Monday, December 17, 2012

Built-ins - Part 3

For Part 1 - the vision, finding & preparing the cabinets, converting them from top to bottom cabinets - see here
For Part 2 - priming and painting the cabinets and cabinet doors, ORBing the hinges - see here.

After the cabinets were basically done, we decided to tape off the shelves on top to make sure we wanted three and not two rows of shelves - and boy am I glad we did that!

Rough sketch of future shelves with painter's tape

We decided we wanted the vertical shelf supports to line up with inbetween the cabinet units...but it ended up being two equally sized shelves next to each other and one long one on the left end. It looked really wonky but we knew we needed the shelf supports to line up with the cabinet units or it just wouldn't look right.

See how the one on the left end is wider than the other two?

That's when Rob had the bright idea to move the longer cabinets from the end to the middle.  So that we would have two equally sized shelves on either end a longer middle unit (acting kind of like a mantle in the middle). We loved the idea - even though it meant unscrewing all but one cabinet unit and rearranging it - we knew the inconvenience now would be worth the long term right choice.

So we went to Lowe's and picked up all our wood for the shelves. We determined the size of the boards we needed just by measuring it all out and sketching it on a piece of paper before we went. Note to self: next time bring snacks to Lowe's so we don't almost pass out :)

We also picked up some pretty wood that was butcher block-esque to stain for our countertop! (on top of the cabinets, on bottom of the shelves). We loved the wood we found and just had to shave it down slightly to make it fit our needs exactly.

We picked up a dark walnut color in Rustoleum stain, and some Rustoleum polyurethane as well. We just put two coats of stain - applying to the whole board and then immediately wiping it off. We did about 6 coats of polyurethane though because we wanted it super glossy. We love how it turned out.

Isn't it so pretty? Isn't our living room so chaotic?

Drying before polyurethane. We really liked how you could see the grain of the wood. We didn't want to go too dark since our floors aren't super dark.

We also had to paint the wall behind the shelves before we could put the shelves up. We chose Whale Gray by Benjamin More. and LOVE it. It's such a rich, gray color. Perfect as an accent for the backs of shelves.

Not a good picture of the color but here it was after one coat (don't worry - Rob did the painting since I'm preggo). We ended up doing two coats for a nice smooth finish.

Then we could finally start assembling the shelves. All of these steps were really quick & easy which was a nice change of pace :)

We laid out all our pieces in the kitchen since that was the only part of our house left :) We just laid everything out, made sure it was level and screwed in two screws per vertical support.

Here she is standing on the cabinets AND on the new countertop! :) We knew we could leave a gap at the top between the ceiling and top support because we were going to add another board that would cover the gap (you'll see in a second).

After this picture we realized we needed to take down the top molding on the wall beside the shelves so they could be flush against the wall. Luckily, the molding had a crease right near where we needed to pull it up! Jehovah Jireh!

Then we popped it back and it fit perfectly. (Ps isn't that countertop just beautiful?)

Next we just had to attach the top board to make it thicker and more chunky on top, We have so many cornices over our windows in our house that we got the inspiration from that. LOVE how it turned out!

We took it down after we installed the top piece so that we could prime and paint while it was on the floor, rather than chancing getting paint on the countertop we just stained.

So close! Next up shelves, brackets, trim, and the finished product!

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