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Build an Under-Stair Bookshelf

Project Overview

Build an Under-Stair Bookshelf

Like a computer manufactured in the previous decade, many older homes are critically short on storage. And, unless you're going to upgrade to a new model, you'll need to optimize the space you have and look to boost your capacity. Well, here's a smart solution that's easy and economical, and will provide you with plenty of high-value storage.

9 Steps

  1. Measure stairs
  2. Cut lengths of MDF
  3. Cut to size
  4. Cut the sides to size
  5. Paint interior
  1. Assemble shelves
  2. Begin installation
  3. Add moulding
  4. Caulk and paint
Show all steps »
Measure stairs

Step 1

Measure stairs

Measure the width, height and depth of the space under the stairs to determine the size of your shelves.

Step 2

Cut lengths of MDF

Determine the number of shelves needed. Then cut enough lengths of MDF to create the top, bottom, back and sides of all the shelves.

Step 3

Cut to size

Cut to length the tops, bottoms and backs of all shelves.

Step 4

Cut the sides to size

Cut to length the sides, keeping in mind the 1 1/2" combined thickness of the top and bottom pieces.

Paint interior

Step 5

Paint interior

Paint inside surfaces and let dry.

Assemble shelves

Step 6

Assemble shelves

Countersink, glue and screw together each shelf.

Begin installation

Step 7

Begin installation

Beginning at the lowest stair, install the shelves bottom to top.

Add moulding

Step 8

Add moulding

Using a brad nailer, install cove moulding between the stairs and shelves.

Step 9

Caulk and paint

Caulk any gaps, fill any holes and paint the exterior surfaces.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time: 5 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.


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