I thought I’d do a little flashback to the first big project I built on my own. This shelving unit was quite a learning experience for me. I started on this at the beginning of September 2014. It was my first large solo woodworking project, and if I were to redo this project, several things would be done differently. With the raised garden beds, I had some help since I was rather new to building things. As I mention in this post, up until May of 2014, I’d never really used a drill or saw. My oh my how times have changed! I want to build everything now!
With this shelving unit, I purchased my first circular saw so I wouldn’t have to cut the plywood with a jig saw. I have no idea why I used plywood and not 12″ wide boards. Looking back, that is the first thing I’d do differently.
I wanted something about as wide as the concrete lip in our basement, so I purchased 2×4 foot plywood boards, cutting them in half length-wise to get the width of the ledge (~12″). It would have been less of a hassle if I had used 12″ wide boards. I also bought a Kreg R3 Pocket Hole Jig (also pictured above in action) to do the holes to join the boards together. Once I got the main frame of it all assembled (man, was that fun), I tested out the width of the shelving unit where I had planned to put it.
Here’s the unit fully assembled before priming and painting. The area you see in the background (below) is now where my workshop is setup and where my miter saw workbench resides!
I didn’t use anything to assure my cuts with the circular saw would be straight, so the shelving unit didn’t fit together perfectly. If I had had a miter saw at the time and had used 1×12 boards instead of plywood, I would have used my miter saw to assure the cuts were straight. However, with this project, there were some cracks in between the shelves and support pieces. Thank goodness for wood filler!
Then it was time to prime and paint. Also, if I’d used 12″ wide boards rather than plywood, the edges wouldn’t look so rough. Since this was a storage unit for our basement, I didn’t bother with trimming it.
Another thing I’d do differently is the way I painted it. I had zero experience with painting at the time, so I painted it Royal Peacock (540B-7) by Behr in a flat finish and then went over that with polycrylic. Why I did not just get the Royal Peacock in a satin finish to save myself time and money… I was a newbie and had no clue.
I also cleaned and painted the wall in the area the unit would be, as well as the concrete lip. I used Behr’s masonry, stucco, and brick paint for both. For the walls, I used Raffia Cream (710C-2), and for the concrete lip, I used Squirrel (790D-5). Here are before and after pictures, once the unit was complete and in place.
This was a great way for us to utilize space that would otherwise be dead. Our paint has since outgrown the shelving unit, even with my woodworking tools gone. I will have to post another blog article on where and how we are storing our paint currently. Now this blue shelving unit is used to store props we use for photography.