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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Building Our Own Floating Shelves! It's Easy!

When we got back from Alaska, I was itchin' to get my hands in a project.  So we considered a couple of painting project, but realized that both of us would have a full 3 days to work on things together thanks to the Labor Day weekend. 

So we decided to tackle a project that I have had on my radar for a while.

The bathroom tub nook.
I love the tub and the storage that we built out behind it with beadboard. But the space above was feeling a bit empty.

The plan?  Build three floating shelves wall to wall.

Guys.  These are SO easy! You can do this! You barely even have to have any power tools! And Bam! You got your selves some built in shelves!

Let me show you how its done.  Or I guess, Michael will show you, I will tell you. 

The shelving DNA:
We went with select pine wood to make up the shelf and the face pieces.  It's a good choice for wood that we were just planning on painting.  But since we didn't have to worry about the cleats of the shelf being pretty, we went with the less expensive whitewood. 

Michael measured and marked all the boards according to the wall measurement. 

After Michael cut all the pieces to size.  I sanded them down.  I got really good at that job about a year ago when we were putting up the trim in the whole house.  Really all I needed to do was make sure the boards were smooth and then knock off the corners. 
See how the board on the left has sharp edges and the board on the right has more rounded edges?  I did that.
I just work the power sander down each edge- actually just the edges that will be exposed, you don't need to do that to the edges that will be against a wall or another piece of wood. 

Once everything was sanded, it was time to space everything out on the wall.  We measured the distance from the top of the chair rail to the ceiling - spacing them out evenly.   Note: We did allow for a little bit extra space for the top because Michael had to be able to fit his drill up there to secure the shelf to the cleat.  You'll see what I mean in a minute. 
Find you studs, level, and screw the cleat into the wall. 
The side cleats were not long enough to reach another stud so we used several nails to secure those.  Should we have used drywall anchors and screws?  Probably.  But we felt pretty confident that the nails secured it well enough. I trust my engineer! ;-)
For every nail, we also had to use a nail set to drive the nail head back deeper into the wood so that later we could fill those holes with wood filler and make them disappear forever.  - A very important step!

Once the cleats are secured to the wall, you can add the shelf on top.  We screwed the shelf to the cleats.  This is where Michael's forethought saved us from a BIG headache! Remember when I told you to make sure that you leave enough space to get your drill in there?  Phew! Plenty of space!

Then we hammered the face plates on to give the shelves more substancialness.  Fact.  Substancialness is a word.  Look it up.  Actually, maybe don't look it up. 

Then all you gotta do is fill the holes, sand, caulk, prime and paint! And don't forget to look fabulous while you are doing it! Exhibit A:

For more details on how we paint our trim and get a finish we can be proud of, check out this post I wrote last year that explains it all.

So without further ado, shelves!! 

So what do you think?  All it took was $92 and two days (including the priming and painting).  Do you think you could do it?  I KNOW you can!
Also, we finally decided on a new paint color for our bathroom.  It's called Quiet Moments from Benjamin Moore (I believe the picture above is the best color representation of what it looks like in real life).  And its oh-so-wonderful! The color we had before was called Refreshing Teal.  It was fine but it was not what I was going for.  I wanted a soft seafoam green, and it was definitely more on the teal side - who would have guessed - refreshing teal?
So after going through many possibilities the last week, and living with no bathroom mirrors for that week, we finally found our color. I would describe it as a bluish green with a decent amount of grey.  I think it helps to bring our bathroom up to a more sophisticated level over the teal, that just felt a little bit too playful.  I mean, not that I'm not a playful person... maybe just not so much in my bathroom ;-)

So that's where we are at in the bathroom!  And I realize now that I never actually did a complete before and after post of the bathroom renovation, including before, during and after photos.  So consider this is my official IOU slip for that! 
Don't miss a beat.  
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