I built this shelf for my office, I want to make it look as seamless as possible. I work with kids, only lightweight toys will go on this shelf. I was hoping some type of cover existed I could put over it. It needs one more coat of paint so I was originally thinking of just taping the middle parts together since I’m installing a bracket anyway. I included a picture, it’s on every shelf, but easiest to see on the bottom. Does anyone have more official/sage options? Thank you. enter image description here

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Unfortunately, any answer to this question will be a matter of opinion. And, thanks for taking our tour before posting; few newbies do. – Daniel Griscom Nov 14 '20 at 18:29
  • @DanielGriscom the OP asked "how", not what's best. I think we can provide several "hows" and let the OP decide what he wants to do... – FreeMan Nov 16 '20 at 15:59

Option 1:

  • Disassemble the left portion of the shelf.
  • Cut all shelves to the same length as the shortest shelf.
    • It seems that you'll need to make a notch at the back edge of the shelf to wrap around the vertical support for the right side shelves.
    • It appears that the largest gap may actually be at the bottom - use this gap to shorten the rest of the shelves.
    • If necessary, cut the left-side back to match this length.
  • Reassemble, ensuring that the shelves on the left match up with the appropriate shelf-face on the right.

Option 2:

  • Move all the shelves on the right up or down a hole or two so they don't line up with the shelves on the left, thus hiding the fact that they don't meet up.
  • Arrange your storage so that this mismatched height becomes "necessary" due to the mismatched height of things stored.

Option 3:

  • Buy wider shelves for the right side so they butt up against the shelves from the left.
    • Material may not be available in stock form at your local supplier in the 1/4" - 1/2" wider width you need, you may have to buy something 1" or more wider, then rip the back edge down to get the exact width you need.
    • Ripping the back leaves the white melamine covering on the front untouched so it still looks nice, and it helps hide any slight wobble in your rip cut of a long board.


None of these cutting options require a table saw. (The rip cut suggested in option 3 would be easier on a table saw, but it's not required.) As a matter of fact, a table saw is the exact wrong tool to make a crosscut on a long piece of wood like a shelf.

You would want to use a circular saw, jig saw (prepare for a shoddy looking, uneven cut) or even "just" a hand saw for these cross cuts. You could do the rip cut with a hand saw, too (been done that way for centuries before they invented electricity...) if you wanted to.


Shelf paper comes in a variety of textures , thicknesses, and patterns. Bring the shelf paper just to the front edge of each shelf. Do not wrap the product around the curved face. Then all you will see is the short vertical gap at each inside corner. For the bigger gap on the bottom shelf, just add a layer or two of wide tape before laying down the shlf paper. For all shelves, make sure each seam is not over the gap, but on the other way around.

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