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:
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!
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!