Reclaimed Cherry Wood Shelves Pt. 2

To see Part 1 of this project, view the previous post here.


After we had sanded both boards down, we started doing an initial test placement on the wall to mark where we wanted them. We decided to split the longest board into two pieces so that we could have one longer shelf and two smaller to keep things symmetrical. Finding the studs and marking where each bracket would go ended up taking A LOT longer than we had hoped or planned. We live in a regular ol’ builder grade house, and some of the studs were not placed evenly (insert red and frustrated face here). However, it was important that each bracket was screwed into a stud, since the wood was so heavy and we didn’t want our wall crumbling apart or something. We measured where all of the holes were in the brackets and drilled pilot holes into the studs with a drill bit (this step is really important, so you don’t potentially split your stud board in the wall). We also marked where they bracket holes would be on the boards and drilled pilot holes into those, too.

When we had FINALLY decided the placement (about 24 inches apart, except for the few wonky places where we had to just stick them wherever they would go into a stud), I painted the brackets. I got these heavy duty brackets from Home Depot and spray painted them and the hardware this flat black to make them look as similar to the original West Elm brackets as we could. Once they were dried, we drilled them into our pilot holes on the wall, placed the boards on top, and secured them to the brackets underneath with screws.

At that point, they looked like this:

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We thought about just leaving them with the raw wood look since it was so pretty, but we decided in the end it would be best to help the grain pop a little more. I used Watco Danish Oil in Natural and applied about two coats of it with a rag. After it dried for a day or two, this was how the final product turned out!

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We are really pleased with how they looked in the end, especially since we had never really taken on a project like this one before. Now it is the first thing (and probably only thing, really… ha!) that people comment on when they walk in our home. I’m still in the process of styling them and figuring out what to put on the shelves to go with our space, but I am just SO happy they are finished! Huzzah!


Reclaimed Cherry Wood Shelves

Oh, man. This project was kind of an undertaking. We started planning it about a year ago and just finished it within the last couple of months. There were lots of things that contributed to it taking so long, but we are just so glad now that it is finished and that we are so happy with our new shelves!

As you can see in the previous link, our inspiration was the reclaimed wood shelves from West Elm. We loved the aged wood look with the heavy black steel brackets. We ordered those brackets and planned to use them, but after bringing the wood home, we realized they were going to be WAY too small for what we were trying to accomplish. I’ve set them aside, now, and planned to use them for some smaller shelves elsewhere in the house.

We got the reclaimed wood from Porter Barn Wood in Phoenix, and it is hard for me to describe how happy we are with it. We were really impressed by the selection there, and hope to get more for future projects. For these shelves, we got a couple planks of the Johnny Cash cherry wood (you can read about it here under the Materials History list). We brought work gloves and a tape measure with us and wore comfy clothes and tennis shoes (it is a lumber yard, so you dig through piles and find what you can). The blank wall in our living room is kind of big, so we tried to get boards that were around 8-10 feet long.


15749600427_6d72b47af7_o(1)Sometimes, you’re a total idiot and completely forget rope and ties at home. Thankfully, we had my husband’s school ID lanyard to jimmy-rig a way to keep them from falling out of the car on our way home.

15313110224_bd563b7c98_o(1)Blurry, but hilarious. Here were are traveling down the busy freeway in Phoenix with our boards hanging out the back of our Element. Beverly Hillbillies status. You can tell by his face and hand to the forehead that Jonah’s just thinking, “You guys are SO embarrassing.”

The boards had a really gorgeous patina from the years spent in the elements. We had a really hard time deciding whether or not we should just leave them as is and clean them up a bit or sand them down. Our boards were REALLY dirty, had lots of deep milling cuts, and had a couple large spots of paint and other unknown substances, so we eventually decided to sand them and get down to the pure grain (please refrain from throwing stones at us).

I had a couple of freakouts mid-sanding where I all of the sudden thought, “OH MY GOSH. WHAT THE (insert favorite expletive here) ARE WE DOING!?” but then I would take a few deep breaths and soldier on.



