Washing it White
Ali Raisman. A dream budget. The Leaning Tower of Pisa. A good boob job. What do these have in common? Balance.
And balance is exactly what we wanted to add to our kitchen. One of the biggest (and smallest) things we talked about doing in our kitchen was adding shelves on the other side of the window to balance out the cabinet. This has been the plan since day one because we didn’t want to add another cabinet on that side and fully obstruct our windows. There was no other solution in our minds. I guess a large piece of artwork would have worked…but I love open shelving and since the existing cabinet next to the window has glass panel doors, I figured this would mimic that same feel.
As you recall, the previous tile only came up so high…
I liked the idea of having our beautiful tile in the background, so I planned for our tile to go high.
During the great shelving debate of 2012, I was convinced that I didn’t need three shelves…that two would balance things out just fine. Also, I concluded that floating shelves would not be the way to go in our kitchen…that corbels would be my kitchen’s BFF. Sometimes it helps to hear advice and sometimes it doesn’t…in this case, it totally helped to hear it all discussed up down and sideways.
So today’s post is not about us drilling into the tile (and almost passing out from the stress!) or hanging the shelves with Jeremy’s weight limit requirements met…this is about how we prepped the shelves.
First of all, we bought four corbels from a local company called Osborne Wood Products. I found this company during my hunt for wood corbels (we wanted something chunky and simple and our local Home Depot and Lowes didn’t have anything that fit the bill…so I went a hunting online). The best part is that they make the corbels from a ton of different types of wood – so they can be stained to match cabinets exactly…or be made from more paint-grade woods which cuts down on the cost. They don’t know me or give me anything for free….I just really am thrilled to be a customer after experiencing their great customer service. Oh and the best part?! I got matching corbels for our island that are the exact same profile – just bigger!
The shelf part was actually a scrap of wood that we cut off our old bathroom countertops. Making the shelf part FREE! Raise the roof for hoarders!
So now that you got the nitty gritty on why and what we were working with, here’s how we prepped them. I really wanted the shelf part to be a little different than a plain matte white…I loved the butcherblock and hated to cover it up completely. I decided in order to keep some of that wood grain, I could white wash the shelf till it was white enough to blend in but still slightly transparent so that I could see some of that lovely material underneath.
There are a million point three ways of white washing…there is probably a different method for each generation, each culture, each geographic location, each menstrual cycle, etc. This is a REALLY simple way to white wash. First you wanna gather your materials. I got our shelves out (Jeremy sanded them down till they were super smooth), and I needed a mixing bowl, a brush, water, paper towels and white paint.
Cute baby optional.
I used a 1 to 1 mix of paint to water. You wanna mix it REALLY well.
Then brush it on your wood (it’s gonna be really really soupy so be careful of drips). I let mine sit for a couple minutes. The wood is gonna suck it up like a toddler and fruit snacks. After your couple minutes of sucking is done, take your paper towels and wipe off any excess. This is what it looked like after one coat…
And here it is after two…
See how I can still tell that wood underneath is fabulous but it’s white?!
We painted the corbels plain white…so they are definitely more substantial. From far away you can barely tell that the shelves are white washed…
But up close, the texture lends itself to a really subtle and soft shelf. I love how it looks with the tile. It’s like they are cousins
And because I know I’m gonna get a thousand questions about them…the bowls are from TJMaxx. When The Tile Shop folks came to our house to photograph the kitchen, they took me shopping for styling props and I picked these out. They are my new loves. They are rubbing my feet and feeding me bon-bons as we speak.
I hopefully will be able to wrap up all our kitchen update posts this week. YAY! Just be prepared for an onslaught of kitchen posts. You be the monestery, my kitchen will be the Vikings….be prepared for a beat down. By the time we are done, you will be so sick of this space that you will wanna strangle me. Although…monks don’t do that.
p.s. Who else is obsessed with the History Channel lately?! We are so hooked on the Bible series and Vikings. yes. that’s contradictory. we get the irony.