A Piet Mondrian/Mid-century modern inspired twist on an Expedit shelving unit. With the end use of a media stand.
Materials and tools
1 Expedit shelving unit
2 1″ x 16″ x 72″ edge glued Aspen boards – carried at the local big box home store $30 apiece
4 6″ tapered legs and mounting plates – -also at the home store ~$5 apiece
Desired stain/finish for wood
Red, yellow, blue, and black paint
Painting and finishing supplies
220,120, and 60 grit sandpaper
Orbital palm sander
Drill and bits
Router and desired bit – optional
1. After taking measurements of the shelves had to relocate two of the dividers to make room for the center channel speaker. They each needed to be moved outward 1 1/2″.
a. Carefully measure and drill for the 16 (8 for each divider) new holes with a 15/64″ drill bit. 1/4″ or 3/16″ would probably work as well. Be sure to put a piece of tape on the bit as a depth marker so you don’t drill all the way through.
b. I used small round white vinyl stickers to cover the old holes.
2. Assemble unit
3. Mask off the face edges of the shelves and carry the lines out onto the top and sides of the cabinet. Lightly sanded the areas to be painted black with 120 grit paper. Used a pint can of gloss black enamel. Applied with a 1″ foam brush. Only painted the front since it will be against a wall. Do both sides if it will be seen from all angles.
*In hindsight I would have primed everything first, painted the red, yellow, and blue interiors, and the black last . Had to do a lot of touch up by hand with a tiny paintbrush afterwards.
4. Next I used wrapping paper from the dollar store to help decide color placement.
5. After deciding on a color layout lightly sand area to be painted with 120 grit, clean up dust and prime with a good primer for glossy material. At first, I used a pint can of water based latex primer. It peeled right off, $#!@!. Then used a higher quality primer for glossy surfaces. Did the trick.
6. Apply the colored paint where desired. Two coats. I used pint cans of gloss latex paint. Applied with a 6″ foam roller. Now my paint didn’t come out as smooth as I would have liked, but, the slight texture is nice. It adds some visual interest. Painting isn’t my strong point. Maybe some of you know of some better techniques.
7. Cut the aspen boards to length remember to leave length for overhang on each end. I cut it 5/8″ longer than the unit. The 16″ width worked perfect for my needs since the unit is only 15 3/8″ deep.
8. Route edges. Used a 45º chamfer bit with a bearing. Set the depth to bevel half of the thickness of the board.
This is optional.
9. Sand boards with 120 than 220 paper. Clean dust and apply desired finish. I used Black Walnut Danish oil per instructions on the can and two coats of a semi-gloss water based poly. Lighly buffed with extra fine steel wool between coats of poly.
For the first application I poured the oil on a rag and rubbed it on. For the second I just poured it onto the board then rubbed it in with a rag. Don’t be afraid to really pour on the oil when doing the second application. Oil needs to cure for 72 hours before applying the poly.
Used a Premium semi-gloss water based poly that came in a squeeze tube. Very easy to use.
No need to stain the areas of the boards that will be glued to the unit. I oiled the underside of the bottom board, but, didn’t poly it.
10. Give the legs the same treatment.
11. Attach legs after finish has dried. On mine the center of each leg is 5″ in from the side and 2″ in from the front or back.
12. Sand the top and bottom of the Expedit unit with 60 grit to rough up the surface and clean up the dust. I had to sand down the tops of the side boards of the unit to get an even surface.
13. Apply construction adhesive. Be sure to read what it is recommended for and buy the appropriate one. Don’t put it so close to the edges that it oozes out all over you project. Place unit onto bottom board then place top board on unit. Can use clamps or evenly place some weight on top of the unit.
14. Stand back and marvel at your work! And be creative, make it your own!