New Life for Borders Bookshelf #Refab

My son needed a bookcase in his room and he also 'needs' a nightlight. We combined the two in this project!
Here is how I created this cut out/back lit bookshelf that started life as a bookshelf from a closing Borders bookstore.
Almost any bookcase will work for this project, but the ones that have a thin wood (can be masonite) backing will work best. Set up a work area that you don’t mind getting dusty and dirty. Remove the shelves from your bookcase.
I cut the endcap in half lengthwise so I could use half for each end of my bookshelf, and to position it flush against the wall. To cut a straight line using a circular saw, I clamped one end of a level to the endcap. My level wasn’t long enough, so I drilled a scrap piece of wood on top of the level and into the end cap to support the other end.
I set the circular saw blade just below the depth of the endcap. By resting the endcap on two 2×4″ boards, I was able to creative a gap below the endcap for the sawblade to pass through.Then I ran the circular saw along the level for a straight cut. Straight as an arrow, and it met Pretty Handy Dog’s approval.
Sketch out the design on your bookshelf (using chalk or pencil) before beginning.
Lay the bookcase down on its back. Position 2×4 boards under the edges of the bookcase (or you will be cutting into concrete.)
Plug in your Dremel Trio and get ready to have some FUN! You may want to practice on a scrap piece of wood before working on your bookcase. The TRIO allows you to change directions quickly and easily. Creating fanciful cuts is a breeze!
When your design has been completed, use the power sander to sand the back of the bookcase (where the majority of the splintering will have occurred.)
Apply a coat of primer to the bookcase, shelves and sides. (Still working on emptying that can of KILZ Clean Start primer! Love that stuff.
Paint the back of your bookcase. I chose a very dark navy blue. To save paint, I used a medium blue paint for my first coat to darken the back and hopefully save paint.
Then paint one coat of the navy blue. Follow up with a second coat to eliminate any streaking.
I installed a light rope behind the bookcase (tutorial to come at a later date) and set the lights on a timer. The rope light comes on at dusk and illuminates all the cut outs.
There is a very soft glow emitted from the back of the bookcase.
It provides the perfect amount of light for my son who HAS to have a light on at night.
I had the foresight to purchase a few of the clear display stands that slide into the end caps of the bookcase. It makes it easy to display books to pique my son’s reading interests.

Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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