Let me preface this post by noting how fun it is to have a husband who can make any of our DIY dreams a reality!
I recently decided that our dinning room was in need of a buffet piece to pair with our farmhouse table, to provide additional serving space when needed as well as open shelving to display many of our cherished wedding gifts. First, I began scouring Craiglist for a vintage castoff that could use some fresh paint and little love for a simple rehab project. Not knowing how long we will be in our current home, we did not want spend much on this project. Unfortunately, the second hand options were limited and not in our desired dimensions (we needed a relatively low piece as we already had a large map on the wall). I then checked out the ideas on Ana-White to pitch Trevor on a custom piece, but with the holidays and party-hosting dates quickly approaching, we decided we needed a quick and easy option instead.
Throughout my search for ideas, I kept coming back to this photo, loving the combination of grey shelving with natural wood- not too modern or too rustic. After a little browsing on IKEA Hackers, I decided my inspiration photo could be easily diy-duplicated by combining Ikea’s Expedit Shelving (already conveniently available in high gloss grey) with a custom wood top and shouldn’t cost much more than $100 total. This hack required little convincing of Trevor and we were moving on the project in no time.
First we picked up the Expedit at Ikea, brought it home and assembled it so we could confirm our desired dimensions for the wood to top it. We determined we wanted the piece to be close to the size of the shelving top (when turned horizontally) with a small amount hung over on each side, coming to 17″ x 61″.
Next we headed to the local lumber yard thinking we’d pick up a piece of strong wood with nice form and grain, like a cherry or oak. We soon discovered that a piece of cherry in the size we wanted was going to exceed our budget for the entire project so we headed to Home Depot to find a cheap alternative (so much for shopping local). There we found a large piece of laminated pine for around $40 that we could work with. We also grabbed heavy duty construction adhesive, wood stain and were good to go!
Now that we had all required materials, we got to work on our wood top. We cut the wood down to desired size using our circular saw and sanded down to 220 grit, then added 2 coats of stain to the top, sides and perimeter of bottom side. After a day of drying, we attached the wood to the Expedit with the adhesive and used clamps to hold in place for the next 48 hours. Initially, we were worried about a slight warping of the wood but the glue and clamps managed to straighten that out. When we were confident the wood top was securely in place, we added 4 poly coats.
After living with the buffet for a month, we decided to add x-shelves to the bottom corners for storing wine (separate post on that to come).
And there you have it! We love the way the finished product looks with our dining table and enjoy the extra storage/display space. With it’s simple function and clean look, we’ll likely be keeping this buffet for awhile and the piece could easily move into an office or bedroom in our next space.