I love living in a small town. The people here are so kind and small businesses can flourish. One of those small businesses is that of an extremely talented makeup artist, Melissa. She recently expanded to a larger space and asked me to help her make her sales counter look at bit more substantial. I knew as soon as I saw it, she needed a larger top and corbels would give it character.
Corbels? What are those? You know those generally “L” shaped brackets under a bar or counter? Did you know they have a name? They’re called corbels. People use them for all kinds of things…. shelving support, simple wall decor, even holding up drapery rods. They can be simple, ornate, or anything in between. Osborne Wood Products has a great selection so I reached out to them right away and they were thrilled to help!
She needs to be able to write on this top and wanted it to be smooth. Construction boards have a taped to the sides, so after buying some 2×6 boards at Home Depot, I sliced off the sides with my Ryobi table saw.
This is a much easier surface to work with for pocket holes anyway. I grabbed my Kreg jig and marked where I wanted to attach the boards to each other.
Then I went to town with pocket holes.
I flipped it over and it looked like this:
The edges were a little uneven so I used my Dremel to smooth them out a bit and give make the top a bit more rustic looking. Then I used my belt sander to smooth the whole thing out. Next step was hand sanding so the stain wouldn’t bring out any surprises.
I wanted this top to be dark since her space has so much light in it so I chose Varathane stain in Dark Walnut. It only took one coat. I did the corbels first since I could use the back of the top as a great work surface to catch the drips and splatters (stain is messy y’all).
I like to use chip brushes and wear gloves when I am using stain. The clean up is far easier this way.
Make sure when you think you’re done, you flip it around at different angles to make sure you didn’t miss any spaces.
Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe it all off. They looked like this (note all the splatter on the wood, I told you staining is messy):
I used a beeswax puck to rub the edges and high spots of the corbels (sorry I really thought I had a picture of this) then I painted two coats of Shabby Paints in Worn White.
Once the paint was dry, I grabbed my Wagner Furno heat gun (you can see me use that on my fireplace mantle headboard here). I made a quick video to show you the process (I think it’s a bit easier than trying to explain it).
Then I gave them a quick spray sealer. I used a wipe on Poly on the counter top after the stain. I hauled everything over to Melissa’s studio and went to work. Here is the counter before:
These corbels have keyhole brackets installed in the back. It makes hanging them easy. I measured the spacing and location of the keyholes, and marked them on the front of the counter.
Then I hung the corbels on and had a look.
See that unevenness? Never a fun sight. I fixed that by screwing in the front flat and then using furniture clamps I carefully worked from one side to the other and screwed the top down underneath. (I went over board, but I don’t want anything moving.)
It worked like a charm and now that spot in her studio looks like this:
Much better, right? I’m thrilled with the results and most importantly so is she!
What are you working on? How do you feel about corbels? Did you know they were so easy to use?
(Osborne Wood was kind enough to furnish the corbels so I could share them with you. All opinions are my own and always will be)