I built this bookshelf for a fellow nurse and once the building was done she told me she wanted it to match a Barnwood table she just had made. Once I had her photo in hand I knew that it would be a fun challenge to match the finish, so here we go!!
Don't forget your goggles! Safety first!
Step 1: Cleaning the Reclaimed Wood
First off I want to show y'all this wood! I used old barn wood that was from a friends old growth poplar barn. Using reclaimed wood can be a challenge it's often much thicker than stock you buy at a box store but it makes for beautiful pieces plus we are saving trees! I always scrub with my reclaimed wood with dish soap or pressure spray it to start with then use a steamer and steam the wood with tea tree oil added to the water to help kill any mold.
I did plane it down to even it up and get rid of some cupping in the wood. This took away the lovely patina of the wood which created a challenge when I saw her desk.
Step 2: Cut List
My wood is thicker than what you will find at your local box store, but that will work too! My wood was harvested and planed from old growth poplar about 100 years ago right on their farm.
Sides 2-1x12 @ 32"
Side trim 4 -1x2 @11 1/4
Legs 4 -2x2@34"
Top support and bottom shelf trim 4 -2x2 @32"
Shelves 3 -1x12@32"
Shelf trim 4- 1x2@32"
Any random with boards to equal the width of your bookshelf I used 4 boards that totaled 16 3/8@38"
Back- 1/4" plywood 34 7/8 x 32"
Step 3: Sides
Attach the side trim to the top and bottom of the sides using wood glue and 1 1/4"Brad nails.
Attach 2x2 legs to sides with 3 pocket holes flush to the inside and top.
Pocket holes are made into the back of the side pieces using 3/4" depth attach with 1 1/4" kreg screws.
Step 4: Top Supports
Drill one pocket hole into each end of the 2x2. You will need to change the hole depth to 1 1/2". Attach these flush to the legs using 2 1/2" screws.
Step 5: Bottom Shelf
Attach the other 2x2 to the bottom shelf one on each side using 3/4 pocket hole drilled into the each side of the shelf.
Drill pocket 3/4" holes into the ends of shelf and attach to sides using 1 1/4" screws.
Step 6: Shelves
Make 2 shelves
Attach 1x2 trim to the back of shelf using 3/4" holes and 1 1/4" screws. this is to make it nice and deep.
Attach front trim but this time place 1x2 on it's end again using same hole depth and screw size
Place 2 pocket holes at the ends of shelf to attach to sides.
Now place shelves at desired heights using you pocket holes and I always use wood glue prior to attaching anything with my pocket holes.
Step 7: Top and Back
I used various widths of boards attaching them to each other with 3/4" pocket holes. Then put a nice layer of wood glue to the top where I was placing it and then used my handy brad nailer to attach.
For the back I cut a piece of 1/4 inch birch plywood to size and you guessed it glued and nailed it to the back!
Step 8: Finishing
Now the fun part! She wanted it to match her barnwood desk. Since I cleaned and planed this wood it had lost the patina it had. The first pic is what I needed to match.
I used various chalk paints in the first step. Just get cheap chip brushes and brush away with the grain. I did a layer of gray (do not cover entire surface, just be random) then some black, I don't bother cleaning brush, then some blue, maybe even some green! Let dry and one of the many reasons I love chalk paint is it dries pretty quickly. Take you sander with some 220 and sand with the grain. Then I went over it with dark walnut stain, the paint will move around some so go with the grain. Then I go back in with some more chalk paint and dry brushed some light gray steaks let dried and sanded some more!
Once I was happy with Colors let dry completely and deal with a matte polycrylic.