Do you feel like we’re always talking about dog food stations? You should, because we are!
After making Jack his personal set-up, we introduced Chunk to the family, and so we made a larger one, as any sane pet owner would do (right?). But when we recently added our sliding patio door to the kitchen, we no longer had the space for a straight-across, 3-bowl station, as was the original plan. This was actually quite the situation around our home, as we debated between two sizes of door – 5′ or 6′? The 5′ would allow for our pups to chow down at the station they had grown to love, because there would be enough wall space to the right of the door. The 6′, on the other hand, would eliminate too much of the wall, and we’d need to get creative with something new. Now, I’ll admit that it is absolutely batty to base the size of a doorway around the comfort of your dogs’ dining situation, but when you’re 8 months deep into a kitchen renovation, all reason starts to fly out the window (or should I say, door?).
Scott, sensible man that he is, insisted that we move forward with the 6′ door and encouraged us to think outside the box. He promised me that the dogs could still get Their Space in the new kitchen with, hmm, a corner station? And so the DIY corner station was born, taking up nothing more than the small wedge of space next to our 6′ door efficiently and effectively. As it turns out, all that worry was for nothing, as is typically the case. It’s super strong and works like a charm!
SUPPLIES USED FOR UP TO 2’/SIDE STATION
2 – 1″ plywood project panels (2′ x 2’/each)
5-6 – 1 1/2″ x 5/8″ corner braces
Wall touch up paint
Oil based paint or exterior grade paint
Pencil + ruler
Bowl or protractor
Paint brush or small roller
Drill with 1/2″ hole saw bit
Sander / fine grit sandpaper
WHAT WE DID. The night before we started, we used construction adhesive to glue the two plywood project panels together. We wanted the edges to look extra thick and slightly modern, and we found this to be the most cost effective way to do so. We clamped them together overnight, although stacks of heavy books would also do the trick!
The next day, I measured and drew the layout of the station. In our case, each side would be 17″, (although the project panels would allow anything up to 24″), and we wanted the slimmest depth possible, coming in at 8″. I found that one of our bowls would ensure a snug fit for our dog dishes, and I evenly spaced out three circles – a dish for each pups’ food and one for water.
Scott first used a circular saw to cut out the L-shape of the station and then removed the plywood where the bowls would sit using a jigsaw. A 1/2″ hole saw bit allowed the jigsaw a place to start, and then he carefully circled the cuts:
The fresh cuts received a sanding, and then he spackled the exposed edges so they would look and feel as clean as possible. Everything was sanded once more before I moved on to paint!
The original intent was to paint the plywood with a high gloss oil based paint (as seen in the supplies photo above), but the first coat just would not dry due to a humid, rainy day. Not having the patience to wait overnight between coats, I caved and pulled out the same exterior grade white paint we used on our front porch, Valspar Aspire. It has held up through snowy winters and a rainy spring, so we were confident it’d do just fine against doggy dribbles! (The verdict one month later? So far, so good!)
While that dried, we got to work installing the corner braces to the wall. Each brace got one 30 lb. anchor (overkill, for sure!) and a drywall screw. The braces are 1 1/2″ tall, so the finished station covered them completely. However, for extra credit, you could always paint them the same color as the wall so any variations in the drywall would leave them imperceptible.
Underneath the station, we used one drywall screw per side to keep it from shifting around. Should we need to remove it completely to clean the wall, it would be little work to do so.
With the exception of the plywood panels and corner braces, we had most of the supplies on hand – paint, adhesive, anchors and spackle – making this a $25 project for us. Should you need to buy everything, you could spend upwards of $60 on the supplies, but of course a lot of those items (again, paint, adhesive, anchors and spackle) would get used for other projects down the line, too.
The dogs could care less, but we like to think this makes them extra happy (it does for us!)! Just as most couples have their favorite side of the bed, Jack and CC have always kept to their side of the food station. If that wasn’t adorable enough, they’ve always been sweet about taking their turns with the water bowl.
Now, let’s all cross our fingers that this will be the last time we need to discuss DIY food stations, am I right?