Friday, November 26, 2010

DIY - A Built In Two Story Foyer Decorative Shelf

This is a project I completed last month when the weather was slightly warmer then it is now. I came up with the idea as a compromise with my self to update the foyer in our home.

At first I wanted to paint the it, but as you can see it's a two story job, and we don't have a ladder tall enough to reach or the budget to hire some one else to paint it. So I decided to add some color and interest by building a shelf to overhang the front door. This was a very cost effective compromise.

I went down to my local LOWES and bought a 1" X 11" X 6' board and had them cut it down to a length that would fit across my front door and leave a little space on each side and not touch the flanking walls. I also purchased a pair of decorative wooden shelf brackets with a key hole mount already in the back of them.

You will need some wood nails or wood screws, 3 small L-brackets, wood glue, and paint. I choose spray paint for this project, but you will need 2-3 cans to fully coat a shelf this large.

In a later project that I will be posting later, I decided to primer the wood first with a basic paint primer then spray paint over that. It took far less spray paint this way, I only used 1 can up. But a can of primer costs more than 3 cans of spray paint, so this is a good option if you happen to already have primer in the house.

I recommend spackling any deep imperfections in the wood and allowing it to dry first, so that you have the look of a nice even surface after it's painted.

Another tip is if you have an imperfection and no spackling or don't want to bother with it, just put that side of the board facing towards the ceiling that way you won't see it from down below.

Now you don't have to do this next part, but since this shelf was going above the front door, and my kids always slam that door when going through it, I added a thin strip of trim along the front edge of the shelf. This way if anything were to shift from the vibration of the slamming door, they would not fall off the edge.

To save your self some time, there really is no need to paint the back of the shelf that will be against the wall, but be sure to tape over the key hole hardware so you don't gunk it up with paint.

When assembling and painting your shelf, you can prop it up outside on a pair of trash cans, this makes a good work bench.

Use wood glue first to attach the brackets and trim to the shelf, then later after it has dried you can use nails or wood screws to secure everything. Make sure your brackets are placed far enough apart that they will clear the molding around your door and rest flatly on the drywall, but you want them to lay as close as possible to the molding, so that you are more likely to drill into a stud around the door frame to support the weight of your shelf.

After every thing is assembled enjoy the painting process. When hanging your shelf, add the L-brackets to the top. One in the center and one more at each end just above the wooden key hold bracket. This helps give extra support and stability to the shelf.

I was able to complete my shelf for about $40. I'll post the pic of the finished project mounted above the door at a later time. Oh the suspense!

Thanks for stopping by and check back soon.


1 comment:

  1. Great tutorial! Can't wait to see the finished photo!!