Bower Power · Jan 27, 2015

Chunk of Floating Shelf

Oh boy, I am so excited to get on these building projects. So it’s a goal of mine to share more building stuff…mostly because I need more useful stuff built for my house….but also because I LOVE when a finished piece really helps a space be more functional or useful or just plain pretty. It’s like witnessing a miracle. Like when Jeremy built that awesome console table and my life was changed?! Yeah. And don’t forget our beloved toy cubbies….my brain is still recovering from how it exploded from those. Hopefully 2015 will be the year of building…small and large!

So here are the how-to for our chunky floating shelves in our kitchen. I was gonna name this post “chunky floating brown logs”….you can thank me later for not

As you saw in our kitchen desk area reveal post, we turned this desk into a coffee/tea bar. It is a lovely little drink station and I am so happy that I get to enjoy it every day. So the first thing I did was mark where I wanted the shelves. I didn’t want them too low or too close together and I definitely needed space for my Keurig to open under the first shelf so that is sort of my jumping off point. I also had to make sure that the upper shelf was close enough to the old outlet plate so that the picture frames or whatever I put in front of it would block it from view. I also planned to make it have a little breathing room on each side. I left 4 1/2″ on either side and then measured for my overall width (36″). The finished size of these shelves I made are 36″ x 10″ x 5 1/2″.

I used regular old 2×4’s for the inside braces and the outside was plain ole pine. These are very similar to our old chunky bathroom shelves…but these have mitered cuts on the front and on the sides because they are visible…and these were loads easier because we brad nailed them….so keep that in mind if you want to attempt those bathroom versions.

Here is the cut list. The mitered boards are measured at the longest point so miter in.

After everything was cut, I assembled the inside braces. It’s a good idea to do a nail test on your wall to see where the studs are. Mark that on your long 2×4 so that you can be sure to attach the arms somewhere else. You want to access that studly area when it comes time to attach to the wall. Otherwise the sturdy police (aka Jeremy Bower) will be very disappointed that these shelves can’t support a small SUV.

Then we attached these to the wall. We used decking screws to go right into the studs.

Then came staining time! I wanted the shelves to match our kitchen table so I used Minwax’s Dark Walnut. Here’s the products I used….

Sooo….my mom had a painter come stain her wood in her house….she has a ton of it….and he didn’t wipe off the excess. Later on, she went back and said that it was WAY too dark and that she didn’t think it was done right. That painter went through with mineral spirits and wiped everything down, restained correctly and then polyed on top. That’s such a ton of work and I was so impressed that the guy did that. He made it right. If mom hadn’t asked, it would still be REALLY dark – almost black – and over time, the excess stain would have made it sticky. That’s why it’s really important to wipe.

You can see above the third board from the left is stained….and below it is wiped. It shows way more details and character of the wood.

After everything was dry, it was time to put these bad boys together.

First the top goes on.

Brad nail that in place.

Then the bottom. Make sure you use wood glue and then tack it into place. Then do the front and sides. You just nail directly into the arms of the 2×4’s. It’s really that simple.

Afterward, I had to touch up any unstained bits, tape off the walls and apply the polycrylic. I did two coats of poly and used 400 grit sandpaper in between the two coats for an extra smooth finish. Afterwards, it just needed some styling and ta-da!

Some people where asking in the last post where I kept stuff…and what I was gonna do with that little area under the desk. I don’t know yet. I just haven’t decided. There are a ton of suggestions though….great ideas to mull over. For now, here is what the functions are for each little thing on the shelves….

Fun right?! Now go build a bunch of shelves. I promise it will change your life in a rainbows and unicorns kinda way!

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