Oh sweet corbels, how the kitchen would be lost without you.
Last week I shared the huge improvement that adding corbels made to our DIY wooden hood fan.
Like, HUGE improvement.
And today I can’t wait to share how a little MDF planking and two more of our beautiful corbels from Osborne Wood Products totally transformed our peninsula from builder basic boring to completely custom and beautiful.
When our peninsula and countertop first went in, it looked a little “white”. And shiny. And boring. I knew it needed something, and pinned all kinds of ideas to my “I heart white kitchens…and blue ones too” board about different ways to plank or panel it.
Eventually I settled on MDF planks – it gives not only the look I was after, but is super amazingly thrifty as well.
Here is what we started out with…
We bought one 4×8 sheet of 1/4″ MDF and had it cut into 6″ strips. It worked perfectly with the length of the peninsula – so that we only needed the one sheet to clad the entire back and side. Woot woot! That came in at around $20.
To install the MDF planks we started at the base of the peninsula and nailed it directly into the back of the cabinet using our air compressor nail gun. You can see in the “before” pictures that the back of our peninsula has a sheet of plywood attached, so the nails go directly into the plywood. As such, we really didn’t need to use glue as well.
We used pennies to keep the planks slightly apart and create that perfect planked ‘gap’ that I love so much.
They went up really quickly and easily…
We used our mitre saw to cut the appropriate length pieces for the side of the cabinet. Once those were installed, we just capped it off with a corner piece of trim that we picked up at the hardware store when we bought the MDF.
We added a matching flat piece of molding to the edge closest to the cabinetry, and also in the far corner closest to the window wall. We just nailed all the trim pieces on using the nail gun.
Then came the fun job of filling all the nail holes, followed by sanding off the filler… creating a perfectly smooth finish. Of course, MDF needs to be primed before painting it as well.
Then it was time to add a little more drama with the corbels! We used another pair of the same corbels that I shared last week: the Boston Bar with Beaded Edge (in paint grade – soft maple) from Osborne Wood Products.
To install these we had to come up with a custom system, since the hardware on the back requires you to slide the bracket over the screw and then slide it down into place. Obviously with a countertop directly above, we were not able to do it this way. Had we planned a little bit more ahead, we could have installed the corbels right before the countertop installers came, but at that time we still thought we were going to use them as brackets for open shelves.
To install them – we predrilled with a drill press directly through the slimmest part of the corbel and drilled it out slightly so that we would be able to countersink our screws…
Then we figured out placement, and drilled the screws in slightly in order to create a mark on the plank where the screws would go.
We removed the bracket and predrilled the holes through the planks and into the plywood…
Then added some awesome adhesive to the back and top of the corbels…
Before putting them back in position and screwing them into place.
After a little more painting…
Quite a difference, I think…
I still want to add a coat of satin Varathane or another similar clear coat over top of the paint to make it more washable and help prevent marks from dirty little feet and sticky little fingers.
That’s one of the last jobs to finish before I can reveal this whole kitchen!
Are you sick of reading about the DIY projects, or what?
Time for the reveal, already!
Am I right?!?
It is coming really soon, I promise!