DIY— Wood Shelves

If you guys having been following along, you know that our living room is currently in the process of a make-over. The plans for this living room was to DIY some wood shelves in order to add some storage and a spot to display a few things. If any of you have a small living room like me, adding shelves is an excellent way to take advantage of vertical space versus taking up floor space.

When planning this project I turned to Pinterest for a little inspiration and for some instructions. There were too different types of shelves that I was leaning towards. Either a look of floating shelves with no hardware visible or a shelf that had visible brackets. In the end, my decision-making boiled down to which version would be a little easier to accomplish.  The choice I went with was shelves with visible brackets.

Shopping List

After I made my decision for which style of shelves I was going to achieve, it was time to make a list of the materials I needed and head to Lowes.

  • wood boards
  • drywall wall hardware
  • L brackets
  • wood screws
  • stain
  • polyurethane
  • black spray paint
  • sander (if you don’t have a sander, than you would need to add sand paper to you shopping list)

The most important thing I had on hand, when I went shopping at Lowes—-were measurements of the space. If you have ever been in the wood section at Lowe’s, you know that they have several options in several different widths, lengths, and depths. You must know your measurements before shopping for materials. I also made sure to have an actual measuring tape with me.  I ended up getting some wood boards that were all pre-cut that were 6 feet in length, 10 inches deep, by 1 inch in thickness.

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Prep Work

Since these wood boards were raw, I needed to do some prep work for my wood boards to be wood shelves. This included—- sanding all surfaces smooth to touch. After everything was smooth, I added my stain followed by sealing everything with polyacrylic.

I also had to do a little prep work with my L brackets that I snagged from the Hardware section. Starting this project I knew that I wanted to have my hardware in the color black. Everything I found only came in a raw metal, and I knew that I could have color I desired with a little spray paint. All the brackets came with price-tags in the form of  a sticker. I tried to simply remove them, however it seemed to be more difficult than it should have been. You can see below the reason why.

Soaking them in soapy water for a few minutes did the trick.

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Rookie Mistake

Learn from my mistakes!! When I made my initial purchase of all my L brackets, I only planned on using 3 brackets per shelf. I also initially bought brackets that were a little too small in length. I went through the whole process and hung my shelves on the wall. Once everything was hung I slowly realized that my brackets were not sturdy enough and the brackets didn’t span the width of my wood boards enough. Since I wanted to make these shelves functional with storage, my shelves had to be sturdy. So I ended up going back to Lowes to purchase larger brackets, and planned to use 4 brackets per shelf. I ended up having to re-hang everything and patch my walls which made this project a little more difficult than I originally intended. But, that’s the risk when tackling DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. Sometimes you don’t get it right the first time, but I have certainly learned from that mistake, and will not make that same mistake again.

The original bracket size I purchased= 5 x 5 inch  The size bracket I have now= 8 x 8 inch. On a shelf that spans 10 inches in depth—- the 8 x 8 inch brackets are a much better fit.

The Finished Product

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xoxo

Denise

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