Simple Bookshelf: Episode 3

Simple Bookshelf Episode 3 Keyframe

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There is always a sense of satisfaction when it comes to the close of making a project and this one is no different. Paul uses simple techniques to deal with issues of fitting the shelves to the sides and then adding the dividers. All of which have notched front edges to conceal shrinkage issues that might occur in the life of any bookshelf. Paul also walks you through developing both the toe or kickboard and the cambered pediment. If you are worried about applying finishes to large projects like this one, then this may well mark the end of your troubles. Paul proves that a customised finish can be as simple as using a paint pad, that finishes room walls, as he uses water-based paint and varnish to give the bookshelf a beautiful, translucent finish you will be proud of.


  1. Paul Bowes on 27 November 2019 at 3:01 pm


    Another great project. As some people say its simple but that’s also part of the beauty. Very much enjoying how the camera work has changed over the various projects.

    Keep up the great work paul and the team.

  2. peter marshall on 27 November 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Paul and Team ,
    I really enjoyed this . I have used several of the methods Paul demonstrated on a smaller shelf and it is working out very nicely . Is it possible to get a bit more information on the finish that was used ? Type of paint ? Type of varnish ? Mix ratio ? And agree with Paul Bowes on the great camera work and overall production quality ..

    • Izzy Berger on 3 December 2019 at 10:15 am

      Hi Peter,

      Paul says:
      It was a water based emulsion wall paint and Ronseal Crystal Floor paint. None of it was mixed, just straight from the can.

      Kind Regards,

  3. mcael on 27 November 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Paul, would you cut a 1/4″ off the sides at the back as you did with
    the bookcase that you put the back on and painted green?

    • Izzy Berger on 3 December 2019 at 10:16 am


      Paul says:
      Yes, that’s a good idea but you could also add ¼” plywood to the front edge and nail it to the underside.

      Kind Regards,

  4. Robert Foster on 28 November 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Another great project from start to finish.
    Thank you!

  5. Tom Davies on 29 November 2019 at 11:59 am

    Interested to get some more details on the finish. A finish that doesn’t make pine go that horrible orange colour is something I’d love to have in my warchest.

    • Izzy Berger on 3 December 2019 at 10:17 am

      Hi Tom,

      Paul says:
      It was a water based emulsion wall paint and Ronseal Crystal Floor paint. None of it was mixed, just straight from the can.

      Kind Regards,

  6. Antonio Santos on 17 December 2019 at 7:29 am

    What did Paul used to spread the paint?

  7. Robert Ayers on 31 December 2019 at 9:50 pm


    How would Mr. Sellers recommend cutting the arch for those of us who do have a bandsaw?

    Thank you,

    • Izzy Berger on 3 January 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Robert,

      Paul says:

      I assume you mean ‘don’t’ have a bandsaw, not ‘do’. If so, I would suggest the stop-cut method.

      Kind Regards,

  8. Saul Mena on 16 October 2020 at 4:27 am

    I was surprised there wasn’t much instruction on making the plugs. How would one do it without the machine (was that a drill-presss?) and/or is there an attachment for a power drill? Is it mentioned maybe in a past project? Thanks in advance.

  9. Saul Mena on 6 November 2020 at 2:57 am

    Thanks a lot. I also found there is instruction on how to make them by hand in the Carved Mirror project, episode 5.

  10. Valentina on 20 September 2021 at 7:29 pm

    I’m making a much smaller version of this for my child, but chances are that I need to assemble it straight in my living room. I’m not sure I can tranfert it from myshop: I have a very small car.
    My bookshelf will be:
    – cm 40x150x35
    – will have a back in plywood
    – will have movable shelves

    Basically it will be a more beautiful version of an Ikea Billy. What should I take in account if I don’t glue and use screws only at top and kickboard? Will it be stable enough?
    Any suggestion would be precious. Thanks.

    • Katrina Sellers on 24 September 2021 at 9:38 am

      Without the glue it wont be as strong one way you could make it is stronger is to brace it like we did in the most recent bookshelf click here. Screwing the plywood around the edge will also add some strength.

  11. Sven-Olof Jansson on 21 September 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Valentina,

    The back can probably generate sufficient rigidity; at least that’s my impression from the venerable/infamous Billy.

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