Skip to Content

How to trim out a Built In Bookcase

How to trim out a Built In Bookcase

I’m so excited to show you how to trim out a built in bookcase.

Having a built in bookcase in your home is really impressive. I built this bookcase myself from scratch. I wrote a whole post about how to build a bookcase. But besides being actually attached to to the wall, the biggest thing that really makes a bookshelf look like it’s built in is the use of trim. Here are the step by steps for how to trim a built in bookcase


How to trim a built in bookshelf

  1. Baseboard


    I used the same baseboard while building the bookcase that I have throughout my home. This way, it is a seamless transition from the bookcase to the rest of the walls. I used 3 1/2 inch flat baseboard here.built in bookcase

  2. Crown Molding

    Once you have your bookshelf in your space, adding crown molding can make all the difference in making your bookshelf look like it’s built in. Usually there will be a space between the top of the bookshelf and your ceiling. Simply add crown molding or trim big enough to fill that gap and voila! Your bookcase looks like it’s a built in. I used a piece of 5 1/2″ inch flat baseboard for the crown molding here.Built IN bookshelf Black DIY

  3. Shelf Trim

    Adding trim to your shelves can really make your bookcase look like it’s a built in. I used 1 inch wide trim and simply tacked it onto the bookcase shelves once it was installed, making sure to keep the top of the trim flush with the top of the shelf. I absolutely love the way this make my bookcase look like it was built in. I used 1/4 inch thick molding here.bookshelves

  4. Trim against the walls

    Because not every bookcase is square, and not every wall is square, you are bound to have some gaps between your bookcase and your wall. A simple piece of quarter-round trim can take care of this problem. Once your bookcase is installed, simply tack a piece of quarter-round trim in place with your brad nailer. I used 1/2 inch quarter-round here.DIY Built In Bookcase

Find my free bookcase building plans, here: Free Boookcase building plans

If you used this tutorial in your own home, I would love to see photos and share them here on my blog! Please email completed photos to Nat@thecreativemom.com

I would also love if you would share this project, or save it to your Pinterest board for later! You can hover your mouse over the image below and click the “save” button, or share this on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter.

built in bookshelf


If you liked this project, you might like some of my other DIY projects:

how to build a plant stand
modern bike rack
how to frame bathroom mirror
diy farmhouse 2x4 bench
2x4 bench

DIY Picture Frame