DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post brought to you by 3MDIY.com. All opinions are my own.
I’m calling these shelves full-bodied…because frankly, calling anything chunky can be offensive. #thingsIlearnedfromtheinternet
On a more serious note, is it Christmas right now?!
Because somebody has new shelves over their potty and I am fairly certain that kinda thing is saved for the nice list on Jesus’ birthday. I know you are salivating to see them…so here’s what the before looked like…
and now the fun afters…
Sorry about the crazy bad photos…this room is exposed to no natural light and the only two lights in here shoot down…so it’s shadow city (which is a good thing if you are not into seeing your lumber…a bad thing if you can’t see mine…if you know what I mean).
So here’s how I did it (and girls…this one is easy. Even if you are a newbie to DIY, I promise that you can do it. You will need an extra pair of hands at certain points to hold things…but seriously…easy.)
First, I measured the width of the space above the toilet. I wanted these shelves to appear to run from one side to another (even though the sides are not weight bearing, they needed to go from side to side)
Then I got ready to cut my boards. I had bought a couple of studs, a couple 1×6’s and a couple 1×10’s. For the most part I followed the idea of the chunky shelves that Desert Domicile had done a while back. They used furring strips…I used studs. They attached the sides…I did not. There were some other modifications that I did…but the idea was still the same…build a base unit and then attach the pretty parts to it 🙂
I marked my boards with the right length…(excuse the sawdust…the workroom is on the list of MUST-DO’s)
Always double check your measurements (on the wall and on the board)…
And then make sure you break out the safety equipment. (special thanks from me and LJ to 3M for providing all the 3M™ Safety Products for this project!) For cutting, I like to use safety glasses and a mask (like I said…we have a bit of a sawdust issue) and I also make sure to have a bit of sandpaper on hand because after I cut, I immediately smooth away the bits that could stab me in the hand. Even carrying a board with sharp edges makes me all nervous.
Make sure you do a fake pose with your miter saw…
And then do your cuts.
Mine were the following:
(2) 2 x 4 x 31″
(8) 2 x 4 x 7.5″
(4) 1 x 10 x 31″
(2) 1 x 6 x 31″
When I cut the 10″ wide boards, I have to do two cuts because my saw isn’t big enough. I know Jer has always wanted a bigger one…I should have saved up for that this year. #mentalnote
After the boards were cut, I double checked everything to make sure it would fit properly.
Then I got to sanding. I kinda hate sanding but it makes such a huge difference. I sanded all the flat bits that would be exposed and the corners too. (I used the 3M Sandblaster 120 first and then the regular 22o sandpaper).
After all the boards were smooth, cleaned and ready for staining, I broke out the wood conditioner. I never had used this stuff before (and after reading the label, I saw that it was a no-no for pregnancy so I recruited Jeremy for this step)….
I was still wearing a respirator to quickly step in for a photo…just for you worry-warts. Basically this step is for prepping your wood. It’s the foreplay if you will. And trust me when I say…it’s worth it. You do a couple coats and wait 15 minutes for it to dry before you stain.
side note…I did this project inside and up on the kitchen counters. I loved it. It was so nice not to be hunched over this pregnant belly and be able to reach everything so easily. I just draped the countertop with a drop cloth and after I was done, just folded it back up to go in storage. It was perfect.
After the conditioning treatment happened, I broke out my favorite stain…Minwax Dark Walnut.
It’s super important to do thin coats and go with the grain. And pregnant girls…wear a respirator and open those doors and windows…or hand this thing off if you smell fumes or can’t get your hands on a good respirator.
15 minutes of ‘soak time’ and then you wipe with a paper towel….
I did two different ‘coats’ of stain, waiting 24 hours in between for drying.
Okay…now here is what I really wanted to show you…the difference between using wood conditioner and not. The board is exactly the same wood…same prep and everything. The only difference is the wood conditioner. Cool, huh?!
Here’s another look at it. One is blotchy…absorbs the stain weird…has drippy marks and is overall a hot mess. The side that got the royal treatment? It looks like a nicer piece of wood. Totally worth it.
Then came time for sealing. I used water-based Polycrylic this time in satin and it was oh-so-purty. It goes on kinda milky white and then dries perfect. I did three coats on the boards but I think I missed an edge so I might be doing that tomorrow 🙂
Okay…now that your pretty stuff is all prepped, let’s move on to the real structure part of the shelves. This is what I liked to call ‘the innerds’. You will need to assemble the boards according to your own needs. I knew that the stud in our wall ran down the middle so that is where my ‘gap’ is…but yours might be different so check where your studs are before making your innerds.
I used all my cut 2×4 pieces and these 2.5″ wood screws.
After assembling them all, a little Munch claimed them as his own. He must have sat here for thirty minutes. He would get a cup…go sit down on the boards….get a toy…sit on the boards….throw the car…sit sit sit. Now I know what he needs for Santa to bring him 🙂
After the boards were all assembled and Munchie was removed, I put the brackets inside the bathroom walls. They were such a tight fit that this is actually them before fastened to the studs. Just hanging out. Jer helped with this part…he would screw them into the studs while I held them level and in the right place.
Then came time for the gluing.
We used Liquid Nails and attached the top and bottom boards first.
It was easy and super fast to apply all the glue. I think that I have a new favorite pastime now….gluing wood. That’s weird DIY brain for ya…
Everything was clamped together. The one ‘bottom’ board was slightly warped, so we figured out a way for the board to be pushed into the glue long enough for it to dry. Then we just glued the front boards on and clamped them in place too.
Overall, it makes such a huge difference. It looks so much more built in and makes sense of that awkward toilet cubby.
The shelves also make it nice because now there is a place for the extra toilet paper. Before we were putting it under the sink but nobody loves looking in someone’s sink for extra TP, right? Or is that just me? I feel like I’m invading personal space in a vanity search. But now? It’s available for all to see. Now to just teach Will how to actually put the roll on the holder and throw away the other empty one….my life would be complete.
And the price was right too…about $15 for the lumber of each shelf. I had everything else on hand…but if you don’t, then it could run ya a little more (add $10 for the conditioner, $7 for the stain, $7 for the screws…all of which you will have a ton left over).
Here’s the actual budget breakdown (am I the only one that thinks it’s interesting to see the different cost of 2×4’s across the country??)
(2) 2×4 = $5.68
(2) 1 x 10 x 6 whitewood boards = $20.94
(1) 1 x 6 x 6 whitewood board = $5.32
Now if I could just decide on the right wallpaper for the nook (y’all made it clear that you feel the same way I do about the brush-treatment I did…it’s interesting but not something that looks great…if only the wallpaper gods would smile on me!), I would be oh so happy to call this bathroom ‘mostly done’!