I found an old corner shelf unit on the side of the road one day and picked it up. This was a prefabricated unit that you would purchase from a large chain store, particle board with printed paper and plastic edging. The only real solid wood was the post. I dismantled it and trashed all but one shelf (I kept it as a template). I sanded the post down to bare wood, no easy task, then I took some 3/4 select oak veneer furniture grade plywood and made new shelves. The original was only 18 x 18, I made the new one 24 x 24. I then custom made the solid oak trim for the edges. I assembled it and used golden oak stain. The post came out darker, which was not my intention. After staining, I sprayed it with clear coat. I did five layers of coat sanding each layer after letting them dry over night except for the last coat. The final result was amazing.
I have some scrap pieces of solid surface material and plan on building another shelf unit that will look different because of the different colors I have. When I have pictures of that, I will submit them.
-Jaime Anthony Ballestero