Replacing My Barnwood Shelf With Two Open Shelves Above My Kitchen Sink

About: There is nothing I love more then making something new and usable again that someone else would have thrown out or torn down! And there's no reason to buy new when you can build it yourself!

I mentioned a while back that I was moving away from the rustic look entirely. I sanded down and stained my beams before I started most of my other renovations. Also, when I refinished the floors here in the kitchen I sanded down and stained my kitchen sink base as well. With that complete my attention turned to the big barn wood shelf and I knew I wanted something totally different and far more delicate.

Just like with the beams and my sink base that shelf could not be wiped down, it caught everything and it gave major splinters. It had to go!

A few minutes and a little surgery and I got it taken a part with no trouble at all.


(Here’s a disgustingly perfect example of the smoke damage I’ve been talking about, just look at my back splash where the shelf used to be!) With it gone I couldn’t believe how it felt to stand at my sink… it was like I took my baseball hat off and the bill was no longer shadowing my eyes. Amazing! I had screw holes in my back splash that I filled with white caulk then I moved on to my new shelves.

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Step 1: Shelf Brackets and Shelves

I’ve always wanted two shelves here, one lower for my practical things and one higher up for some decoration. These brackets on Amazon were just the ticket.

I used 1x8s from the old shelf and sheetrock anchors to put them up. I had at first planned to keep my hanging basket and putting the shelves high enough to accommodate both it, and the paper towel rack my grandparents’ made, but the more I looked at this the more it just didn’t feel right. So, I sacrificed my little hanging basket. Then I tackled something that’s been bothering me for the last four years.

My light above my sink isn’t centered above my sink. Its off by about five inches… *eye twitches* It’s the old yard light and we all know they just don’t make things like they used to so, of course, it weighs a ton. It isn’t something that I can just use a couple of sheet rock anchors to keep up on the wall and that’s exactly why its off center. I decided I wouldn’t hate a piece of painted wood behind the base of the light as much as I hate the light being off center.

The piece of wood could be screwed to a stud and then the light could be screwed to the piece of wood and BOOM I would have enough support for my antique yard light and for it to be exactly where I want it. I had a 1×10 on hand that I cut to 11 inches long and then drilled a hole in the exact center of it (for the electrical line). I turned the breaker off and took the light down. To accommodate the sheathed wire coming out of the light I removed a path of sheet rock from where the light will now be to a few inches over to the box.

Step 2: Paint and Completion

(I’m not sure how many times I’ve wished for three hands but its definitely a lot and, as far as wishes go, probably my most wished for thing.)

I threaded the wire through my piece of wood and screwed the light to it before standing in my kitchen sink and attempting the impossible with only two hands:

Attaching the wires together with nuts and then attaching the board/light fixture to the wall without pinching the wire, dropping the light and centering it on my sink faucet. I got it done! After four years it is finally centered! And now I notice my “after” pictures of my new shelf included the base of the light covered in painter’s tape lol. During all of this I was also painting out the room and forgot to remove that tape for the after pics! Oh well!

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