Building this is pretty simple - its a basic bookcase with the trim pieces applied. It is constructed with finish nails and glue, plus a few screws to make sure it stays solid. The screws holding the bookcase in place are located under the "X" pieces.
I primed this with my paint sprayer (brushing would have been quite a bit of work). My DW is going to paint this - I am suggesting black, but she is still deciding. Here is a link to other painting she has done.
A good resource for this type of furniture is Ballard Designs.