Saturday, June 16, 2012

How do you do that?!

Well, hello strangers!

I haven't posted in a while and for that, I'm sorry. I promise I'll try harder at this thing!!!

Daniel got a new job! He actually got it about a month ago and it's been GREAT so far. We've already been on a company outing to the Rangers game and it's been SO nice having him home on the weekends. Since we only have 1 car (still), his normal hours make it easier in the mornings/afternoons when it's time to go and leave from work. He's so much happier where he's at and I couldn't be more proud of him!

I also got to finish another project!!! YAY! This one wasn't on the list but it's been on my mind for a while. I wanted a shelf in the bathroom where I could store things, but it would also be functional... like a towel rack for instance. So, naturally, I built it. Imagine that. I get people asking me ALL the time "did you REALLY build that?!" or "how did you DO that?!" or "I don't think I could ever do that". Well, I'm here to tell you... YOU CAN!

In the past I always just posted the final product and moved on. Today, I want to post a little tutorial on how I did this project.

Here was my list of materials:
1- 1x8x4
1- 1x10x4
Shelf Brackets (I found mine in the millwork/moulding section)
Robe/Towel Hooks
1 1/4 Finishing Nails
Nail punch/setter
Wood Glue (not seen in photo)
Finishing supplies
Straight Edge/Ruler
Sanding tools (either a sanding block or a power sander)

Saw (doesn't matter what kind... a power saw would make it easiest but you could use a hand saw if you wanted)

You can't see the wood in this photo because I forgot about it. As far as the length of the wood to buy, you need to measure your wall first and see what works.

1. Cut your wood to size.
This is pretty self explanatory. I had to buy 4' wood and cut it down to 3' to make it work on my wall. The reason I say the saw is optional is because Lowes and Home Depot will cut wood for you for free. If you plan on doing that, you need to make sure the length is EXACTLY what you want.

2. Assemble. Sorry, I didn't take a photo of the "during"... only once it was put together. Hopefully it makes sense!

I used the 1x8 as the back and the 1x10 as the top. I liked the extra overhang that it gave for up top decorating/storage. Try it out in the store before you bring it home if you're not sure.

Using wood glue, glue the 2 brackets to your 1x8. I lined them up with the sides of the board and then the top of the board. Make sure everything is in line and straight. Let this sit for a little bit... maybe about 30 minutes??? Glue the 1x8 and the 2 shelf brackets to the 1x10. I made this easier by flipping the shelf so the 1x10 was flat on my table. Again, let it sit for about 30 minutes.

side view

If you're going to stain this project, I DO NOT recommend applying glue around the edges. I read in several different places that wood glue is stainable if you sand it... well, I sanded and sanded and sanded and it didn't take the stain one bit. If you are a pro sander and know how to do it properly, go ahead... I'm not so mine didn't work when I stained it.

3. Nail.
Once the shelf is glued together, hammer in your finishing nails from the top of the 1x10 down into the shelf brackets and the back top of the 1x8. Again, I don't have a picture so I hope when you get your shelf together, you know what I'm talking about! You don't need a ton of nails since it's already pretty sturdy with the glue. I would say 2 in each bracket and maybe 4 or 5 along the back.

If you plan on painting this and want to fill these holes, use wood filler. I didn't since the holes are on the top where no one would see them but be my guest. If you plan on staining it, I would stay far away from the wood filler. Even the "stainable" kind isn't really stain friendly. They make colored wood putty that you can use or you can color your own.

4. Sand.
Take 120 grit sandpaper and sand the whole thing until smooth. Make sure you wear protection so you don't get it in your eyes. Dust it off, vacuum the creases, and wipe down with a damp cloth. Make sure there is NO sand/debris left.

5. Finish.
There are several ways you can do this so bear with me.

You can paint or stain this. Prime or use wood conditioner as needed. I spray painted this so it would be easier to get through those scrolls... it's a personal preference. Make sure to sand between coats and remove all dust/debris before moving on. Finish with polycrylic or polyurethane.

6. Attach your hooks and hang on the wall.
The screws that came with our hooks were longer than our board, so they poked through the back. We decided to just drill straight through the board into a stud in the wall to hang it, and then did the same with the hooks. It's not going anywhere. This was easiest for us. If you're renting, I don't recommend it since it will make several holes in your wall. They make mounting kits that you can use if you don't want to drill directly into the wall.

Take a step back and enjoy your finished product!!!

My very first tutorial! If you have questions, please do let me know :)

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