Category Archives: Wood Filler

Staining & Hanging Floating Shelves: A National Woodworking Month Project

  • Tools Needed: Minwax True Black Wood Finish, Minwax Simply White Wood Finish, Minwax Stainable Wood Filler, Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish, wall brackets, drill, level, tape measure
  • Estimated Cost: 2″x18″x8″ poplar and birch wood ($15 per shelf), wall brackets ($5 per pair)
  • Estimated Work Time: 1 hour per shelf (excludes drying time)

April is National Woodworking Month, so I couldn’t think of a better time to try out a couple of new Minwax stain colors — True Black and Simply White — while also adding some more display space to our family room with four “floating” shelves.

New Simply White & True Black Wood Finishes from Minwax

Follow along with me as I piece together these unique shelves using the steps below.

1. Measure and cut wood slabs

I wanted our shelves to look “hefty,” but a heavy, two-inch slab of wood would pull the hidden wall brackets right off the wall. Instead, I created a hollow shelf by cutting and assembling, using glue and nails, a framework of 2-inch wide, lightweight pieces of poplar. Your width and length will be determined by the location on your wall, plus what looks best. Mine is 8″ deep and 18″ long.

Cut Wood Slabs for Floating Shelves

2. Assemble hollow shelves with internal supports

I then cut, glued, and nailed two pieces of quarter-inch birch plywood to the framework to create my first hollow shelf. The two internal supports are located where my wall brackets will be positioned (see Step 3).

Floating Shelves Framework

3. Drill holes for wall brackets

On the back side of each shelf I drilled two holes; the diameter and depth were determined by the size of the special wall brackets. You want to make sure each bracket hole is drilled into one of the internal framework pieces (see picture below).

Drilled Holes for Wall Brackets in Floating Shelves

4. Hide the unsightly edges

To hide the unsightly edges of the birch plywood top and bottom, I glued and nailed thin strips of poplar to the front and two sides.

• Use Thin Strips of Wood to Hide Unsightly Edges on Shelves

5. Fill shallow holes with Minwax Stainable Wood Filler

After countersinking the nails, I filled the shallow holes with Minwax Stainable Wood Filler. As soon as it dried, I sanded it flush with the wood.

Use Minwax Stainable Wood Filler to Fill Shallow Holes

6. Stain the shelves

I then stained two of the shelves with Minwax Simply White in the Wood Finish line of stains. After letting the stain soak into the wood for five minutes, I wiped off the excess stain with a clean cloth. I then repeated these steps using True Black Wood Finish Stain on shelves number three and four.

Pro-tip: You can also custom mix more than one Minwax wood stain to get the perfect color ideal for your space.

Staining Shelf with Minwax Simply White Wood Finish

7. Spray the shelves with Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish

Once dry, I sprayed three coats of Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish over all four shelves.

Spraying Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish

8. Level and measure placement for wall brackets designed for floating shelves

I next used a level and tape measure to determine the location of the special wall brackets designed for floating shelves, then secured them with screws. As you can see, each bracket is adjustable — and won’t be visible once the shelves are in place, hence the name “floating” shelves.

Measure and Hang Special Wall Brackets for Floating Shelves

9. Slide the hollow shelves onto the wall brackets

Then it was simply a matter of sliding each hollow “floating” shelf onto the wall brackets — and letting Leigh Ann know she could begin filling them up.

Black & White Stained Wood Alternating Floating Shelves

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Two-Tiered End Table

New furniture can be expensive and inexpensive furniture is often made of particleboard. So when we were looking for a new endtable, I decided I would need to get creative and build on myself. I really like these solid pine, pre-glued panels available in large home improvement centers. The panels come in a variety of lengths and widths and are easy to cut to whatever dimensions you prefer. They would serve as the perfect material for what I had in mind.

I started my end table project with 30″ x 18″ piece, then glued and screwed a 14″ section to one end for the back. The remaining section will become the second tier of my two-tiered end table.

Since the pine panels are just 3/4-inch thick, to give the appearance of being thicker, I glued and nailed 1″ x 2″ pine boards to the edges.

I then used Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler to disguise the small nail holes.

As soon as the Wood Filler had hardened and dried, I sanded the entire table with #150-grit sandpaper and vacuumed off the dust.

To reduce any blotchiness when I stained the pine, I first applied a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

Fifteen minutes later, I grabbed a heavy-duty paper towel and began rubbing in a coat of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Honey.” I just wanted a light coat of stain, so after three minutes I then wiped off any stain the wood had not absorbed.

While the table was drying, I set my four unfinished legs on a scrap of foam board and sprayed on a coat of Minwax® Polyshades® in “Classic Black.” Polyshades® is a combination of both stain and polyurethane that, unlike paint, lets the grain of the wood show.

For the two tiers of the table,  I added two coats of clear Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane. It really enhanced the beauty of the wood and will provide all the protection our end table will need.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

A Vintage Hatbox Revived As the Perfect Gift

April is Minwax National Woodworking Month®! To celebrate, Minwax® expert Bruce Johnson has put together some of his favorite tips & tricks for using Minwax® products. Don’t forget to download the Minwax National Woodworking Month® mail-in rebate form, you could save up to $17 on select Minwax® products. 

BeforeFor several years now, Leigh Ann has had this antique Victorian hatbox, with a drawer for gloves, that had been taken from a tall dresser her grandmother once owned. With Leigh Ann’s birthday fast approaching, I decided I could find a new use for it.

Wood Filler The top had a few unsightly nail holes, so I squeezed in some Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler, let it dry, and sanded each one smooth with the wood.

Stain side The original color of the oak hatbox was still attractive, but badly worn, so after a light sanding I applied a fresh coat of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “English Chestnut” to even out the color.

Base stain I used the same color to stain a new oak base I plan to set it on when it is complete.

Spray Tray At our craft supply store, I picked up four unfinished pine trays and sprayed each one with two coats of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer. After the lacquer had dried, I cut a piece of felt to line the bottom of each one, as well as the bottom of the glove drawer. By this time, the English Chestnut stain had dried, so I protected all the wood with three light coats of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer.

ClosedI then installed two plywood shelves inside the box where a Victorian gentleman would have stored his tall hat. Next, I screwed the hatbox to the new oak base, rehung the door and slipped the drawer back into place.

OpenNow instead of a Victorian hatbox she never quite could decide what to do with, Leigh Ann has a new place to store and display her jewelry, as well as a daily memory of her grandmother.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Upcycling A Pair of Stained Glass Doors

When my good friend Jim called from a local antiques shop, he really sounded excited. He had found these two arts and crafts stained glass cabinet doors and knew they would look great in our home. After a quick measurement, Leigh Ann and I realized they would fit perfectly in our two narrow bedroom windows.

The cabinet doors were covered with several layers of old white paint, so rather than risk sanding or stripping off any hidden lead paint, I decided to attach thin oak strips to create a new framework around the stained glass.

After nailing the strips of oak to the old frame, I filled the countersunk holes with Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler.

Once it had dried, I gave the new oak and the Stainable Wood Filler a quick sanding with #180-grit sandpaper, then vacuumed off the dust.

Since this was a small project, I reached for a tube of “Oak” Minwax® Express Color™ to stain and finish my new frame in one easy step.

Once the restoration was complete, all that I needed to hang them were four hooks and two lengths of chain. In just a few hours, I transformed two painted cabinet doors into two oak stained glass windows that provide both privacy and artistic color to our bedroom.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by.

Bruce