Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Project Post 9: Old Porch Post Ledge

It all started with this ledge that Pottery Barn debuted about a year ago in their catalog.
Here she is in all her glory:
{Image via}

{Image via}
From the moment I saw it I knew two things: 1) This is what I wanted for our large empty wall in the living room to be a focal point and display family photographs, and 2) I would not be paying $400 for it. Since that time, Pottery Barn has come out with a few more similar ledges (pictured below) and I have been brainstorming about what to find/buy/build/make to achieve the same level of satisfaction, purpose, and happiness that I was sure the PB ledge would deliver.

{Other Pottery Barn ledges - above images via}
When we took our mini-vacation to Canton, this was one of the two major things I was looking for (the other being our coffee table). No, I didn't expect to find anything exactly like this during our 7-mile trek around First Monday, but I did expect to walk away with at least some sort of inspiration for the project.

On our second day there, it was actually Tyler who found what we ended up buying to make our ledge. We walked past a vendor who had just a bunch of neat old junk and a big fan (it was 110 degrees and every time we stopped, we propped Levi up in front of a fan), and he also had a bunch of old iron porch posts - the kind you see on a lot of older houses (at least here in Oklahoma you do). There were a lot of neat-looking ones in all different colors, but most of them were too heavy for us to carry back to the trailer, which meant they were too heavy to screw to the wall and hold anything up, too. So back to the idea - it was Tyler's idea to buy one of these posts, turn it horizontal on the wall and put a thick piece of wood across the top of it (where the post almost acts like shelf brackets). I pictured his vision and loved it..although what we ended up with is probably different than what he originally intended. For example: he probably meant for us to use a 2x12 for the wood and in my head I was thinking like a 6" chunk of cedar used for a mantle (I won). Here are some pictures to document the project (there were several steps involved and we took our time, stretching the project out over a few months):

{Porch post, before Tyler cut it down}

{We cut the post and wood down (they were too long for the wall)}

{Just getting an idea of what it'll look like once assembled and hung}

{The sanding, staining, and sealing were my jobs - this is mid-sanding}

{After it was sanded, I brought it inside and vacuumed it}
{Here she is, all prepped and ready for staining}

{I used Minwax stain in Dark Walnut, after seeing them use this color on a project at Young House Love}

{After staining, I sanded down the edges and a few spots}

{Sanding to "weather" the edges a little}

{Next step - I applied a coat of satin polyurethane}

{After the coat of polyurethane}
At this point, the piece of wood was exactly like I wanted it. It was beautiful. Next, Tyler hung the post part on the wall, then he placed the wood on top and screwed it to the post. For added safety, he used some of the iron "scroll" left from the part of the post we didn't use for added bracing, acting like brackets. You'll see them in the finished photos below. I LOVE how it turned out. Here is the big reveal:

{Notice the extra scrolls we used as brackets}

{There are a couple of spots on the wall we'll have to hit with touch-up paint, just act like you can't see that!}

{Close-up of the post - again, ignore the spot we nicked}

There you have it! Everything "on" the ledge is stuff we already had. It will get changed out from time to time...and since we don't have a fireplace, this might act as our mantle for Christmas stockings.


  1. All I can say is I hope I find someone who can make all my ideas come true,, Les!! Gorgeous!!!

  2. I just found your blog and wanted to let you know that I LOVE it! This ledge is amazing and you have sparked my creativity juices. Really, really great job!!

  3. How cute! You did a great job =)
    ~Kelly @ Corner of Main

  4. Thank you guys! Yall are too sweet

  5. Great job recreating the ledge you wanted! Looks nice : )

  6. This looks so cute and I think it would be perfect for hanging your Christmas stockings! :) Thanks for being a part of our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." Hope to see you again real soon!! -The Sisters

  7. Looks nice but I think it would be neat and cool if the scrolls were repainted also.Just a suggestion. :)


  8. AnonymousMay 21, 2013

    Just posted this project on our FB page....great ideas!



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