Painted Cottage Bookcases

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Project by Alan Young posted 11-17-2008 07:35 PM 4101 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was commissioned by two friends, to build a set of bookcases. The request came from a couple that wanted an appropriate place to store their materials which had been kept in boxes since a move. They own a number of books as well as musical scores that were in need of a home.
My friends were looking for a “cottage feel” for these bookcases. So they decided on a painted finish.
These bookcase were built from dimensional clear pine, pine beadboard ply and masonite. The finish is alkyd oil paint. They also wanted the open shelved areas to be illuminated with an indirect soft glow.After some searching we found a low voltage tape light system.

The beadboard, inset rosettes, a layered crown molding, routed profiles and custom milled moldings, are the details that give these cases a simple but sophisticated look.


10 comments so far

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3642 days

#1 posted 11-17-2008 07:40 PM

Very nice job! If I’d of done that the space for the piano would be 1” too small.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 3504 days

#2 posted 11-17-2008 08:22 PM

very professional design, love how the flute lines ‘n the curves flow….call you butter baby cuz ur on a rollll

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#3 posted 11-17-2008 08:54 PM

These are absolutely beautiful pieces, with fantastic craftsmanship evident!

Did you consider building them flush to the back wall and ceiling? Somehow, the very small gap between the top of the crown and the ceiling disturbs my sense of proportion. If they were a foot shorter, it would be fine. (Just personal preference, of course… not meant to detract from the beauty of your work.)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View ToddE's profile


143 posts in 3958 days

#4 posted 11-17-2008 08:54 PM

BINGO! You nailed it!
Simple, stylish, and elegant. Nice Job
If I can ask, how many lights are in the upper cabinet? Just one at the top?

-- Allegheny Woodshop

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3614 days

#5 posted 11-17-2008 09:36 PM

Very beautiful bookcases.
Great job.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Icemizer's profile


88 posts in 3563 days

#6 posted 11-17-2008 11:21 PM

A pair of amazing pieces. The paint work looks excellent.

-- Say what you mean and mean what you say.

View Alan Young's profile

Alan Young

137 posts in 3744 days

#7 posted 11-18-2008 04:40 AM

Yes we discussed that but the clients wanted them to be free standing pieces that they could move if necessary some day. Note that there is molding across the top of the wall that would keep the
cases from being flush-They didn’t want to remove that molding. The upper and lower cases are separate pieces. If we made them tight to the ceiling it would have been near impossible to set the top case on the lower case….

The lights are tape lights spaced at 3” so I guess there are about ten small light across the top.
Here’s the tape light system we used:


View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4100 days

#8 posted 11-18-2008 04:53 AM

these are great!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#9 posted 11-18-2008 06:03 AM

I understand, Alan. If moving them in the future might be in the cards, this was the only way to go.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3874 days

#10 posted 11-19-2008 05:42 AM

Very stylish design Alan. Great workmanship.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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