Saturday, October 8, 2011

Decorative Ledge: Guest Post {AKA Design}

Only 1 more day to link up YOUR Round 1: Knockoff projects. Prizes will be given to the top 3 viewed links. GO HERE to enter yours. Linky party open until Saturday, October 8th @ 6 pm MST.

Time for the last guest tutorial from Round 1, and it comes from our 3rd place contestant, Shannon & Dean of AKA Design, who made the stunning Decorative Ledge.

It looks absolutely terrific with all the fall d├ęcor. I am loving the entire look – lovely!!

Here’s Shannon & Dean to tell us how to make our own ledge.


As promised here is a tutorial for our Pottery Barn Decorative Ledge Knockoff. Essentially the whole ledge boils down to two hollow "boxes" and some trim - and a lot of finishing.

By "knocking off" the ledge, we were able to customize it to fit our space - which would have been about a foot too small for the Pottery Barn ledge. We started with the larger "box" and built onto that.


The first thing Dean did was to cut out four pieces (a box without a top or bottom) from new pine. The front and back pieces were each 49 1/2 inches by 8 inches, with mitered corners. These were nailed together with finishing nails. (You could use glue as well if you'd like, but it's not necessary).

Then the second "box" was cut from some scrap we had in the shed. This was actually only three sides: one piece cut to 48 inches by 5 inches and two cut to 5 inches by 7 1/4 inches. Dean nailed these together on the mitered corners and then notched out a 3/4 inch square to tuck this box into the bigger box. Affix to the larger box with some more finishing nails.

The bottom was added. It is was a new piece of pine cut to 48 inches by 5 inches. No miters. Notice the hollow box? This makes the ledge lighter to hang.

And then the top was added. This was also a new piece of pine, cut to 52 inches by 10 inches.

After that, it's all about trimming it out.


We used upside down baseboard at the top, some smaller trim on top of that as well as under the big "box". And we used some thin scraps to cover up the joint between the bottom and the lower box. Here's a picture with the parts all labeled.

Does that make more sense?

After then entire piece was built, Dean filled all the nail holes and any gaps with DAP Drydex Spackling. It is pink when wet and then turns white when it's dry. Love that stuff!

Then it was my turn. I sanded off all the excess DAP and wiped the entire thing with a dry cloth to remove all the sanding dust and debris.


Now as much as we love the profile shape of the ledge, we love the paint treatment even more.


Pottery Barn's website says they stained their ledge first and then painted and distressed it. Since we were on a tight timeline for the Crafting With the Stars contest, I opted to paint two layers of chocolate brown as our base coat (to eliminate the oil stain and acrylic paint dry-time combination). I had a sample pot of a chocolate brown from Home Depot on hand already too, so that kept costs down.

After the brown paint was dry (maybe or maybe not helped along by a blow dryer), I used a large brush and long sweeping strokes to apply DecoArt's Americana Weathered Wood Medium. I adore the natural looking chippy crackle this gives!

Then it was time for some old white paint. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but you could use a flat antique white. I wanted to be sure that the paint was thin enough to sink into the crackle, so I dipped my Purdy brush (honestly the best brush around!) into the paint and then dipped it in a bit of water to thin just slightly. Again I used long sweeping strokes, this time over the Weathered Wood Medium. It took three thin coats, sinking into the crackle medium, to get the coverage I was going for.

Next up was the distressing. After helping the paint-drying along with my handy dandy blow dryer, I sanded edges and flat parts. Because this was a project for a knockoff competition, I kept my Pottery Barn inspiration photo nearby and focused my distressing on the same general areas as theirs. To add even more to the chippy look, I scraped a metal ruler edge along some parts to really peel the paint up. A quick wipe of the cloth removed all residual sanding dust and paint chips.

The final step was to seal the ledge. Using a lint-free white cloth (a decent facecloth or some cheesecloth will do), I rubbed Minwax Natural Finishing Paste Wax all over the entire piece. I wanted to add a little bit of aged colour too, so in some places I rubbed on some Minwax's Dark Finishing Paste Wax over top of the natural wax. Again I looked at my Pottery Barn inspiration pictures.


We attached some keyhole hangers to the back and hung it up...

And voila! A finished knockoff of the Pottery Barn Decorative Ledge. Pottery Barn sells their ledge for $399 U.S. Since we had almost all the supplies on hand already, our ledge only cost us about $40. A tenth of the price!! We bought new wood for the bigger "box", small trim and top ledge piece, some sandpaper, as well as some finishing nails. We had on hand the wood for the lower "box", the baseboard and the thin wood that wraps around the bottom piece. We also had all the paint and brushes in our paint closet too.

So what do you think? I know we ask that all the time, but we really love to hear what you think! Do tell us. Do you love our ledge as much as we do?

Um..yes. Yes we do love it as much as you do – maybe more!

I love that you guys used baseboard upside down at the top of the ledge. It gives it such a cool look and I never would have thought of that. Genius!

And I may be giggling a little bit as I think of you using your blow dryer to help the paint along. Open-mouthed smile

Can’t wait to see what you create for Round 2!


  1. This project turned out amazing! Love it!

  2. That is CRAZY - such an amazing job - i have fallen in love with the Pottery Barn version and was just waiting for someone to to a tutorial!

  3. THANK YOU Shannon and Dean...I love this shelf. Found your tutorial to be the best. Hubby made it last Sat per your great instructions. Looks awesome for about $55..vs $399-
    4 hrs labor plus stain and paint time...easy-easy GO DIYers!


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