DIY Wood Shim Bookcase

    Image 1   Whether it’s shiplap or pallet wood, rustic farmhouse-inspired accents and furnishings are on trend. But before you head out to find expensive aged wood, try this wood shim tutorial instead. You’ll find out how to incorporate that farmhouse signature look without breaking the bank with this simple, inexpensive and removable DIY for any bookcase.   You’ll only need one tool, a handful of materials and a couple of hours to elevate a plain bookcase into something so much more. Stacked alternating wood shims provide the texture, and a plywood base gives you the option to attach the panels using tape, making this DIY removable and commitment-free.   Supplies For this project, you’ll need:  
  • A bookcase (We choose one in a modern style, but you can use one that matches your home’s decor)
  • (1) 1/4”x 2 x 4 sanded plywood sheet
  • 2-4 packages of 15” cedar shims
  • Wood glue
  • Grey tone wood stain
  • Paintbrush
  • Mounting tape
  • Jigsaw
  • C-clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  Step One: Pick Up a Modern Bookcase   Image 2   Finding the right bookcase for this project is all about maintaining visual balance. The clean, modern shape of this bookcase is the perfect backdrop to showcase the natural, rustic quality of the cedar shims.   Since this project involves attaching wood panels to your bookcase, you’ll want to make sure that the bookcase you buy can support the amount of wood you want to add without becoming too heavy. It helps to start out with a lightweight bookcase and limit the wood shims to just the back panels of the bookshelf. Assemble your bookcase and measure the size of the space you want to cover using your tape measure.   Step Two: Cut the Wood to Size   Image 3   Take that measurement and trace it onto the plywood sheet twice. Cut out both rectangles using the jigsaw and set aside.   Next, you’ll need to determine the pattern you want for the wood shim accent panels. You can choose a classic brick pattern, basket weaving pattern or a simple alternating stacked pattern. I chose the latter because it followed the lines of the bookcase and provided a higher-quality finish. Mark and cut each cedar shim to match the width of the cut plywood rectangles. You’ll want to alternate thick and thin sides when stacking to maximize the play on texture and the farmhouse feel. You may need to cut the last wood shim lengthways to finish out the space. Go slow when cutting with the jigsaw to reduce any wood splitting or chipping.   Step Three: Glue and Stain   Image 4   Once you cut all of your wood shims, you can begin adhering them to the cut plywood pieces. Brush a light coating of wood glue onto the back of the shims and press them down onto the wood backing. Be sure to immediately clean up any excess glue that leaks out, as it can affect how the wood stain reacts with the wood. Clamp another piece of wood to the top of the wood panel to provide consistent, even pressure while the glue dries overnight. An optional improvement is to use small finishing nails to secure the wood shims to the plywood base.   Image 5   The next day, you can start applying the wood stain to the wood panels in light, even coats. Let the stain sit and penetrate the wood for a few minutes before wiping up the excess stain. I used about two coats to achieve my look. Allowing some of the natural cedar tones to show underneath will give the wood that authentic farmhouse quality. The stain will need to dry for a few hours before you can resume handling.   Step Four: Attach the Accent Panels   Image 6   Image 7Cut several strips of mounting tape and apply them directly to the bookcase section where the wood panels will sit. Pop in your wood panels and press firmly for a few minutes to ensure a tight bond. Add a few books or decor items, and your farmhouse-inspired bookcase is done!     Mateo Londono is a longtime contributor to the Krrb blog who also writes for The Home Depot. He likes to create DIY projects and provide step-by-step instructions like he did in this article. To find a bookcase that you can add your own personal touch to, visit The Home Depot to see their selection of bookcases.   DIY WOOD SHIM BOOKCASE  
16 Total Shares
Pin16
+1
Tweet
Share
Stumble