the perfect white & DIY nursery shelves

The perfect white paint // DIY shelves // sarah sherman samuelI can’t even count how many times I’ve been asked which white paint I used in our house, in our living room, in our bedroom, in the nursery … you get the idea. So, I am dedicating this post to the all important perfect white. A good white is SO much harder to find than one would think and I have painted a LOT of whites. Some are too yellow, some too blue, and some can even be too blinding bright. What I look for in a good white is its neutrality, and not too bright but not too dark. In other words… I don’t like my whites looking dirty or showing some weird color casts.

I found my white soul mate (I mean the paint, not Rupert) in “snow fall” by Behr. Throughout the house, we used an eggshell finish on the walls, semi-gloss on the trim and doors, and matte on the ceiling. ALL of that same beautiful white.
This post is brought to you by BEHR. Color that’s True to Hue. If you feel it you can find it. Visit truetohue.behr.com

The perfect white paint 1 // DIY shelves // sarah sherman samuelThis wall in the nursery was originally painted a dark charcoal color so  “snow fall” had its’ work cut out for it. That was the first step in brightening the nursery and creating this little reading nook. Second step was putting up the simple book ledge shelves, getting a super cozy swivel rocker, and some extra toy storage.

The perfect white paint 3 // DIY shelves // sarah sherman samueland now onto those shelves…

I wanted a place to display Archie’s growing book collection as well have quick access to for bedtime reading so we made the ledges out of raw maple, inspired by the raw wood of the crib.

nursery book ledge // sarah sherman samuel

Supplies needed:
6 pieces of maple 3/4”x1.5”x60’  (bought at home depot)
drill
counter sink drill bit
cabinet screws
level
finish nails (easiest with a nail gun)
wood filler
wood glue

Step one: Map it out. I first laid out where I wanted the shelves to go with painters tape.

Step two: Find where the studs are on the wall and mark it on the tape. Measure and mark 3 pieces of wood to correspond with the marks on the tape. Make sure to mark it on the 3/4” side (the short side). This will be the three boards that make up the base of the ledges.

drilling-shortsideStep three: Drill pilot holes for the screws where you marked the board for the studs. Make sure you are drilling on the short side so the 3/4” side will be butted up to the wall.

Step four: Use a countersink drill bit to make sure the screw head will be recessed from the edge of the board.holes-LStep five: Screw the 3.5” cabinet screws through the board attaching them to the wall.

Step six: use wood glue and spread a thin line across the exposed 3/4” length of one of the boards on the wall. Grab one of the remaining boards and attach it with a nail gun to the board attached to the wall creating a “L” shape that is lying on its back if you look at the edge. Repeat this for the remaining two shelves.

Step seven: use a small amount of wood filler to disguise the holes from the finish nails.

Step eight: stock it with your favorite books!

The perfect white paint 3 // DIY shelves // sarah sherman samuelI love how the books become art against the white wall while sitting on the simple shelves. I’ve also sprinkled in a few of Archer’s favorite critters here and there, to give it some extra dimension.

Sources: Paint Color is “Snow Fall” by Behr // Swivel Rocker by Land of Nod // Fox Pillow from Urban Outfitters // Large Fox and Raccoon by Walnut Animal Society // Small woodland critters by Woodland Tale // Storage Baskets from One Kings Lane

  • Hi Sarah,
    I love the shelves and am a BIG lover of white paint! My whole house is being enveloped in white and I am obsessed with the way it makes the art pop.
    As for those gorgeous children’s books, I teach a college level Children’s Literature course and commend you on your choice of books for Archer. Reading to him one of the best gifts you can give your little guy and your book choices are examples of current quality children’s lit choices.
    It’s a huge bonus the illustrations act as art and pick up the colours in the nursery and the rest of your beautiful home!
    cheers

  • That nursery room looks lovely! By choosing white for its theme, I think the nursery looks cleaner and more child-friendly. All the items and furniture inside it fit perfectly in place. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  • Cassandra

    You are always so generous about leaving product sources in each and everyone of your posts. May I ask where that little gold flush mount light fixture came from? Thank you!

  • Beth Sanzone

    Love the dresser color. Can I ask how much paint you used? It seems that brand only does gallon or the pints?

    Thanks!

  • just perfect! Where are those little wood cut out shapes from?

  • They don’t have Snow Fall at Home Depot anymore… Do you know a similar color? Or have another favorite white?

    • Hi Kristin,
      Even if they don’t have the swatch they should be able to still mix it as the color should be on file in their computer. I just picked some up last week.
      Best,
      Sarah

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  • It looks lovely and very simple :) !

  • sharina

    Where are those little wood cut out shapes from? :)

  • Hi Sarah,

    The nursery is beautiful! From looking on The Land of Nod, I didn’t see the white option for the glider Would you mind sharing what fabric you ordered and if you special ordered?

    Thank You! Susie

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