You saw the original orange Den, then the updated new wall color and nook last week. And since we accidentally brought home a new TV, we had to find a new (and sturdy) location for all the components. You clever kids guessed right after seeing the inspiration on Friday....we made Distressed Floating Shelves!
We happened to be out-of-town when the contractor was working on enclosing this pass-thru between the Den and Living Room (last Fall during this project). And while we were thrilled with the new look (see Before & Afters here), we knew those flimsy shelves and brackets would have to go.
I love the idea, and look, of recycling and reclaiming old wood, but we live in the suburbs, people. There are no 80-year-old barns around for me to pick over. So I had to take matters in to my own hands, and make some pretend old wood TWSS.
The supplies are simple....the thickest board available at Home Depot (these are almost 2-inches), half-inch square dowels, stain and
After sanding the edges so they looked worn down, we went to work abusing the wood. TWSS (Nope, it never gets old.) We made divots with the back of the hammer, clusters of dents with the hammer, and chiseled out ridges.
We draped the chain over the edge and hammered away, too. (Whipping it with the chain, while fun, didn't really do anything.)
Then we applied a few coats of MinWax in Dark Walnut until it was the shade we wanted (wiping off the excess between coats). The stain really brings out the distressing.
My favorite marks are the ridges we got from hammering a long screw. (Oh geez, not touching that one.)
The wood went from perfect and pristine, to battered and distressed in under an hour. I'll probably seal them with wax or a poly, too....I'll let you know if I do.
Next up, hanging the shelves. I wanted clean lines (no brackets), but needed to hold the weight of the shelves and TV components. We used half-inch dowels as the base for the shelves to rest, and 60-pound drywall anchors to hold them in place. I'm sure 60-pound was overkill, but I'm not taking any chances!
After you measure, level, and measure again for your shelf placement, hold the dowel just below where you want the shelf to hang. Using a smaller bit than the screws, drill holes through the dowel and into the wall.
Insert the drywall anchors in the holes.
Then place the dowel back over the holes and screw in place. Make sure the screws are long enough to go through the dowel and to the base of the drywall anchor (the ones that came with the anchors weren't long enough for our project).
Here we are with the dowels in place and the previous bracket holes puttied.
To get the look of floating shelves, I painted the dowels the same as the wall color to help them disappear.
Once everything was dry, we just set the newly distressed and stained shelves on top of the dowels. The camera catches everything, but in real life, you barely notice the dowels. The shelves look like they are anchored directly to the wall.
We keep them pulled forward a bit so the shelf has more depth, and room to accommodate the cords of the TV components
If chin-ups happened around here, I could do them on these shelves. They're that sturdy. And since the wood is so thick, no middle brace is needed. See all that distressed goodness?!
And while they aren't technically floating shelves, it's definitely a lot cleaner than big brackets mucking up the clean lines.
Now we get to figure out how to get the cords from the components to the TV. But we're one step closer than we were! We plan to mount the TV on the wall, too, so the rigged-up ladder base isn't a permanent resident.
So that's the
I'm currently scouring the countryside for a chunky, distressed desk top. That