Floating Shelves in the Kitchen

Floating Shelves in the Kitchen

At some point in the not-so-distant past we told you that’d we’d have today’s post ready for you by last Wednesday. Well, we are a little late, but we are finally going to show you how we built the floating shelves in our kitchen.

I’ll start off by saying that we pretty much just completely stole this idea from a Young House Love post on how to build shelves. I mean, literally, we followed Ana’s (from Ana-white.com) instructions exactly, so if you want a detailed step-by-step on how to build these, I would recommend reading that post. It’s relatively easy, but I’ll just point out a few things we did to make it a little easier.

Step 1 is cutting all your wood to size.

I actually did a little trick here I saw on HGTV to make sure all my cuts were consistent. I put a large piece of wood down on my saw, and then screwed in what I’d call a “stopper” piece. The edge of that piece was at the correct number of inches away from the blade. That way, when I needed twelve of the same size pieces of wood, I didn’t have to measure each one. All I did was throw the next piece of wood on, make sure it was flush up against the stopper, and BUZZZ! Every piece was the same. Consistency!

After all the wood was cut, we had our outer frame…

… and/or inner frame. I used our nail gun that we picked up from Sears for this. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite tools. After using it to secure the inner parts of the frame, we also used it to put the plywood tops on the top and bottom of the outer frame, which then became the sleeve.

As you can see from this picture, at this point, things were pretty rough. These things needed a LOT of sanding, which Kerry took care of. We’re getting into this pretty solid system where I sort of just build things without any sort of finishing touch, and Kerry makes them pretty. So from this point, Kerry sanded, painted, sanded, painted, sanded, painted … on repeat until they were finally sleek and smooth.

Next came leveling and drilling in the shelves. This turned out to be a massive issue for us. We could not find a stud for the life of us, so what we ended up doing was putting in 6 dry wall anchors in each shelf. These things are firmly mounted in the wall, even without studs. (Note to self: buy a stud finder that’s not 15 years old, at least).

It took a little bit of standing on the counters, and a lot of dust, but when we got the third one in, it was one of those, “Holy crap we built these ourselves?!” moments. Can you buy floating shelves? Sure. Can you always find them to fit the exact space you need? No. That was our main dilemma. IKEA has some shelves that were exactly what we wanted but they didn’t fit into this area we had. So we had to build them ourselves. One of the best parts is this was pretty cheap. The wood for the frames was $21. We already had the plywood (for the top and bottom of the shelves) left over from the bathroom panelling. And now we have custom floating shelves that we built.

Next we’ll show you how we made our old kitchen island match our new kitchen cabinets, and how Kerry made the curtains.

— Andy

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