Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to Easily Build a Rustic Corner TV Stand AND How to make Homemade Liming Wax for a RH Finish

Today you get a "two fer one" post, lucky you! Rather than redo an already built piece of furniture, I decided to build a brand new simple rustic TV stand using scrap 2x4s we had on hand. And thanks to building it with plain pine, I had a "blank canvas" to mimic Restoration Hardware's unique, natural finish, and try out a new homemade liming wax recipe. So without further ado, I'll let you in on a few tips, tricks and secrets on how to build your own TV stand and make your own liming wax....

Recently I decided to start exercising, (this is a huge step for me if you know me very well), and wanted to take advantage of a corner in our unfinished basement since there was room to move around, and it is cooler downstairs. To keep the space as spacious as possible, I decided I needed a corner TV stand. Since I couldn't find one on Craigslist close enough or cheap enough, I decided to research some ideas online to see if they sparked my creative juices to build my own. They did just that:

The Inspiration:

 Idea #1 
I liked the two tone look of this one and how solid it looked. (I wish I knew where I found these 3 pictures, so if this is yours please let me know so I can give you the credit).

Idea #2
This one is totally rustic (maybe a little too rustic for me, but I liked it's simplicity

Idea #3
Another two tone look, and this one with one less shelf. I saved this one primarily for the idea of how to suspend the shelf (see the wood piece underneath? So simple, yet so brilliant for a novice woodworker like myself)

The Execution:

Each of those above ideas were found on Etsy, and ranged between $100-300 (not including shipping). What is annoying about Etsy is that the awesome products don't come with tutorials on how to make them yourself, (I can't seem to figure out why they don't want to help us DIY people? wink wink)

So today I hope to help all of you novice woodworkers, like myself, feel like a wonder woman (or superman) by building your own furniture on the cheap!  Rather than just provide you pictures to figure out how to build yourself, I hope to provide step by step help that makes this project easier for you than it was for me. And for all of you expert woodworkers, maybe I can save you from making a few dumb mistakes that I did.

I will preface this tutorial by saying that I used my K5 Kreg Jig for this whole TV stand. 
This thing ain't cheap (I got mine for around $100 including a ton of the Kreg screws), but it sure makes projects much faster, easier, stronger, and more fun. And no, I am not paid by Kreg Jig to say any of this.
It is possible to build this stand without the convenient pocket holes that the Kreg Jig makes, so you can still get some tips if you read on...

Step 1: Measure the area you want your stand to go

Since I knew I had to fit the stand under some pipes in our basement, I measured the height I wanted the stand to be. If you will be using this in a living room with couches, etc. you might want to look up some standard heights from pre-built stands so that it comes to a typical TV viewing height. Now take this ideal height, and subtract the width of the wood you will be using for the top of the stand. In my case I used 2x4s so I subtracted: Ideal Stand Height - 1.5" = Height of side pieces

For all of you novice woodworkers, a 2"x4" is actually 1.5"x 3.5". Annoying I know. This change in measurement applies to all of the typical lumber sizes (2x6, 1x8, etc)

Step 2: Cut side pieces to length

This picture encompasses a few of your next steps, but I wanted to include it now since it will help illustrate this step and subsequent steps. From step 1 you measured how tall you want your side pieces to be. I used my miter saw and cut each piece at 90 degrees (straight cuts).

At first I was going to leave gaps in between the boards, and thus only cut two pieces per side. In the end I decided to go with 3 per side (equaling 6 boards total) for added stability, and an improved look.

Update: I added two pieces to the back to close up the gap. Thus you will cut 8 boards to this length if you want the look I went with.

Step 3: Connect side pieces

Lay out the 6 boards you cut and determine what side of the wood you want to be seen, and then flip that over so you are working on the back of the wood. 

Using your kreg jig, cut two pocket holes in the side of 2 out of the 3 boards, and then repeat for the other 3 boards. You will also want to create two pocket holes on each of the 6 boards along where the top of the stand will be attached. (Update: If you use the two boards for the back, you will want to drill these two holes per board as well)

To determine which kreg screw is the best length for the wood you are using, use the following chart :
Courtesy of
Once you have created what should be a total of 28 pocket holes, screw the boards together (the board you didn't create side pocket holes in will be in the middle of each of the sets of 3)

Step 4: Determine width of first board that will be on the top shelf of the stand

For this I took my two sides, and set them up how I wanted them to be in the corner. Doing this allowed me to see how far out (from the corner), I wanted the shelf to be, and then I used my measuring tape and measured from one wall to the other where the front of the stand would be. 

Note: The front lip of the shelf is a few inches in front of the sides of the stand so place your measuring tape a little bit in front of where the sides are, and measure from one wall to the other...hopefully this makes sense.

Now lay out the wood pieces you want for the top (I used 3 2x4s), measure out the length you wanted for the front of your top's piece, and cut it at 45 degree angles. You will do this for the other two boards, with the width for each starting where the larger board left off...

After they are cut, attach them together using the kreg jig again. I am noticing that the one without the pocket holes is the front piece. It would probably be better if you left the middle one without the holes for added strength, but just an FYI, my piece is a beast and is seriously so strong, that building it the way I did works as well.

