How to Build a Floating Shelf Like a Professional

Want to learn how to build a floating shelf? It can be easier than you think.

Floating shelves are a great way to create a beautiful and functional piece of home decor. They can help you display your collectibles or showcase the items that you love most.

With floating shelves, the sky is the limit. It fits well for your basement. Cover up your wall easily, or whatever box you are working on.

That said, here are a few tips and tricks that will help. Here’s how to build a floating shelf like a professional.

Proper Materials on How to Build a Floating Shelf

Before we dive into the construction process, gather all the necessary materials and tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • wooden boards
  • measuring tape
  • pencil 
  • circular saw 
  • screwdriver or cordless drill
  • level
  • wood screws
  • wall anchors
  • sandpaper 
  • paint or wood finish

Now that you’ve gathered your materials, let’s get started on building your floating shelves.

Measure and Plan

Start by deciding the dimensions of your floating shelf. Measure the wall space where you intend to install the shelf and decide how long and wide you want it to be. Consider the items you plan to place on it and ensure they are sturdy enough to support them.

Use your measuring tape and pencil to mark the dimensions on your wooden boards. Double-check your measurements to avoid any mistakes.

Cut the Wooden Boards

One of the key steps in building a professional-quality floating shelf is cutting the wooden boards to the correct size. To do this, first measure the desired length of your shelf and mark it on the board.

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Using your circular saw or miter saw, carefully cut the wooden boards according to the measurements you marked. Make sure your cuts are straight and clean for a professional look.

For a seamless look, use a miter saw to cut the ends of the board at a 45-degree angle. With the boards cut to size, you are ready to move on to the next step in building a stunning floating shelf.

Sand the Edges

After constructing the main frame of the floating shelf, the next step is to achieve a smooth and professional look by sanding the edges. This is an important step that should not be skipped to ensure a polished end result.

Begin by using a coarse grit sandpaper to remove any rough edges or splinters. Then, switch to a finer grit sandpaper to create a smoother and even surface. Make sure to sand in the same direction to avoid scratch marks.

After sanding, wipe down the shelf with a damp cloth to remove any dust and debris. This will leave the edges sleek and ready for the next step in building a perfect floating shelf.

Create the Support Brackets

One key element in building a floating shelf like a professional is creating the support brackets. When you decide the desired length of the shelf, mark the location of the brackets on the wall. Then, measure and cut two pieces of wood to the desired length for the brackets.

Using a level, carefully install the brackets into the marked locations on the wall. It is important to ensure that the brackets are securely attached to the wall studs for maximum support. Finally, place the shelf on top of the brackets and secure it with screws or brackets for a sturdy and professional finish.

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To make your floating shelf truly “float,” you’ll need to create hidden support brackets. These will be attached to the wall to give the necessary support for your shelf. Cut two pieces of wood to the desired length for the brackets. These should be shorter than the shelf’s width to stay hidden.

Stain or Paint

Now is the time to add the finish of your choice to your wooden boards and support brackets. Apply wood stains for a natural, rustic look, or paint them in a color that suits your decor. Allow enough drying time as per the product instructions.

Attach the Support Brackets

Locate the wall studs in your chosen installation area using a stud finder. Once you’ve located the studs, use your cordless drill or screwdriver to attach the support brackets to the wall. Make sure they are level and securely anchored into the studs.

If your wall doesn’t have studs in the desired location, use wall anchors for added support. Follow the anchor manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

Install the Shelf

With the support brackets securely in place, it’s time to install the shelf itself. Carefully slide the shelf onto the support brackets. Ensure that it fits snugly and is level.

Use wood screws to secure the shelf to the support brackets from underneath. Make sure the screws are long enough to provide a strong connection but not too long to poke through the top surface of the shelf.

Final Adjustments

Check once more to ensure your shelf is level. Make any necessary adjustments and tighten the screws if needed. Your floating shelf should now be securely attached to the wall.

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Decorate and Organize

Now that your floating shelf is in place, it’s time to decorate and organize it to your heart’s content. You can choose from styles like farmhouse kitchen floating shelves or displaying your favorite books and collectibles. You have a world of possibilities at your fingertips.

Maintenance Tips

Congratulations on building your DIY floating shelf like a pro! To keep your shelves looking their best, here are some maintenance tips:

Perform regular cleaning. Dust your shelves regularly to prevent buildup. Use a damp cloth or a wood-specific cleaner for best results.

Avoid overloading the shelves. While floating shelves are sturdy, it’s essential not to overload them with excessive weight. Stick to the weight recommendations of your chosen brackets and wall anchors.

Inspect periodically. Check the screws and brackets periodically to ensure they remain secure. Over time, you may want to refinish or repaint your shelves to maintain their appearance.

Start Your DIY Project Soon

Learning how to build a floating shelf is a rewarding DIY project. It can add both functionality and style to your indoor spaces. Get the right materials and tools.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide. This way, you can create professional-looking floating shelves to suit any decor style. So, roll up your sleeves and gather your supplies.

Start transforming your space with beautiful, practical, and stylish floating shelves! Visit our blog for more helpful tips and guides!