Here is a quick shot of some progress.
All the prep work is annoying, but I know, I know, worth it.
Caulk. Wood filler. Spackle.
I caulked all my seams and this time I didn't cut the caulk tube to much. So my caulk line was actually thin and crisp. I filled all the nail holes with caulk too and then went over them with some wood filler. Where I joined the top rail, I also used wood filler as my miter cut wasn't perfectly flush. I blame that on the curvy wall, not my cutting expertise. I also Spackled the wall behind the wood stove. There was a pretty serious crack that needed to be filled in. This wall used to have wallpaper on it. That was a ROYAL PAIN to get down. So this wall isn't perfect and I suspect the heat from the stove caused the crack. Maybe it won't come back. I used mesh tape.
I added the top shelf. I used 1x3 poplar boards and nailed it right to the top rail.
Also, if you are really good at the game, what is different in this picture, you'll notice I adjusted the vertical board spacing. My far right "box" was 2 inches larger than the rest. I didn't notice at first, but then it bothered me. All the boards to the right of the wood stove received a slight shift by 1.5 inches. They are not all perfect, but my eye is tricked now.
I can't wait to paint, but I am patiently waiting for the wood filler and Spackle to dry.