Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Custom Shelving

First things first, happy 100th post today! It is hard to believe I have written 100 posts since last May when this blog started... where do I find the time? And where do I find the energy to do all these projects? We may never know. On with today's post...

This weekend T.J. and I built some custom shelves for our bedroom. This project was fun and challenging, and a great teaching moment. T.J. and I worked together - it was my brainchild/design, while he has the power tool know-how to get the job done. I think we both ended up learning a little something from each other. And most importantly, I helped complete every single step myself! It is a totally lady-friendly project (as nearly all diy projects can be).

First, we went to Menards and purchased two 10 inch by 1 inch by 10 foot boards. We used a jigsaw to cut them to size. I wanted one shelf to go over the bi-fold door closet, and the other to go over my walk-in closet and bathroom door in the master bedroom. So, I measured each area and allowed for 6 inches of overhang on each side. They ended up needing to be 77 inches and 80.5 inches long. We used a speed square to make precise cutting lines and always clamped down the board. We also cut a little off each outside corner to add some visual interest.

Next, we drew out how we wanted the brackets to look. T.J. wanted something a little sleeker, but I talked him into this more romantic shape. We cut out 4 brackets with the jigsaw. Then I got to work sanding them while T.J. fired up the router.

We chose to do a double rounded edge with the router, and it was pretty exciting to watch happen. I tried my hand at it a little bit, but T.J. did most of this part. We routed the long boards for the top of the shelves as well as each bracket.

Finally, we used the router to make keyhole notches in the back of each bracket so they could be attached to the wall. This was pretty exciting as well and took some practice. T.J. had never done a keyhole notch before so while we were at Menards to get our wood, we also got a keyhole bit for $10. If you are trying a keyhole bit for the first time, make sure you line it up with something and stay very very steady. Also, make sure you have the bit positioned deep enough in the wood - and definitely practice a few times first.

We couldn't resist hanging up one of them for a dry run before I painted them...

The black I used to paint the shelves is Rustoleum Painters Touch black and is the same black I used on my bedroom vanity and chair. I have been really impressed with how well the paint has held up. The best furniture paint I have used so far. It is like a tough shell on those pieces of furniture. I first slapped on a quick coat of white primer so that the wood wouldn't soak up my black paint too much. The primer I used is called Zinsser Fast Prime 2 and is the same primer I used for painting my interior doors white earlier this fall. It is the kind you can put on without sanding first... which is definitely a bonus! Then I rolled on 3 coats of black on each side with a small foam roller.

After letting the wood dry overnight, the shelves were ready to hang! T.J. put the screws in the wall where there are studs, and added extra screws in the wall at the middle of each board (using the keyhole cutouts in the wood). Now all that is left to do is style them!

Total Project Cost: $30 - (2 $10 boards, 1 $10 router bit, - already owned the black paint). I think that is pretty darn cheap for two custom made shelves!

Pictures of the other black paint project I recently completed tomorrow!

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