Railing Bookcase(part 1)

When we first bought this house I knew we had a long road ahead trying to get it up to date.  This railing was old school country and not really the style I wanted.  When we remodeled the upstairs we updated the spindles and stained it a redwood color to match the rest of the new stuff we were installing.

It really bothered me!  It wasn’t right.  It needed more work because it really doesn’t go well trying to combine old with new.  There was this little landing that had no purpose.  It was an old farm-house and this little part made no sense.  I had tried over the years to try to figure out what to do with this area.  As the second floor transformed into the kids floor I was looking for ways to get all of their stuff up there.  Lets be honest,  no parent wants to look at their kids mess.  The more contained upstairs the better.  I stumbled upon a picture of a bookcase instead of a railing.  I thought, I could do that! Then they could use that little landing area as somewhat of a book nook.  If not, at least I would have a place for all of their books.  I waited until everyone was gone and got to work.

The boys took out the railing before they headed out-of-town.  That was their contribution to the process.  I have since repurposed a lot of the wood from that railing.

I built a very strong foundation of 2×4 boxes to attach the plywood.  Then built frames out of 2×4’s as well.   It is attached to the floor and the wall with bolts. This bad boy isn’t going anywhere!  I then attached 1×4’s (most were repurposed frames from the posters in the kids room) to the 2×4’s to make it more like a bookshelf.


Then I had to install the back.  I had to dig deep into my super hero powers.  Hold the plywood up, while grabbing the nail gun, on stairs!  I am 5′ tall.  Do you see how far down those stairs descend. I was smart though.  I put up a board as leverage on the bottom.  I could at least set it on something and push it up while nailing.


I was hoping that it didn’t feel closed off after I put in the bookcase.  The stairwell still looks nice and bright and open.


Time to finish putting on some trim and decide what color to stain.  I decided on two tones.  A driftwood and red oak combination looked nice.  Of course I ran out of driftwood stain.  I just needed a little bit to finish the inside of the shelves.  It is the only color that nobody carries.  That is fantastic news.  Plus I didn’t have a long enough piece for the top.  I would have to drive an hour to get one piece of lumber.  My boys were headed home and needed the upstairs back.  So the project got delayed.


I don’t know about you but when I set aside a certain amount of time and it takes longer it is hard to carve out more time to finish.

Two months later……..

2 thoughts on “Railing Bookcase(part 1)

    1. No Joke! Remodeling this old farm house has been an adventure. We don’t usually put a time line on any project because we won’t know until we get into it the severity of the problems we will find. Not if but when we find them.


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