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    How to build your own floating shelves

    Published on 20 February 2015, Friday, 2:50 AM

    Building your own shelves is a great way to increase storage, save money on buying furniture and improve the look of your home. Floating shelves allow you to achieve these benefits in a streamlined and attractive way. This quick guide will take you through the basics of making your own shelves.

    Planning your installation

    It's important at this juncture to consider how your shelves will be used - this will have a major influence on your construction.

    Who will be using these shelves? Are you displaying priceless antiques out of harm's way, or kid's books and toys? How you intend to use this storage piece will determine where it is positioned in the house, and how high or low on the wall. Aesthetic factors will play into this as well.

    What you're storing will also dictate how well-secured your shelf needs to be. Lining up signed cricket balls for display won't require much more than average-strength shelves, but holding up a range of spices in heavy glass jars will necessitate heavier anchors and joining to the stud.

    Build a frame

    Floating shelves are so attractive because they don't have any bulky hardware holding them up. Instead, the fastening is done internally.

    The easiest way to go about this project is to build a frame for your shelf out of a light wood, such as pine. The shelf is essentially hollow - you have a solid back, front and sides, with thin board forming the top and bottom.

    When joining your frame, pre-drill your holes to avoid splitting, and make sure to have several braces running the depth of the shelf - this will stop the board from bowing inwards.

    Assemble on the wall

    Once you have marked out where your stud is, line up your shelf frame, making sure it is level. A string line is good, but a stud finder and laser level from Kennards Hire is even better.

    Use anchor screws to secure your frame to the stud - two screws per stud. Now it's time to secure your top and bottom boards. Hard board is good, or a thin piece of ply or timber. Glue and nail this in place (it should be cut to size when you build the frame).

    At the moment, your shelf looks a bit of mess, right? Well, time to pull out the putty, sandpaper and stain or paint. You can colour these any way you like. A dark stain will give you the look of classic hardwood, while a glossy white DIY paint job will fit with a minimalist theme.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.