Step 5: Sand down these pieces to the desired softness

Prior to attaching each of the pieces, I had sanded them down to 150 grit softness. However, when drilling in pocket holes, additional sanding around the holes is often needed. You can also make sure everything else feels nice now that it is together too. You can sand later, but it is a lot easier to get around without dealing with hard to reach corners once everything is put together.

Step 6: Attach top to sides

Now this is where I made a dumb mistake...

Can you tell what I did wrong? I didn't notice until it was too late...

See all of that wood putty? It is because I forgot what side would be seen the most, and put the side where all of the pocket holes are facing the wrong direction! So to avoid this mistake, when attaching the sides to the underside of the angled top, make sure your pocket holes are facing your walls/corner. 

Step 7: Create your shelves

This is the most annoying step of all, but I would suggest cutting your shelves to size at this point in the process, not sooner. Figure out where you want your shelves to be, (I wanted my bottom shelf just under an inch from the ground, and then divided the remaining area into 2 to determine where I wanted the other shelf). Then take your measuring tape and measure the area, (between the inside of the two sides where your shelf will go) determining the width of the front of the shelf.

Then repeat the first part of step #4, but since you are using just two boards per shelf, you only need to drill two pocket holes on one of the two pieces per shelf. 

On all four boards, you will drill holes where the shelves will connect to the sides of the stand.

Lastly, join your the two boards together per shelf, and then place your shelves where you want them in the stand, and screw the shelves to the sides of the stand.

Step 8: Apply whatever finish you want

If you want a truly rustic look, and want to keep the raw pine look, you will just need to apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane at this point. 

If you want the look I went for:

Then here is how you do it:

Restoration Hardware Finish How-to

Here is the look I wanted to emulate...

Step 1: Apply Stain

I once thought that Rustoleum's Weathered Gray stain would be a good gray for the grayish hue of RH's look, but it is too gray, and doesn't have the warm hue that RH furniture has. So I took my Weathered Gray and mixed in some General Finishes Brown Mahogany gel stain I had, as well as a Golden Oak stain I had. The mixture was approximately 3 parts mahogany, 2 parts oak, 1 part weathered gray. I suggest you making a mix of what you have on hand, or find a stain that has a little more brown than gray.

This is what it looked like after 1 coat of my stain concoction.

Step 2: Lightly sand down stain

I wanted a more rustic look so I used 150 grit sandpaper on my hand sander and sanded it down til it got a look I liked better.

Then, looking back at my RH inspiration, I noticed there was more white in the look, and so I decided to try liming wax.

Step 3: Apply clear wax

If you have worked with chalk paint before you will have worked with wax. Wax is great because you can achieve all different sheens, both matte all the way to a high reflective sheen, without having to buy different waxes. To allow you to work with the liming wax look, you need to apply a coat of the clear wax first. I did this very quickly using an old sock and wiping on a very small amount all over the piece.

Step 4: Make Liming Wax and apply it

Liming Wax ain't cheap, and since I had a can of Annie Sloan's clear wax on hand (used in prior step), and some latex white paint, I decided to make my own.

I used a plastic spoon and scooped out approximately 2-3 scoops of the wax. I then used a little less than a spoonful of the paint, and stirred the two together. In retrospect I think I should have used less paint so that the end result was less white, and closer to RH's look. That is the beauty of homemade can alter them based on the look you want.

I then took a rag, got a small dab of the liming wax, and wiped it on the stand in the direction of the grain, letting it gather in all of the natural nooks and crannies of the wood. At first it didn't make much of an impact, so I worked it into the areas that I thought needed it more. Because of the first coat of the clear wax, you can work the liming wax on or off depending on what look you desire. 

Those dumb places where I filled in the wood putty took the stain and liming wax differently than the wood, so they annoy me with how much they stand out. However if you avoid this error you will have a much nicer looking stand. Since I built this for us, and for our basement, I figured oh well.

Final Result:

And there it is in our lovely, unfinished basement. For all of you P90xer's, there is Tony Horton gearing me up for a workout. This stand is so sturdy that it holds a variety of solid hand weights without even flinching. 

So that is it! Hope the 2 fer 1 post taught you something that will encourage you to try some simple woodworking, or creating your own concoction of liming wax. Hopefully this will also help you avoid some of the mistakes I made, or save you the time of having to think of how to execute this seemingly simple construction. What is nice is that you can create a corner desk or other similar items using these concepts. 

If you have any tips or tricks please share! Also, if you have made any other simple pieces using a kreg jig I'd love to hear all about them. I would love to try something else that is within my limited skill set.


  1. love all your tips as well as the cabinet. thanks for sharing

    1. You're very welcome! Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  2. super...exactly the project I was looking for, Mimi. Luckily all my 2x4s are genuine size, old-growth reclaim and look *awesome* just left with their own patina and a little bit 'o wax. Mine will end up slightly larger and taller-- I'll post pix when I'm done, some time in February. Thanks so much for your inspiration and the details you posted! I'm also getting that jib....for 100 bucks and all the other projects I can use it on? it's a keeper. THANK YOU!

    1. Dorothy I'm excited to see your finished product! I'm also excited to hear what you think of the kreg jig!

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  4. You are SO nice to share your very clear directions! Thank you!


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