Monday, August 18, 2014

Built in shelves and cupboard

I'm back- finally!!  
My kids are back in school and I'm happy to be doing projects again!  

The first project I tackled is this recessed nook in my dining room.

This is what the nook looked like before.  A few years ago, when I didn't 
really know what I was doing with DIY, I threw up these shelves and 
plopped down an ill- fitting red cupboard.  Redoing this space has been on my
to-do list for a while.

I removed the shelves, the cupboard and the baseboards.  I used this tutorial for the baseboards.  

It wasn't near as hard as I thought it would be.
I used a utility knife, a 5 in 1 paint tool, a pry bar and a hammer, just like the tutorial said.

I measured everything, drew a diagram and headed to the hardware store for supplies.  

I found a store employee and asked tons of questions.  Once we nailed down 
all of the details of the plan, I purchased all of my supplies and headed home.  
The supplies I used are:
-a pre-made kitchen wall cupboard
-2x4 for underneath the cabinet
-1x8 pine board for shelves
-1x3 poplar board for the trim on the front of the shelves
-various pieces of trim to fill in the gaps between the cupboard and the wall
-furniture grade plank of wood cut down to size for the top of the cupboard
-baseboard trim
-caulk and wood glue

The cupboard fit almost perfectly.  I built a base for it to sit on out of 2 x 4's. 
 I essentially just made a stand for the cupboard to sit on.  

For the shelves, I pulled out Bitsy, my miter saw.  
I cut the 1 x 8 and 1 x 3's down to the size of my recess.  
Since the walls weren't exactly square, I measured the space for each shelf individually because all of the measurements were different. 

To make the shelves:  I ran a bead of glue all along the side of the 1 x 8.  
Then I set the 1 x 3 on top of the 1 x 8 and drilled a small pilot hole so the 
nail wouldn't split the wood.  Then I tapped in the nails.  

After the glue dried, I sanded the entire shelf. 
I tried them out in the space and thought they looked pretty good.   

I stained the shelves with Minwax Red Mahogany stain.
I also stained the wood for the top of cupboard.  While that was drying I painted the 
cupboard with black, satin paint.

I sat the shelves on top of  cleats in the wall.  
The cleats are 1 x 2's cut down, screwed into the wall and painted the wall color. 
I also installed the top of the cupboard with screws from inside the cabinet.  

I cut new baseboard molding to go all the way around the cupboard.  Baseboard
 molding wouldn't fit underneath the cabinet, so I just used some 1x2 white mdf trim.  
I then calked all the seams and the nail holes.  

 Here is the finished product.  
The biggest compliments I received are from my son and my husband 
who both said that it looks like the shelves and cupboard have always been there.  Yay!


  1. Great job, it looks great. Enjoy your fun new space.

  2. It looks great! And you tackled it solo? Whoop Whoop! I am wanting to do this style for my 23 ft wall in my living room, lower cabinets and open shelving with a center console. Now I'm even more inspired!
    Chrissy @21Random


Thanks for your comments!