to use the dado cut to attach our shelves. 

The bookshelves are coming together nicely. I'm so proud of the LOML and all the research and work he has put into my vision for the family room. Have I mentioned that he is a saint??!!



Love y'all,
















  1. what type of wood did you use?

  2. Leisa Wimpee says:

    I'm curious how you painted over the kitchen cabinets so well? Did you sand them down and repaint them? Use chalk paint? Rustoleum? I've never found a white paint from any of those options go on without hundreds of coats of white paint..which end up making it look terrible.

    And what kind of topcoat did you use afterwards? Thank you in advance!

    • Hey Leisa~ Thanks so much for reading my blog! This blog post goes through the steps I followed to prep the cabinets and cover them.

      I used a topcoat of polyurethane only on the well-used areas like behind the sink, the garbage can cabinet and the silverware drawerh (the most used places). It’s holding up well. We touch up every once in awhile but still looks great!

      Thanks, Linda

  3. Did you place on one of your blogs how to install the trim on the bottom of the cabinet?