From putting up floating to corner and fixed-bracket shelves, you can save money spent on adding storage space while enjoying a refreshed look of your home.
There are specific steps to follow to make and put up shelves. Whether you’re putting up shelves in your living room or retail store, you want to ensure they’re being put up correctly. Here is advice on the approach used by a licensed handyman:
Step 1. Preparation of the materials and supplies
For a bespoke shelf building, you need to cut pieces of wood, MDF, plywood, particleboard, or
● Glass shelving has its aesthetic benefits, but units tend to be fragile and might not be
the right choice for storing heavy items.
● Particleboard shelves look as attractive as wood units and come with cost benefits.
You can’t ignore, though, that they are not as sturdy and durable as plywood furniture.
You can efficiently work on them, but remember that your final product won’t withstand
the test of time if you load it with heavy items.
● Plywood is an innovative and versatile go-to choice for shelf building. Be cautious if you
are new to carpentry, as it would be difficult for you to finish the edges of the plank
without adding a thin adhesive-backed strip of veneer.
● Assumptions on lumber sturdiness based on the “hardwood” or “softwood” label are
incorrect. Both hardwood and softwood lumber are classic choices for making a shelf.
Harder woods are more robust, heavier, and denser than softwoods, making them more
resistant to wear and tear. When adequately treated, softer woods can serve you as well
as the harder woods.
● Shelves made from reclaimed wood may seem like the perfect alternative to
robust hardwood shelving. However, be careful to inspect them for toxins, asymmetrical
holes in the lumber, and pest presence before the project starts.
● MDF is inexpensive and smooth material to lay a couple of paint coats on. To prepare a
shelf for painting, apply a layer of wood filler. The latter will help enhance the paint grip.
The toolkit you will need:
● Stud finder
● Pencil and a ruler
● Shelf brackets
● Power drill
● Drill bits, nails, or screws
● Wood screws
Step 2. Prepare the planks and find the right place
First, you need to measure and mark each of the shelf parts. Safely use a circular saw to cut them out. If you are nervous about the items’ stability, consider adding an extra strip of wood along the shelf’s front edge.
The process is dust-producing, so make sure you wear a face mask. Put a layer of a synthetic sheet on your carpet or floor to store furniture when processing the wood or hanging the shelf.
Next, you need to hang-proof your shelving unit against falls and damage. Your best bet is to find the location for your shelf before you bang a nail on the wall.
The planning stage is the perfect time to prepare a stud finder. Use it to check if there is a stud inside the wall, so you can find the most secure place to attach the shelf unit. With this device, you can detect water pipes, wires, and screws inside the wall, so you can drill with confidence and without the risk of causing damage to your electric or plumbing installation and draw vertical lines along the studs to get a notion of where you should drill the holes. The problem is that few homeowners find time to check for the stud location, but when not doing this sooner or later, you may end up with falling shelves, cracked pipes, or, God forbid, life-threatening electrocution. All you have to do is to slide the stud finder along the wall and wait to hear its signal. That’s the point where you have to mark a point with a pencil.
There is little point in getting ink or pencil trails drawn on your wall. Ensure a clean work area with masking tape. Drawing the lines over it can save you the hassle of cleaning the pencil marks after the job completion.
If there are no studs, ensure extra security when you prepare drywall (hollow-wall) anchors for heavier displays and massive storage units.
Step 3. Mark the holes
To start, position the shelf horizontally with the help of a spirit level. When the unit is perfectly levelled, mark the plank around the edges. Next, set each bracket and place it over the stud lines, so you can easily pinpoint the spots you want to drill in.
Step 4. Drill the holes
A power drill will do a great job of drilling pilot holes at the stud locations (bracket markings) and securing the shelf mount in place. Sometimes, screwing and drilling is a “try-hard” task. Adding even a minor quantity of candle wax onto the screws will make it easier for the screw to drive in. Running out of screws and plugs is a daunting coincidence that can interrupt the smooth hanging process. Hence, ensure you have an extra package of supplies, so your enthusiasm won’t be interrupted by something you forgot to deliver.
Step 5. Wall mount the shelf
Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for – putting up the shelf. Ideally, have a friend to help you hold the shelf aligned against the wall and at the desired height. Carefully screw the brackets on the wall and ensure they are correctly aligned. To do things the professional way, before you secure the plank to the bracket, double-check if the screws are shorter enough, so they don’t show through to the other side of the shelf.
Then, all you need is to repeat the steps for the remaining shelves.
After you have received your shelving unit, you’ll want to get it put up as soon as possible. However, you should consider a few things to ensure that you’re putting them up most safely and effectively as possible. In this article, we cover some of the best practices for putting up shelves so that you can enjoy your new shelving unit immediately!