DIY Bookshelf and Storage Shelf using Reclaimed Wood

One of the newest trends that are catching up with the DIY community is the use of reclaimed wood. The first question you may ask if you are not familiar with reclaimed wood is “What is reclaimed wood?”. Reclaimed wood are those salvaged from the demolition of older wooden buildings and other wooden projects. The reclaimed wood can be noticed by the darker weathered characteristics the wood will have. Some reclaimed wood will also have the unique designs of flaking and peeling paint. Some of the more desirable pieces of reclaimed wood will have several different layers of paint that were applied in different colors. When sanded, the wood will have a vast mixture of colors as well as depth. Many different projects can be created from reclaimed wood but we are going to build a bookshelf/storage shelf from reclaimed wood here.

We are always looking for storage space. One of the best ways to quickly add storage space to any room is to build a set of shelves. A unique way to add a special look to any room is constructing a set of storage shelve from reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is known for adding a unique look to any décor when used to construct furniture and other additions to the home. Let’s see how we can construct the reclaimed wood storage shelves for your home or patio. The shelves we are going to construct will be 24” wide and approximately 40” tall.

List of materials needed:

  • 2-1×12’s 40” long for the sides.
  • 4-1×12’s 22 ½” long for the shelves.
  • ¼” plywood or similar 40”x 24” for the back.
  • 1 ½” wood screws.
  • Wood Glue.

List of tools needed:

  • Circular saw for cutting shelving materials.
  • Cordless drill or screwdriver.
  • Hand sander.
  • Framing square
  • Tape measure.

The first thing you will need to do is to obtain the reclaimed materials to cut for your shelves. There are several ways to obtain this type of construction materials. One of the easiest ways is to visit a salvage building material company in your area. There are building material supply stores that strictly sell materials that have been salvaged from demolition projects. You can find some nice pieces that can be used for shelving. In some cases, older doors and drawers can be used for shelving projects.

Follow the steps below to construct your shelves:

  1. Cut the shelving material to the desired length. You will need to cut the two at 40” long for the sides. You will then cut four pieces at 22 ½” for the shelves. Be sure the cut the correct dimensions for the shelves. When the sides are added to the shelves cut the correct length the total width will be 24”.
  2. After cutting each piece you will need to use the hand sander to sand each piece. Be sure to sand the edges where splinters may have developed during the cutting process.
  3. You will need to take the side pieces and lay them out to connect the shelving in equal spaces. In some cases, you may want closer spacing between a couple of shelves while creating larger spaces for the other shelves.
  4. After laying the shelving out to the desired layout you prefer, you will then place one of the side pieces in an upright position. Place the shelves on the markings you created when you laid the sides out. Screw each shelf into place. Add the other side to the shelving and follow the same procedure.

After assembling the shelves, you will need to complete the project with the desired finish you prefer. Most of the time when reclaimed wood is used the desired finish is the wood itself. Some reclaimed wood will provide a weathered and distressed look that is very desirable. In some cases, extra paint can be added to finish the shelve to a certain color you may prefer. After painting, if you want the distressed look that is very popular all you will need to do is sand the project until you obtain the finish you are looking for. A polyurethane finish can also bring out some of the grain that can be found in some materials.

And here’s a photograph of the finished bookshelf!