Sunday, December 29, 2013

adding a kitchen shelf

When we retiled the kitchen to make way for the hood, we were left with a big open space between the counter and the newly installed hood. It looked much nicer than it had before we took the giant microwave out, but it was still missing a little character (and storage space). Lindsey keeps the oils, salt and pepper, etc. in a wooden box behind the cooktop but it has to be moved every time we cook so it doesn't burn... not a great situation. So she came up with a solution: since the inside of the cupboards had to be painted white anyway, she wanted to make a little addition of a shelf between the cupboards. Now, when she first suggested this to me I was worried about a full shelf over the cooktop, thinking that the heat wouldn't be a good idea under the shelf... understandable right!? (Lindsey says: "He often acts as my common sense, ha!") Once she made it clear that it was only to be about 4 inches deep I was on board!

It's fun to make something out of nothing even if it's a really simple project like this one. We felt somewhat more proud of this project than others because it was an idea that started in our minds and came out exactly as we wanted!

I started by measuring and using my awesome miter saw to cut the pieces that the shelf would rest on. Because it isn't a very wide space and the wood we were using was good quality we didn't need to anchor the middle of the shelf. The shelf is 3 3/8 inches deep (quite a random number but it was half of an existing scrap of wood) and about 34 inches long. 


I used a drill bit to make pilot holes in the wood blocks as well as the adjoining cupboards in order to make screwing in the screw a bit easier. My first block install went fine until I put the screw in - the wood split, proof that even "easy" projects can be a bit frustrating. I was thankful that this happened on my first go-round because I could start fresh! 


After I got the blocks flush to the bottom of the cabinets and attached with no splitting, it was smooth sailing. We had planned to just attach the shelf with liquid nails (our favorite adhesive so far) and start painting. The plan would have worked brilliantly had we not run into a slight leveling problem. It wasn't any measuring or installing on our part, the cabinets are actually about 1/4 inch off from one another and when you are looking at a long "straight" shelf that isn't straight - it's quite noticeable.

All we had to do was add a scrap of wood with the liquid nails, wait for that to dry and then putty in the gaps! Not really a whole lot of extra work, just some unexpected problem solving! 


Far left: liquid nails to hold left side of shelf, Middle left: liquid nails with added piece of scrap,
Middle right: caulking the gaps, Far right: the side with the added scrap has been filled and caulked

Once everything dried and the shelf was set into place, it was time for the first layer of paint. As you can see, Lindsey does all the "make it pretty" work as she is a bit better at it than I! We used Glidden eggshell white paint which matched the kitchen cabinets. After one layer of paint, it was very clear that more than one layer of paint was required and the "unfinished" edge of the shelf needed to be sealed between the first and second coats of paint. 

Once the putty sealed fully we were able to finish off the painting and "set up shop" with our new shelf; so far so good! 

We have had a busy weekend - just wait and see what we have coming up next. 

Thanks, as always, for reading and following along with Lindsey and I as we refinish and set up our home! 

Until next time, Rob

I just had to add on this picture that Lindsey took while I was cleaning some duct tape off our front window. Our dogs are so fun!

It's hard to see, but that is Oswin's silhouette and Harlee is down in the darkened left corner. 

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