It seems like forever since I took down the upper cabinets… maybe because it was! Shane and I decided to take them down in an effort to make this space appear larger by adding open shelving. That is why we also painted it a bright white. The kitchen is SUPER tiny. As in most people have closets bigger than our kitchen. It is the one room I wish I could add on to it but we will have to settle for making it FEEL bigger.
Shane was hesitant at first to take down the cabinets (if you recall from our He Said She Said video). Heck, even I was wondering if we would miss the cabinets. But now that it is all said and done, we are both SO GLAD we just went for it!
I bought the brackets for these shelves from IKEA (which I spray painted matte black) about 9 months ago and had a very specific look I was going for. When I realized that the opening was bigger than I thought and that regular boards were too thin to fit correctly inside of the brackets, I had to come up with a plan B. The space where the wood goes into the bracket is 1″ and even though boards say they are 1″ by whatever, they are really about 3/4 inches thick due to them being sanded down. I could have used stair treads since they are 1 inch thick but they are rounded and I really wanted a more rustic look. I headed to a local lumber yard that sells rough cut lumber and picked out some pine boards that would be thick enough as well as having the beautiful saw marks that you can see well below.
I have four shelves all together. There are two on each side of the window above my sink. I still have to go through all my cabinets and the pantry and figure out where everything will go, but I sure have had fun playing around with styling them!
This was my first time using a biscuit joiner and I have to say it was really easy and I am now HOOKED! I cut the boards to the legnth they needed to be and then cut 45 degree cuts to make an L shape. In order to connect them I needed to cut out grooves for the biscuits.
First I laid out the boards and drew a line across the seam where I wanted a biscuit to go. Every 6 inches or so is good.
There are three sizes of biscuits. I chose the largest (20) given the size of the project. I lined up the pencil mark to the line on the joiner and cut the wood (see arrow below).
Pull the trigger and get the blade up to full speed before pushing the blade into the wood.
If you are working with a large piece of wood it is best to clamp it to your work space.
In case you are not aware of what a biscuit is, it looks like this. It is compressed and once it gets wet from the wood glue it expands and makes a tight joint.
Once the shelves were all glued and had dried, I stained them using Provincial from Minwax. If you are a long time reader you are probably thinking “What? You didn’t use Dark Walnut?” Yes, I have been a long time lover of walnut but have been branching out lately. Plus I didn’t want the shelves too dark since I wanted to see the saw marks and other imperfections. Provincial and Early American are my go to stains for a medium brown.
Make sure to use the wood conditioner before staining. It makes a big difference! It will make it so the wood accepts the stain more evenly and it isn’t splotchy. I talk more about that in my entry table post.
After I stained, I sealed them so they would be easy to wipe down. As far as the installation goes, I knew the brackets on the end would not be enough especially at the corner. I have used the type of floating shelf bracket like this before (see below) and wanted to do something similar to help distribute the weight. I couldn’t use these exact ones because they were too big so I opted to use really big, really long screws. I drew a line where the shelf would go and then screwed several screws along each line making sure there were some close to the corner. In our case, these walls are all exterior walls so they are pure brick and concrete. But if they had been regular walls I would have screwed into the studs.
Normally I would just drill a hole into the shelf that was the same diameter as the bracket/rod and then slide the shelf on, but because I was pushing the shelf into the corner I had to notch out a larger section. However far out your rod bracket (or screw) sticks out from the wall is how long and deep your notch has to be.
(Source: Natural Accents)
The stack of plates alone weighs quite a bit and the shelves have held up really well.
I am quite sure it will wear off, but I have been more accepting of having to do dishes because I can stare at my cute shelves :)
Would you ever do open shelves? Do you already have them? I am curious how people like them after living with them for a long time. Leave your thoughts below!
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