Tuesday, February 7, 2017

DIY Not-Quite-Floating Shelves

I woke up on Saturday morning NEEDING shelves for our guest bathroom. It has always bothered me that we don't have quite enough space in there, so I thought, why not create some? I took some measurements, spent a little time on Pinterest and off to Home Depot I went. I was inspired by this post from Sarah at Mommy Suite. They may not be floating shelves but they are way easier and for that simple fact I can totally live with a couple of brackets showing. I mean, 24 hours later I had custom shelves with minimal help from the hubs that match my wood floors perfectly. 


I used the following items:


1 - 2 in x 8 in x 10 ft piece of wood
1 - can of white spray paint
4 - 3 in L brackets
4 - 45-pound drywall anchors with screws
8 - 1 in wood screws
1 - small can of wood stain
1 - small can of wood stain prep
1 - pack of stain sponges
1 - pack of 110 sandpaper
1 - pack of 220 sandpaper
1 - pair of disposable gloves
1 - small drill bit for pilot holes
1 - drill bit for your anchors (see back of anchor package)
a drill
a hammer

*Notes about supplies:
- I didn't actually purchase wood because there was a piece in Home Depot's scrap pieces that was big enough for the cuts I needed and their scrap stuff is free so check there first.
- Ask nicely and the Home Depot guy will cut your wood for you as many times as you need.
- The spray paint is to spray your L brackets so use whatever color will match your space best.
- Make sure the size of your wood screws is compatible with your L brackets.

Let's get started:

1. Cover your work area for stain and paint.

2. Spray paint one side of your L brackets and once they are dry flip them and spray the other side.


3. While your L brackets are drying, start sanding your wood. First, with the 110 grit and finish it with the 220 grit.


4. Wipe your wood down with a clean cloth to rid it of any loose dust from sanding.

5. Use one of your stain sponges to wipe your wood with the stain prep on top and all four sides. Give that side about fifteen minutes to soak in and then wipe any leftover prep from the area and repeat this step for the opposite side of the wood.


6. Put your gloves on.

7. Once your wood is completely prepped, use a clean stain sponge to wipe the stain from one end to the other of the face of your wood and all four sides following the grain. Allow to dry for 15 minutes and then wipe excess stain with a clean dry cloth. Flip wood to other side and repeat this step for the face of that side only.

8. Allow to dry overnight.

9. Using the edge of your workspace line up your L brackets about 4 inches from each edge and mark a tiny hole in the center or the holes.


10. Use a drill and small drill bit to drill a pilot hole into your wood so you don't split your wood when you place your screw. Change your drill bit and use your pilot holes to screw your L Bracket into your wood.There should be two holes, Make sure to use both of them for stability. Repeat this step for the other end of your wood. Depending on the type of L bracket you purchase, you may want to bend them forward over your wood to make your wood surface level. You can check this by placing the shelf against a wall before installing.


10. Decide where on your wall you would like your shelves and how far apart you would like them.

11. Using a level and a pencil, draw a line across your wall at the level you would like your screws to line up to use as your guide (you can erase this after). Using a tape measure find the middle point on your wall, where you would like the middle of your shelf to land. Measure from there where each screw will need to be placed by measuring the space from the middle of your shelf out to each L bracket's screw hole. Mark those spots on your wall.


12. Using a drill and a small drill bit, drill pilot holes in your wall as a way to not only find out if you happen to be hitting a stud (like I did, I mean, I hit both of them totally on accident), but also to have a starting point for your larger drill bit.

13. If you hit a stud you can just place your shelf and screw it into the wall using your drill and using your pilot hole as a guide (an extra set of hands here is definitely useful).

14. If you did not hit a stud, use the size drill bit that is suggested on the back of your anchor package to drill a bigger hole in the wall for your anchors using your pilot hole as a guide.

15. Place your anchor in the hole and lightly hammer it into the wall.

16. Place your shelf by lining up your L bracket holes with holes in your wall (an extra set of hands here is definitely useful) and using your drill, screw each screw into it's hole. Erase the light line you drew on your wall.


17. Fill your shelves with lots of pretty stuff.

And there you have it... 24 hours later shelves were on my bathroom wall and they make way more of a difference for that room than I ever thought imaginable. I hope you enjoyed this DIY and I would love to hear how your shelves turned out.

I hope your day is as beautiful as you are!

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