Building Our Billy Built-Ins: Part Two

This is a follow-up to the first entry in this series, which Kerry reminded me we posted a year ago. So, as you can imagine, this project has been moving slowly. As with any project we do that we procrastinated on, we immediately thought, “Why did we wait this long?” But this one is not done: there will be a part three as well. Expect that in late winter of 2016, at the earliest.

built-in Billy bookcases, part one, via

When we last left our Billies (Billys? Billiams?) we had leveled them out and put some trim up the middle. In retrospect: big whoop! Right? That seems like the laziest project ever. Anyway, we had a lot left to do. We wanted to add trim around the edges so they looked built in and to fill that gap between them and the wall, and then also add some moulding to the top to make sure they looked a little fancier (and fit in with the kitchen cabinets).

First step of part two was putting the trim on the bottom. There was a problem here: the baseboards on the wall already had quarter-round. To make it a proper turn, you’d want to angle that with a miter saw. But since it was already installed, that would involve ripping out what was there. I didn’t really feel like doing that. So what I did was take another piece of trim with quarter round on it, and then cut a quarter circle out of the bottom to hug the existing quarter round. It’s not the most elegant solution, but with some caulk it should look pretty good (just promise not to stare at it if you come over, deal?).

Billy built-in pantry | Burritos and BubblyBilly built-in pantry | Burritos and Bubbly

Next we wanted to install some trim on the side edges. This was pretty easy. We used a 1×4 board that went pretty well with the baseboard trim. I glued and nailed this to the Billy, so you don’t see the gap between the Billy and the wall.
Billy built-in pantry | Burritos and Bubbly

This piece of 1×4 created a somewhat unique problem at the top, which I don’t want to explain too much because it’s super boring, but we had to install a 3/4″ x 3/4″  piece all around the top to fill the gap. This also involved some miter cuts at the edges, which I’m not going lie: I was pretty thrilled when I nailed it all on the first cut.Billy built-in pantry | Burritos and BubblyBilly built-in pantry | Burritos and Bubbly

The final “piece of resistance” was some fancier moulding at the top, which was nailed in to the edge piece I had just installed. We wanted to add something like this to the top because the cabinets in our kitchen have a trim similar to this, and we want this pantry to look like an extension of our kitchen. This also matches, to a degree, the moulding we put down the center of the Billies in our last update.Billy built-in pantry | Burritos and Bubbly Billy built-in pantry | Burritos and Bubbly

I want to point out that in attaching this moulding, we used the brad nailer to nail the bottom into the Billy. Where I mitered the corners (which, again, by the way, I was super impressed that I nailed the lengths first time!), I also tried to nail those pieces together. Warning! Warning! This can be dangerous. When I was using the nail gun on the one corner, I was a millimeter away from an emergency room trip. I had my hand holding the moulding, pulled the trigger, and felt a nail slide by finger. I missed my finger by, again, a millimeter. In fact, when I looked at my finger, there was a dent where the nail had brushed it. That was terrifying. I was shaking for a good 5 minutes after that.Billy built-in pantry | Burritos and BubblyBilly built-in pantry | Burritos and BubblyWe are thrilled with how far we got on this project this past weekend. We are not done yet. We still are going to paint the trim and also the Billies. We’ll also caulk all the edges to make it smooth and look sharp. But getting all the trim on was a huge step, and surprisingly easy! The miter cuts were the hardest part, but somehow I got real lucky and only had to make each cut once. Can you believe that? I swear it’s true.

— Andy 

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