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Home Guides Home Home Improvement Troubleshoot, Fix and Repair How to Turn a Bookcase Into a Shoe Rack Without a storage solution, shoes can become clutter.

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Repurposing an old but sturdy bookcase as a shoe rack solves two problems: It tidies up shoes jumbled on the closet floor and gives new life to a piece of furniture that might otherwise be discarded. Imelda Marcos, once first lady of the Philippines, used library style bookcases to store her collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes in the basement of her former palace home. However, one bookcase to shoe rack transformation is probably enough for most do it yourselfers. Anchoring the bookcase to a wall is a good choice to prevent toppling accidents.

1Select two complementary paint colors one for the interior and one for the exterior of the bookcase that will work well in contrast to the closet walls or room where the bookcase will stand. Try a dramatic combination, such as a light exterior color with a dark interior.

2Use the hand sander and fine grit sandpaper to smooth any chipped paint on the bookcase. Lightly sand all the surfaces to help the new paint adhere more easily. Remove sanding dust with a vacuum cleaner, then wipe the bookcase with a lint free cloth.

3Prepare to paint the interior walls and shelves with the darker color. Apply painter’s tape to the outside front edges of the bookcase where these edges and shelf lips meet the edges of the interior wall and shelves.

4Use the 3 inch brush to paint two coats on the interior walls, allowing the first coat to dry before beginning the second. Remove the tape when the paint is completely dry. Clean the brush in water.

5Apply tape to the interior wall and shelf edges next to the front of the bookcase, but about 1/8 inch away from the edges to allow for complete coverage of any paint or stain from the bookcase’s previous finish.

6Apply the exterior paint to the top and sides of the bookcase using the 3 inch brush. Use the trim brush to paint the front edges. Let the first coat dry, then do a second coat.

7Avoid injuries from bookcases falling. Mount the bookcase to the wall against which it will rest. For a bookcase 4 feet wide or more, connect it to at least two wall studs. Remember that the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends anchoring in three studs if you live in earthquake country. Studs are normally 16 inches apart. Read the tip section below about how to locate them.

8Draw a tiny spot on the wall straight up from the left most stud and above the top of the bookcase. Line up the bookcase with the spot in such a way that you can connect it to at least two studs. Place the bookcase a few inches to the left of this spot. Make sure the bookcase leans slightly backward against the wall. Put shims under its front corners to angle it backwards if necessary.

9Mark the first drilling point in the back of the bookcase’s first shelf. Line it up with the spot on the wall. Measure 16 inches to the right of the drilling point and mark a second anchor location. Drill anchor screws through the marks, making sure you feel the resistance of each stud. Determine whether to add anchor anchor screws in lower shelves, as recommended by FEMA, if you live in an earthquake area.

10Apply wood putty over the screws. Sand it when dry, then paint to conceal the screws. Arrange your shoes artfully, and enjoy your new organization.

Things You Will Need Bookcase,
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old but sturdy Sandpaper Sanding block Latex semigloss wall paint, two colors, 1 quart each color Utility paintbrush, 3 inch wide bristles Trim paintbrush Painter’s tape, 2 inch blue type Measuring tape Fine tip marker Wood shims, 8 inch, tapered Hammer Finish nail, 10d size Power drill 2 to 9 drywall screws, 3.5 inches long Putty

Tip Writing in The Washington Post, home improvement expert Tim Carter suggests looking for electrical outlets and air registers as clues to wall stud locations. Outlets are normally nailed to wall studs, and air registers are placed between studs. Hammer tiny holes with a 10d finish nail to feel for wood on either side of an outlet. Make enough holes to find the center of the stud, which is about 1.5 inches wide. Carter notes that studs are usually placed 16 inches on center, which means they are 16 inches apart from the middle of the first stud to the middle of the next one.

References (4) New York Times: Saving a Notorious Shoe Collection in the PhilippinesLucky: Showcase Your Favorite PairsWashington Post: How to Find Studs Hidden Inside WallsFederal Emergency Management Agency: Tall Bookcases and File Cabinets

Resources (1) Apartment Therapy: Look! Built in Shoe Storage (Or Is It?)

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timberland store locator uk How to Turn a Bookcase Into a Shoe Rack