pinned did that! I finally got on it and completed a project I pinned on Pinterest. Sure, I’ve cooked from Pinterest before (actually, I have a recipe I made yesterday I need to blog), but this is big (sort of). It involved tools, and wood, and nails. This was my inspiration pin:
I thought it was someone’s DIY, but when I clicked through I discovered the site where this photo originated was selling 3 of these 4 foot picture ledges for $225! No comment. I am sure it is some fine craftsmanship.
Anyway, I figured I could probably take this on myself. I figured out where I’d want them and how long I would need for that space. I decided on my dining room, I’ve been collecting some fun prints for a gallery wall but couldn’t seem to bring them together in a way I really liked. These would fill the large blank wall better and allow me to bring in a few other non-hanging items. I decided on 2 four foot ledges and 1 two foot ledge.
I did a bit of googling, but I mostly I winged it. I went to Home Depot and found the straightest but cheapest 1×4 boards I could find, they were “common wood,” the salesman who cut them for me said they were likely pine or fir. For the front piece I chose 1×2 “furring strips.” I had them cut (for free!) by the nice gentleman at Home Depot.
First thing I did was to glue and clamp my ledges together. It took a little coaxing at times. BTW, I used a wood glue that was stainable, so if it seeped out of the crevices it wouldn’t be a problem later.
Once they were all lined up neatly and clamped, I let them dry for a short time, maybe 30 minutes, before I drilled and screwed the back pieces on.
After pre-drilling each hole (about 9-12 inches between each), I went back with a counter-sink bit to make sure each screw would sit flush with the wood.
After securing the back side with screws, I flipped the ledge over to attack the front. I went with finish nails, so they’d be nice and easy to hide later for a seamless look. A nail set allowed me to set the nails deep so there would be a good putty-able hole.
Once assembly was complete, I sanded them and wiped them down really well with a damp cloth to remove the dust.
The putty packaging told me I should putty after staining (it was dark putty, to match my stain), but the one ledge I puttied pre-stain (before reading any instructions) actually turned out better in my opinion. So this is the point at which I would recommend putty, right before paint or stain.
I used a foam brush for staining, which I would NOT recommend. I didn’t want to change methods in the middle of the project and end up inconsistent, though, so I made it work. After about 30 minutes of allowing the stain to sit, I wiped off the excess with a rag. Then I allowed them to sit undisturbed for a full day, and it was really hard. I really wanted to hang them right away. After the stain had fully dried, I sealed them with two coats of a spray acrylic and allowed them to dry another 6-8 hours.
While they dried I contemplated how I would style my shelves. I laid everything out on the floor with boards as stand in ledges. This also helped me to figure out how much space I wanted between each ledge.
Back to the ledges. I did have some trouble with the so called “stainable” glue. I hadn’t sanded all the glue off of one of the ledges and this is how it ended up.
Being that I was going for a pretty rustic look and the fact that two of the rails were hung above eye level, it wasn’t enough of an issue for me to sand and re-stain, so I let it be and hung that one at the top. Lesson learned, however, don’t spend extra money on stainable glue, instead spend extra time making sure you sand all the glue off.
To hang I just figured out where I wanted my ledges, located my wall studs, leveled them and predrilled right through the back of the shelf into the stud and set a screw in it. They were hidden by the stuff on the shelves anyway. Just one minor setback, one screw ended up in a knot in the wood and there was a tiny split, but it was easy to hide.
I’m so so thrilled with how they turned out.
It is a much better scale for this large wall.
A couple credits on the art:
The mason jar print was a Christmas gift from my little sister, purchased from Esty shop Ex Libris Journals and the Kitchen Aid mixer print is from Oh, Dear Molly. I honestly can’t remember where the silverware print is from. The heart art in the bottom corner I made using Piknik.
You can click here for the free printable.
Oh, almost forgot. Total cost of my 3 ledges: less than $17. We already owned the putty and the stain, but less than $17 bought stainable wood glue and all the necessary wood.