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Floating Shelves From Scratch

Let’s get started…


  • Tape measure
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Wood Screws
  • Miter Saw
  • Orbital Sander/Sanding Block
  • Square
  • Level
  • Stud-finder
  • Clamps (6 would do)
  • Drill
  • Countersink drillbit
  • Hearing Protection
  • Safety Glasses


  • 2 – 1″x6″x8′ Pine
  • 3 – 1″x2″x8′ Pine

So here is a warped 1×6. I spent a bunch of time at the store doing my best to make sure the pieces weren’t warped. Apparently I need to spend MORE time. I didn’t notice just how off this piece was until I saw it on-screen. Better preparation can eliminate making your pregnant wife stand on boards for 3 hours to straighten them out. You live, you learn.

I use my square to line up my measurements of 32″. Though, the saw should cut this thing square if lined up correctly.

Like this!

Make-shift command center! We’ve been upgraded from one extension cord to TWO!

Dry fitting the actual shelf.

Dry fitting the wall-mount with the shelf.

Counter-sinking the screw holes for the wall-mount framing. You could use nails, but I’d rather screw these.

Wood Glue before ya Screw! Never forget!

Clamps. Invest in clamps.

With the bottom 1×2 in place, I glue the top piece with the sides and middle.

Clamping & Screw!

I throw these in to squelch the rumors that I actually hired someone to do all this stuff for me. Not cool, Rach. Not cool.

This piece is going to be our wall anchor and holding the weight of the shelf. My house’s studs are 16″ apart. I went 8″ off-center in each direction to mark out where my anchor lines up with the studs.

Gluing the actual shelf.

And clamping. I NEED MORE CLAMPS!

This is how they look when holding hands. Aww…

The 2nd shelf makes a cameo!

Despite the shop-vac being hooked up to the miter saw, my dust collection system is SUPER ineffective!

I sand the shelf down so it’s nice and smooth. I also dry-fit the anchor frame in the shelf to make absolutely sure it slides in and out of there snugly.

Wiped down & ready to paint!

I picked up an eco-friendly no-VOC satin paint and put on 3 coats. Once this dries I may put some polycrylic finish on for a slight shimmer.

See you in a minute!

While yesterday went on without a hitch, today was one of THOSE days. Dead drill batteries, the wrong screws and flight delays.

The first thing I did this morning was throw on 3 coats of satin polycrylic clearcoat. I’m not really a high-gloss kinda guy, so the satin meets me somewhere in the middle.

I think I went up and down the stairs about 50 times today. It was one thing after another. Anyway, enough crying…here’s the goods!

Here I am locating those studs. As I said they’re 16″ apart and my mounting frame is pre-drilled and prepared!

I drill on a little more than a 45 degree angle with 3-1/2″ wood screws. My frame is 3/4″, the drywall is about the same, so I have a good amount of the screw in the wall-studs that will be bearing the weight of the shelf and whatever it holds.

Drill one side in halfway first and use your level to make sure things line up. Drill in your second screw and finish off the first.

Looks good!

Now I slide my shelf right on. It takes a little gusto, but it’s nice, snug and secure!

Later this week I’ll be finishing up the second shelf that will be under this one. What do you think?


One stay at home dad (to be) conquers DIY and Diapers

This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. Rick

      Thanks Christopher! Glad to hear man. Good luck with the saw hunt, let me know how it works out!

  1. Ljerka

    I will try this! Thanks

    1. Rick

      Glad to hear! Good luck!

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