3 out of 5ModerateRequires mid-level carpentry skills.
$80 to $100, not including the shelving units
6 to 8 hours
In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva transforms stock shelving into a custom built-in.
Building a custom built-in
- Use a utility knife to slice through the existing paint and caulk along the top and bottom edges of the baseboard.
- Carefully pry the baseboard from the wall with two flat pry bars.
- Saw through the baseboard with the oscillating multitool fitted with a plunge-cut wood blade.
- Clamp and screw together two cabinets using the impact driver and 1¼-inchdecking screws.
- Set the extension-shelf units on top of the two cabinets, and secure them with the provided cam-screw fasteners.
- Measure and mark the stud locations on the wall, then set the cabinet assembly against the wall.
- Insert wood shims under the front of the cabinet and check for plumb with the 4-foot level.
- Fasten the cabinet bydriving screws through the cabinet back and into the wall studs. Repeat to install the other cabinet.
- Glue and nail ⅛-inch-thick pine filler strips (ripped from your 1x stock) to the upper edge of the cabinet. Secure the strips with glue and the pin nailer equipped with ¾-inch pins.
- Screw a 2×4 nailer to the ceiling directly above the cabinets.
- Cut a fascia from pine 1x8s to fit along the top of the cabinet. Nail the fascia to the cabinet and to the 2×4 nailer attached to the ceiling.
- Install crown molding along the ceiling and across the newly installed cabinets.
- Nail the new baseboard across the base of the cabinets.
- Build a pine-frame toekick to fill the space between two cabinets. Then cut a shelf to fit on top of the toekick. Adhere the shelf with construction adhesive only.
- Build and install a second pine frame and shelf to create a storage nook between the two cabinets.
- Scribe the 1×6 pine face frame to fit between the wall and cabinet. Bevel-cut the board along the scribed line with a circular saw.
- Nail the scribed face frame to the cabinets.
- Cut and install the remaining face frames to the cabinets.
- Finish the cabinets with a coat of semigloss acrylic latex paint.