Bookcase Details

After building the four bookcase boxes, I decided to paint the outside panels before they went up, just to make things easier, and to keep paint away from the marble (that’s coming up!).

I know some people aren’t a fan, but I love being able to see the wood grain through the paint. So much.

We’re going to miss this place to put all our things once we can’t have it anymore. Doug said he wants to build a room “made up entirely of surfaces, so we have places to dump everything all the time.” Ha. The painters’ tape on the wall is so we know where the studs are.

I wanted a marble divider between the lower cabinets, and the upper cases. We opted to use a marble windowsill (which we used for the shower curb on Jackson Street), which was a great decision for cost, but maybe a poor decision for durability.

Cutting it so it would have the mitered angle kept ending up with chips, because it was so fragile. It would have cost more to do a solid piece, but it would have amounted to a lot less headache. Still, it’s going to look great when it’s done. Tips, if you do this : Make sure your saw blade is new. Be patient. Have extra pieces for when you make mistakes. Start cutting from the tip and, and not the wide end, because that makes the tip break off quicker.

Eventually we got some decent cuts. Not great, but decent.

We made sure that everything was going to fit all around!


So then we changed gears to make the side panels. Since the lower cabinets are upper kitchen cabinets, the sides were unfinished. Before we attached the marble, we needed to make sure that the sides were cut and ready.

Also of note – we wanted these cabinets to look as though the room was built around them. So we wanted to get rid of the large gap between the wall and the cabinet, over the crown moulding.

We used the contour gauge to make a measurement of the baseboard.

And then transferred that profile onto very thin plywood.

Next, Doug cut out the shape with the Dremel Moto-Saw Kit.  (Some tools were sponsored by Dremel, but all content is always based on my honest opinion!) It’s an electric mitre saw that allows really small, precision cuts, and it has a base that can clamp onto the bench. That’s how we used it here, but we’re excited to take it off and use the handheld part when we have to cope the cuts on the crown moulding and ceiling moulding.


The cut was pretty perfect, and we just had to make a couple of passes with the file to make it perfect.

INSANE. Also, ignore how awful the wood looks. I haven’t sanded it yet as of this picture. It’s so furry you could pet it and take it to obedience school.

So here, you can see how the side panel now hugs the wall. It looks so much more custom now!

And now they’re in and painted. SO FANCY!

So now that those are in, we can go ahead and instal the marble.

Once we lined and measures everything, we drew a line to make sure we hit the exact right spot once the adhesive was on.

Construction adhesive…..

And we smooshed it in place (that’s the technical term) and taped it to keep it from moving while it dried.

After the tape came off! And we know the joints aren’t perfect, but with some silicone, they’ll turn out okay.

The next step was to build out the back – this will allow the bookcase boxes to sit up, and allow the face frames to sit even with the bottom of the bookcase.

That’s it for now – very excited about how these are coming together!



  1. Helpful tip (for any future thin marble cutting): Apply painters tape around top/ bottom edge & cut through the middle. It provides a pressure hold and dissipates the saw vibrations across the surface avoiding chipping most of the time.

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