We rented a power sander from Home Depot (my random orbital was barely making a dent), and my hunky man worked tirelessly for hours to get these puppies sanded down. I tried practice sanding on my scrapboard to the left, and it was pretty embarrassing. Those things are POWERFUL (hence the name). My puny little arms couldn’t take it. Also we ended up having to rent one twice… the first day we had a little accident that involved sucking a rag up into the dang thing and having to take it apart to remove it. By the time we got it out, our rental was almost over. DIY party foul!

This is getting pretty long… Stay tuned for sanded boards and turning them into shelves in the next post!


That’s right, folks! There is a bun in the oven. I’m in the family way. Baby number two is coming to a Rose family near you!

After trying for a bit longer than we expected to, we are super excited to welcome this new little nugget to our home. I’m about sixteen weeks at the moment and still feeling nauseous, so that’s neat. I’m crossing my fingers that it will let up soon! So I can be a normal person again. And maybe not gag at just the thought of bread. We have our anatomy scan in a little over a week, and we are SO anxious to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl. This pregnancy has been a lot different than my first, and I’m kind of leaning more toward it being a girl. I’m pretty terrible at guessing these things, though, so I’m not counting my chickens or anything. More updates on this fun adventure coming soon! Until then, enjoy this blurry, headless belly shot that I took in my dirty mirror on my way out the door to the gym (side note: Zumba is even more entertaining when you have a big belly bouncing around in front of you).




Chalkboard Re-do

I have been looking for a little chalkboard for Buddy for a while. I almost grabbed this one at IKEA a while back, but decided against it. Lucky me, because I re-did this one for even less money (cheaper than $14.99? I know… shocking). I found this scribbled on easel that had seen better days just sitting at Goodwill in the very back for four dollars. The wood and hardware still looked good, but it just needed a little Tai from Clueless-style makeover. First, I washed the red Kool-Aid dye out of its hair…. Next, came the ditching of the 90’s grunge for a crop top and knee-high socks.




The funniest thing about it was the dry erase Mother Goose Rhymes side… Awesome.

I removed the dry erase side (it slides in and out) and all of the hardware from the top and sides to make it easier to prime and paint. The chalkboard piece had come loose in a couple of places, so I just tacked it down with some small nails (with the help of my trusty sidekick and his toy hammer).


This is the face he made when I told him he couldn’t use the “Mama” hammer because I was worried he would smash his teeny fingers.


Toddler ‘tude. Gotta love it.

I laid the pieces out on my trusty 80’s sheet drop cloth and went to town spraying with this. I didn’t get a picture of after the spray paint, but I did about three coats on the wood parts and two on the chalkboard and dry erase (since they were getting painted over anyway). Since everything was already in pretty good shape, I just used a primer/paint combo, as opposed to buying a separate primer and spray paint. Plus, I already had it on hand, and I am a cheapskate.


After the paint dried for about a day (I always like to err on a longer drying time than what the can says), I used a couple of coats of a satin gloss clear top coat spray. I taped around the chalkboard area to avoid getting black on the white painted wood.  Thankfully, since the dry erase portion was separate, I could just paint it with no problems. I used about three or four coats of this chalkboard paint with a sponge brush to make sure everything was nice and covered.

Because I can’t resist a black/white/copper color combo, I repainted the hardware using this. After everything dried, I carefully screwed the hardware back on to avoid chipping the paint, and voila!



I think he likes it! His room is kind of in a transition period from baby to “big boy” bed and stuff, so I’m sure eventually I will add some washi tape or something fun on it once we figure out a color scheme. Yay for cheap and quick projects!

The Joy of Painting


If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 2.5  years of motherhood, it’s that the messiest activities are always the most fun and keep Jonah entertain for the longest amount of time. I found an old canvas left over from a project and let the little guy go to town with his finger paints. His work of art is now proudly sitting on our piano. Love him.