Mexican Shelf

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Project by Thomas Porter posted 05-26-2008 09:12 AM 2577 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a client who wanted a very small shelf to match his existing furniture. He wanted a 20”x5” pine shelf with as little hardware visible as possible, and he wanted it to be antiqued and mexicanized like his hutch and end table. It also needed to be mounted to a brick wall. Building mexican furniture is fun because they purposely beat the crap out of the wood to make it look cool. It’s also easy to finish. Here’s how I built it.

I cut the wood up and assembled up the mitered corners, gluing the pieces and clamping them down, leaving the front piece off. Then I drilled countersunk holes for the anchors. I drilled five of them so I could use more shallow anchors. This also allowed me to level the piece easier. I wanted the hardware to be hidden and then just attach the front piece after it was installed to hide everything. It worked great.

When I had everything together, I stained the piece with a honey oak minwax stain and then took it out to the garden and threw it around in the dirt and rocks. Then I beat it with a chain lightly and rubbed it up againts a rough brick. Then, I took steel wool and brushed the whole piece vigorously. I applied more stain as needed and then steel wooled again. It came out exactly the right color (must have been the dirt :-). I finished it with furniture was. That’s what most of the Mexican furniture places use. It’s cheap and easy. It was a lot of work to rough something up and make it look cheap. Not my thing, but I do what I’m told. It was fun nonetheless.

So I installed it drilling pilot holes in the masonry and using a level. Then I used a brad nailer to secure the front piece on and used colored wood putty to fill in the brad holes. Turned out nice. Hold their clock up great. On to the next project….

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ,

5 comments so far

View mzmac's profile


94 posts in 4948 days

#1 posted 05-26-2008 01:05 PM

Great Idea I will use it for floating bookshelves Thanks

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 5103 days

#2 posted 05-26-2008 02:44 PM

cool design and description.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View ryno101's profile


388 posts in 4945 days

#3 posted 05-26-2008 02:47 PM

Cool stuff..

I was once involved in a restaurant build-out where the painting crew did similar things with the wainscoting… It’s not every day you see several painters wailing on the walls with chains!

Good idea on getting that mounted without showing the hardware. Great design.

-- Ryno

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 5004 days

#4 posted 05-26-2008 10:30 PM

This is indeed a very clever way to conceal wall mounts and present a nice, clean look. I’m sorry but I may have to add this to great ideas I stole from people smarter than me. As always, bbqKing.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4969 days

#5 posted 05-27-2008 04:10 PM

thank you for the mounting tips …great job and story : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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