Wooden Shelf Display – Add Legs to a Floating Shelf!

This wooden shelf display is a bit counterintuitive. Today I’m taking a floating wall shelf and repurposing it into a display platform base for our Hot Chocolate Station by adding legs. This is the second project in our 3 part series. I can’t wait for the final reveal! 

Wooden Shelf Display

Our single shelf with legs all starts with this plain black thrifted floating shelf. In all honesty, there’s nothing wrong with it. But it can be even better! I want to add two more elements.

First, some subtle pattern. In about 5 minutes, I’ll achieve that with a stencil brush, painters tape and red paint!

Then I’m going to add these mid century legs to raise this wall shelf up!

Stencilling the Buffalo Check

The pattern component is this buffalo check stencil from old sign stencils.

I’m using the largest size check.

I place the stencil where I want it and tape along the edge to keep red paint off the front lip that continues around the perimeter.

After two coats, the pattern is really subtle; exactly the way I want it! While that dries, we can turn our attention to the legs.

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Adding Legs to the Wooden Shelf Display

We found these awesome mid century-style legs at the Habitat ReStore. The ReStore is our go to for legs of all shapes and sizes!

Unfortunately, the hanger bolts on these legs are way too long for the shelf. But you can’t remove them with just pliers because you’ll strip the threads and you’ll never be able to re-use them again. So Hubs has a great trick to remove the hanger bolts using two nuts and two socket wrenches.

I’ll eventually have a video for you to watch Hubs explain how he does it. For now, read on below.

How to Remove Hanger Bolts from Wooden Legs

Here’s a step by step:

A. Add the first nut onto the hanger bolt:

Followed by the second nut:

B. Snug the two nuts tightly together using two socket wrenches. One wrench prevents one nut from moving, while you tighten the other nut against it.

C. Remove the outer wrench. With the wrench still on the inner nut (not the outer one), turn clockwise. The outer nut acts as a stopper that will allow you to twist off the hanger bolt without damage to the threads.

D. Remove both nuts and repeat until all the bolts are removed.

Here they are – all ready to paint! Or if you want to sand off the finish, you could stain them instead.

Because I don’t want contrast, we chose to stain the legs black and clear coat them to match the wood shelf.

Add Legs to Floating Shelf

Here’s the stencilled shelf before adding the legs.

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You can use it as-is and prop a tray onto it for kitchen decor.

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For instance, I like to create seasonal displays in this little niche beside our staircase. We can barely see our letter ‘A’ from the ground floor. Previously, it looked like this:

And now, here’s how it looks with the shelf.

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The wooden display shelf does just the trick to raise it so it can be seen from the main floor level. Now we can enjoy it from many angles.

It’s tricky to photograph, but the buffalo check pattern really does look beautiful in person. At any rate, it adds just enough interest without detracting from the focal point.

Wooden Shelf Display

Despite the fact that I love how our display shelf decor looks in the stairway, the wooden shelf display is now being used as part of our hot chocolate station.

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Of course, you’ll see it again on Saturday. That’s when it will really ‘shine’ in the final reveal of our hot chocolate station!

Pin for Later

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Interested in learning more stencilling techniques? Visit our tag, how to stencil, for more projects.

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