Decorate a Bookshelf with Molding Decorate a Bookshelf with Molding

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Wood lathe
Protective glasses
Protective mask
Work gloves
Chop saw
Hand saw
Electric drill
Drill bits
Miter box
Nail gun
Brads
Hammer
Small drywall screws
Sandpaper
Paint or stain

When you purchase a new or used bookshelf you will notice one thing immediately: it's boring. A plain bookshelf is tall and square with smooth sides and comes in few colors. Most bookshelf units are basic and serve their purpose well but seldom do they actually go with your decor. You can peel off the fake wood covering or sand them down to the base wood and then stain them but they will still be plain, flat and have no character. You can change all of that by adding molding to your bookshelf and this article will show you how.

Step 1 - Measure and Cut the Wood Lath

The problem with your standard bookshelf is that the wood material is not that strong. They are made from a composite wood material which splinters easily when you nail or screw into it. For this reason you will have to install wood lath. The molding is nailed to the wood lath to prevent damage to the bookshelf. Use a tape measure and measure the width and the depth of the top of the bookshelf. Trim the wood lath material in order to fit around the edges of the bookshelf. When you are done trimming the wood lath you will be left with an "L" shape.

Step 2 - Attach the Wood Lath

Long screws are a sure way to damage the bookshelf. For this reason you will be using small drywall screws. They are just large enough to attach the wood lath to the bookshelf without risk of it cracking. Place the wood lath on the top of the bookshelf and screw it in place. Add more screws along the rest of the wood lath.

Step 3 - Prepare the Molding

The molding needs to be prepared prior to attaching it to the bookshelf. Measure the molding to fit the bookshelf and cut it with the ends at a 45-degree angle. This is so that the ends of the molding will connect without visible seams. After the molding is cut you can test fit it to the bookshelf. When you are satisfied that it will fit you can then sand the molding down and paint or stain it however you please.

Step 4 - Attaching the Molding to the Bookshelf

Once the molding is dry you can begin installing it to the bookshelf. Line the molding up with the wood lath so that you cannot see it around the edges of the molding. Fit the edges of the molding together to make sure they still fit snugly as stain and paint can add just enough to the size of the molding to make it uneven. Sand the edges of the molding down if this is the case for you. Place one strip of molding on the bookshelf and nail it in place with either a hammer and brads or use the nail gun. Continue adding the molding until the bookshelf is finished.

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