Library Build




I started our library build in a very empty formal living space. Not much going on except a fireplace. My wife has a lot of books and has been wanting a home library to show them off. This was the perfect space to do so. The plan is two full walls of book cases, A coffered ceiling with vintage tin inlaid.

Step 1: The Room / Future Library

I started our library build by emptying out any furniture I could and removing the crown and base moldings.

Step 2: Building of Cases

10 sheets of furniture grade plywood, and poplar 1" x's. Using a Dado blade I created the groove to receive the shelves. Created face frames to fit using the poplar and my Kreg pocket hole jig. I build 5 base cabinets and 56 bookcases.

Step 3: Installing.

Once everything was built I installed in place.

Step 4: Creating the Raised Panels

In the double pocket door entrance I trimmed out the sides and underside of the bookcases with a raised panel detail. I created the style and rail with poplar and pocket hole screws. For the panels I ran 3/4" MDF through my Williams and Hussey molding machine with the raised panel knives.

Step 5: Trimming Out the Base.

I used a plinth block detail with a custom made base cap design I created.

Step 6: Priming and Painting

I opted to prime and paint the woodwork in place, this way it would all get coated at once. I was a LONG process!

Step 7: 5' High Wainscotting

I created a 5' high wainscot with a small 8" top panel. I used 2-1/2" wide poplar and a rabbited cove molding to create the detail.

Step 8: Coffered Ceiling Beams

I used 2-1/2" and 5-1/2" by 16' long. poplar to create the beams. They were put together with a biscuit joiner.

Step 9: Hanging the Beams

I screwed 2" x 4"s to the ceiling joists and then glued and screwed and nailed the beams up. At the cross section I added a rosette for detail.

Step 10: Tin Inlay

Long ago when I built the house (17 Years ago) I knew I would be doing this at some point and I installed 1/4 plywood under the sheet rock on the ceiling so I could some day install a tin ceiling using screws. This is that someday! I got my hands on some 100 year old tin. It has seen better days as it has several coats of paint on it. I wanted a distressed vintage look that told it's history so I wire brushed all the loose paint off and then sealed with a Rustoleum clear gloss lacquer. I cut the tin to size and used Liquid Nail construction adhesive and some fine screws painted to match the tin to install. I then finished off the inside edges with crown molding.

Step 11: Finished Library

Well aside from the library ladder and the bottom doors and all the books to go in the room is finished! I am really happy with how it all turned out and cant wait to sit with a book and enjoy.



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    9 Discussions


    4 months ago on Step 10

    What a beautiful library! We are moving to a new home and one of the must haves is space for a library. You can be sure I'll be using your wonderful example as inspiration. Thank you!


    10 months ago

    What a wonderful job and wonderful thing you did for your wife.


    11 months ago on Introduction

    I am loving how this family loves their books so much that they are able to create a whole room for it! I would be a little freaked out at the number of storage shelves that needed dusting at the end of the day. But if you really enjoy your books and have that many that you could make a room out of it, it certainly would look impressive when all of the books are in!


    1 year ago

    Beautiful! Definitely a large undertaking! Great job!

    1 reply
    Kink Jarfold

    1 year ago on Step 11

    It's not hording if its books. Alas, I had at one point in time a room in which I built enough bookcases to hold my over 3,000 books which, sadly, have down-sized over the years. I miss them. I envy your wife for this incredible job you did on her library.

    2 replies
    RoccoMKink Jarfold

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you! We are currently sorting and organizing so they go on the shelves in some sort of catogories.

    Kink JarfoldRoccoM

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, I had all mine grouped in categories. That's fun to do. I envy your endeavor. Add the below Novel to your library.


    1 year ago

    Wow, this space looks inviting. Well done!