This is not really crochet or sewing related but it is crafty and a DIY project so I wanted to share it with you (and therefore create a new section of the site!). When we moved into our house over 2 years ago I told my husband that I wanted to either build in a section of cabinets along the side wall in our dining room or I wanted to get a buffet table/hutch to go there. So I starting thinking about it and decided that I didn’t want a hutch because I thought it would be too confining in the mostly open space. Also, I put a mirror on the wall that I was pretty pleased with and I didn’t want to have to move that. I looked around for buffet tables that were in a style that I wanted and none that I found (even crappy, old ones) were less than $500. That was just not going to happen. The ones I found were also not quite the right size.
I had mentioned building something a few times and we talked about different options but wood can even add up pretty quickly. Plus, there’s the time it takes and finding the tools we needed in the mess that we call our garage. I found a tutorial for a cabinet that was pretty close to what I had been envisioning from This Old House. I did some research and priced out what we would need and found out that it wasn’t going to be as costly as I had figured earlier. And over the summer we have had slightly more time and slightly less mess in the garage.
What we bought:
(2) 30″x30″ 2 door Wall Cabinets, unfinished oak
(3) 8′ 1″x12″ Pine Boards
(1) 8′ 1″x3″ Pine Board
(1) 8′ 1″x4″ Pine Board
(8) 2″ Castors
(4) Cabinet Knobs
(4) 2′ Shelf Brackets
(8) Bracket Pins
Green Spray Paint
White Paint (we used some we already had from another project)
Tools we used:
Random Orbital Sander
Paint and Stain Supplies (Rags, brushes, etc)
Pneumatic Air Nailer with Air Compressor
Unfortunately, we don’t have any progress photos. But luckily, the process was pretty simple!
The wall that I wanted to fill was 11′ 6″ and I wanted to have 2′ on either side so that I could store our extra dining chairs there out of the way but easily accessible. That means I needed the buffet table to be 7′ 6″. We had to assemble the cabinet in the dining room because it was going to be too big and heavy to get up the stairway. So we prepped everything outside in pieces. We painted the cabinets with the green spray paint, let it dry then lightly sanded the edges and stained over it to give it a distressed look. You don’t have to do that it just worked with some other pieces that we had already. (Also, this look is really easy since you don’t have to make it perfect.)
We cut the base 1″ x 12″ piece to 7′ 6″ and painted, distressed, and stained that. The top piece we wanted to hang over slightly on each end so we cut that one to 7′ 8″, then we sanded and stained it. We cut the 1″ x 3″ piece down to 7′ 6″ and painted, sanded, and distressed it. We cut the 1″ x 4″ piece to 7′ 8″ (and angled the ends), sanded and stained it to go along the back of the top. From the third 1″ x 12″, we cut two 28″ pieces that we sanded and stained for the center shelves.
On the base piece we measured in a couple of inches from the four corners and screwed in the castors. We put the other four castors lined up under where the inside wall of the cabinet section would be, so about 30″ in from each end.
We were ready to start assembling at this point. We started with the two cabinets and the base piece. Turning the cabinets upside down, and the base wheels up, we lined the base piece along the back of the cabinets. So, a 1″x12″ board is not actually 12″ wide- I find that super annoying. And since the cabinets are actually 12″ the base board wasn’t going to cover the entire base. That was fine though because we were going to put a trim piece along the front bottom anyway. So aligning the board with the back left enough of a gap to attach the front trim piece flush with the cabinet. We screwed the base to the cabinets in several places on both sides. Then we carefully flipped it over.
Next, we brought the top piece up. We placed that on the top of the cabinets, lining it up with the front side (same reason as the bottom), and centering it so that the overhang was even on both ends. Using a pin nailer to attach the top to the cabinet on both sides. (You could probably also use glue or even screws if you don’t mind seeing them.) We put on the 1″ x 4″ piece that had been angled along the backside of the top. This helped to cover that slight gap and give the table a more finished look.
We put the shelf bracket rails on the inside section and put the shelves on the pegs. You could directly mount the shelves without the brackets or use the permanent kind. I wanted them to be adjustable.
After the fact I realized I should have painted or covered the inside of the cabinets before getting it inside and put together. But I didn’t think about. So I painted the inside while carefully taping off and covering the floor. We actually haven’t put handles on yet. There’s been some debate as to whether it needs them. So we’ll see.
Right now, I’m just in love with the way it turned out! It is exactly what I had envisioned and it gives me extra cabinet space as well as surface space. I’m not a great decorator however so I’m struggling with what to put on the top. I tend to be a clutterer and the hubby has a habit of putting plants on every flat surface. If I don’t decorate it soon it will end up a catch-all (like a lot of things around here do). I ended up putting on some handles and getting some baskets and a couple of coil bowls my husband made to put on the shelves. It still ends up a catch-all a lot but it’s still great to have the space!
I hope this project is an inspiration to you even if you don’t follow it exactly. That’s the best part about diy projects. You can take someone else’s general idea and turn it into something special to you. If you decide to make something similar I’d love to see how it turns out!