Farmhouse Style Corbel Shelf

Farmhouse Style Corbel Shelf

Have you ever moved to a new house? We have. Many times. It always takes awhile to get things how you want them.  My list of projects feels endless.

This week I knocked another project off my list; a decorative corbel shelf in the living room! Hooray, no more bare green wall (Yes, green! Fixing that is for another post hopefully this summer.)

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - finished photo 11

(This is a sponsored post, and there are some affiliate links in this post which simply means that I get a small commission if you purchase through those links, at no cost to you. More details can be found in my Disclosure page about sponsored posts and affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my small venture!)

The space above our television in our family room was bare, and I was at a total loss as to what to put there. But then I came across the collection of corbels at Osborne Wood Products and I just knew that they would be perfect for putting a large corbel shelf above the TV.

Now remember, as you look at these photos, that this room is NOT how I’d like it yet. My plans are huge, including board and batten and crown molding and lots of paint! (That green has got to go!) But for now, this shelf adds tons of character and brightens up the space. It’s amazing how one addition to a room can make it feel ever so much more homey and comfortable.

Plus, just keeping it real, this DIY house stuff takes lots of time and money and we all know neither are easy to come by. But, a step at a time, right?

Here’s how I created this wood corbel shelf!

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Prepping the corbels:

It took me awhile to decide what to do with these corbels. When I opened them and loved them even more than I did when I saw them online. First, I want to thank Osborne Wood Products for sending them for this project, because they are made incredibly well and have all the brackets pre-installed for hanging. Osborne is a great company!Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - bare wood corbels

As you can see I’ve got a nice collection of RYOBI Power Tools. You can find this project and so many awesome other projects on RYOBI Nation website. I’ve been pretty impressed with these tools. The drill is much more powerful than my old one and I love the flexibility of everything being battery powered. Thanks RYOBI!

Okay, so I took the corbels into my living room and looked around at the rest of my furnishings and felt like I needed them to be white. Everything in this room is dark, and with the green walls right now everything is even darker, so I needed to add some white. After I decided I wanted them white I then decided they needed to be distressed, but I wanted a darker color to shine through the distressing, so here’s what I did…

First, I stained. I used Minwax Dark Walnut and applied it using a sponge brush and rag to wipe off the excess.

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - bare wood corbels, ready to stain

They looked gorgeous. I even reassessed and considered not painting them, but again, in the space the only thing that made sense was some white.

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - prepping stained corbels for paint

Next, I applied petroleum jelly to all the spots where I didn’t want the paint to stick. I had read about this technique in a few places, but they all used chalk paint. I decided to try it with this latex paint the Behr Premium Plus Paint and Primer in One. There is definitely a difference, but for the look I was going for, this worked just fine! Once I had all the petroleum jelly where I wanted it, I painted. I applied it fairly thick and you can see where the petroleum jelly is hiding under the paint.

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - painted corbel

You’ll see after the paint dries that it comes off of those petroleum jelly spots very easily.

Here is one painted and one distressed. It gives it a fun chippy look, and while it doesn’t necessarily look old, it adds a lot of character. Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - one corbel distressed, one not

In addition to scraping off some of the paint, I also used a chisel to distress the wood a bit on the edges. This is totally up to personal preference. I wanted it to seem a little more worn than the new corbels were.

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - using chisel to distress edges slightly


Next,  determine how long your shelf is going to be. I did this by measuring where the studs were in my wall, where I wanted the corbels, and going from there. Turned out that my shelf was going to be just under 6ft wide, which is pretty big, so I used three corbels. I cut the board to size, did a dry fit to be sure it would look okay, then sanded it. I finished it using some Dark Walnut stain to darken it up and coated it with Polycrylic.

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - deciding on board length

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - staining shelf board

After your shelf has completed dried, dry fit the corbels on the shelf to be sure it will all fit well.

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - corbels back brackets

Hanging the corbels:

My trick for hanging things like this is to trace the back of the item you’ll be hanging and mark exactly where you want the screw to go. These corbels had brackets in them and it was important that they be lined up perfectly level with the other corbels, but also with the two screws in each one. It’s a lot to line up, but by doing it on paper and taping it to the wall, it makes it pretty simple to line up before doing anything permanent! Here are some photos of that process.

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - technique for arranging corbelsOsborne Wood Corbel Shelf - lining up where to hang corbels

Use your awesome Ryobi drill to secure the screws into the studs. This drill works awesome and makes the job so easy!

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - screwing into walls 1

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - screwing into walls

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - leveling corbels

Hanging Shelf:

Once the corbels are all hung and leveled, go ahead and dry fit the shelf to make sure it’ll fit flat on top. Place it where you want it by measuring the overhang on each side, then use a pencil to mark on the underside of the shelf where each corbel goes. This will help you to drill the screw into the shelf which will hold it into the bracket on top of each corbel.

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - dry fitting shelf on hung corbels

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - adding corbel screw to shelf

Osborne Wood Corbel Shelf - dry fitting the shelf and corbels

Alright, now that you have all the screws into the shelf, and the corbels hung onto the screws, lift it and hang it on the wall! Admire your handiwork, then load it up with gorgeous decor pieces. You’ll love it!


This corbel shelf project is quite simple, yet makes a huge impact in the room!

Now onto plans for the walls and for another media console that matches the decor better. Always updating, always improving. I just love it!

Osborne corbel shelf - finished photo 4

Osborne Corbel Shelf - finished photo 6

Osborne Corbel Shelf - finished photo 9

Osborne corbel shelf - finished photo 11

Osborne Corbel Shelf - finished photo 13

What do you think of my corbel shelf??? Please comment! Also, here’s a pinnable image for you to save to Pinterest!

Osborne Wood Corbel shelf - pinnable image

Also, check out some of my other home decor projects:

DIY Flower Box CenterpieceDecorative Wood Serving TrayDIY Wood Designs using a Router, Reclaimed Barn Wood Art

Thanks friends!




(This post was sponsored by Ryobi and Osborne Wood Products. All opinions are truthful and are completely mine.)

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