Taylor and I have finally started our big kitchen renovation, and I am so happy about it! We have fixed up our refrigerator already by covering it with chalkboard paint and sweet messages. Click here if you missed it. Our house was built in 1948, so it’s a bit… old. When Taylor and I first bought the house, we wanted to completely paint all of our knotty pine cabinets to give the kitchen a fresh look. Now that we have been living with the cabinets for several months, we have grown to love the rustic and homey look of the exposed pine. In order to modernize the kitchen a bit, we decided to just rip out some of the old upper cabinets and replace them with sleek white floating shelves.
We wanted to fill the shelves with our heavy Juliska plates and bowls, so we needed these shelves to be strong and durable. I found this great tutorial for building the shelves on Always Preparing for Peanut’s blog. So with the help of this post along with Taylor’s handiwork skills, our new shelves were affordably born!
The first step was to rip down our old cabinets from the wall. Well actually, the first thing we did was to clean out the cabinets and spread our dishes across our entire house! Then we removed all of the doors and hinges, then the cabinets came down. Taylor had some fun with this one! He used a crowbar, hammer, and mighty muscles to tackle this part of the project. After the cabinets were down, he tapped in or removed any nails that were protruding from the wall.
We then drew out the measurements for our floating shelves. How tall, wide, long, etc the boards needed to be. Then we headed to our favorite store (well Taylor’s…), Home Depot! We bought some sturdy brackets and wood. Taylor attached the shelf frame to the wood studs, making sure that it was level horizontally. He leveled the actual shelf when he attached the brackets. In order to make the shelves super sturdy, Taylor attached the brackets to the actual studs. He traced the brackets on top of the drywall, scored the lines, and then took out the drywall until he could see the exposed stud. He first screwed the bracket to the stud and then attached it to his shelf frame at a level angle.
After all of the shelves were screwed into place, Taylor used some slaps of Sheetrock Joint Compound (pictured below) to fill in the gaps where the drywall had been cut out. He did a couple coats of this, keeping it as smooth as possible, and then sanded it completely smooth when it was all said and done. Our friend Justin and I then began painting the wall!
Taylor carefully cut the plywood to form a box around the shelf frames. He gave each piece of wood a mitered edge joint for a clean connection. This part is not necessary, but makes for a pretty shelf.
After each board was cut, Taylor used his handy dandy nail gun to secure them all. Then he grabbed his wood putty to patch up any tiny holes or gaps. The final task was painting! We went back and forth on the color of these shelves, at first planning to stain them to match the cabinets. We ended up deciding on white in order to open up the space and add a bit of a modern twist to our very rustic kitchen. Taylor and I are both thrilled with the end result!
Look – all of our dishes even fit! I love the open and clean look of our new shelves in contrast to our more natural and rustic lower cabinets. I can’t wait until our backsplash and countertops are complete! So here is our before and after – what do you think?!
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