I started our small pantry makeover with an idea to make faux floating shelves. You can read all about design plans here. it's actually so much easier than it looks. Let me guide you through the process.
Let's face an elephant in the room - the shelves in this small closet were made from wood and are perfectly fine! They were already painted though and my design soul really wanted to have it in raw wood so we could see the grain.
It didn't make sense to build real floating shelves and use twice as much wood as I did. So I opted out to smartly cover the shelves with plywood. The whole refresh cost me less than $80 and beautifying shelves damaged my wallet for about $15. Let's start from the beginning.
I already wrote about the whole renovation process on the blog. Read that first to keep up with the whole process.
- Plywood (I opted for a ½", but you can get away with ¼" since it's cheaper)
- Hobby boards
- Wood glue
- Clamps (a lot of them)
- Stain ( I used Minwax Early american)
- Wood conditioner
- Brad nails 1 ½"
- Sanding block
- Table saw
- Brad nailer
How to make faux shelves
Measure the size of your existing shelves, mark it on the plywood, and cut it. Depends on the size of your shelves, you could also use a miter saw or a circular saw with a guide.
PRO TIP: mark which shelf goes where if it's an older house. Turns out not all the shelves are even 🤦🏻♀️
Using wood glue, attach plywood to your existing shelf. Use clamps from all the sides to make sure it is properly glued together and leave overnight
When the glue dries, use a sanding block and make the surface smooth, prepare it for staining. Stain the plywood.
In the meanwhile, measure the front of the shelf and cut your hobby board to size. Stain it with the same stain. Make sure to try stain at first in the invisible place to make sure wood takes the stain nicely and you like the color.
I was worried that plywood won't match poplar (the hobby board) since all woods take stains differently. But I got very lucky and it all matched! The plywood and hobby board turned out to be the same color.
Install the shelves back. Remember I told you to mark the shelves? Well, I did that but when I was gluing parts together I glued the side that had a number on it😁 it was all good in the end, I figured out what goes where but keep it in mind!
Using Brad nailer attach hobby board to the front of the closet.
You can use a bit of a wood filler and cover the holes with it, followed by slightly staining those small areas. I didn't do it since I can't see brad nails anyway, they are so tiny.
Oh my!!! It looks so pretty! And no one could ever tell that it's faux floating shelves. It's so beautiful!
In the end, I applied a coat of water-based polyurethane to make sure that the wood is protected.
That's how easy you can cover your not so good looking shelves and make them look like expensive custom made😍
But let's continue with the process of this small pantry makeover. I wrote all about it including sourcing for all the materials on the blog here.
What do you think? Did I convince you that it's super easy to make these faux floating shelves? What closet are you remodeling next?