How to Install Wall Shelves

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Installing shelves on the wall is a great, inexpensive way to add extra storage to a room.

Things You'll Need

  • laser lever and stud sensor
  • shelving hardware (shelves, brackets and metal strips)
  • drill
  • screws
  • Determine the size (width and height) of the shelving area.

  • Go to a hardware store and choose shelves for the project. Ask the hardware store to cut the shelves to size (many will do this for free, and it is often worthwhile, especially if you don't have the correct power tools at home).

  • While at the hardware store, look for shelving hardware. I like the metal strips with the slots so that you can adjust the spacing between the shelves as needed. Choose metal strips and appropriate brackets for the project. Make sure the size of the brackets is correct for the size of the shelf.

  • Use the stud sensor to find the first one and mark it using a pencil or chalk. Then find the other studs. You need at least 2 studs to hangs shelves, but 3 would be better. You need one metal strip for each stud. We bought a Black and Decker 20' Beam Self-Leveling Line Generator Laser Level for this project.

  • Put the metal strip against the wall and mark the screw holes. Use the laser level to mark screw holes at the correct location on the other stud(s).

  • Attach one metal strip to the wall. First make a hole of the same size as the screw using the drill, then hold the metal strip against the wall and attach with screws. Do the same with the other metal strip(s). Make sure the screw holes are aligned (they should be if step 3 is done correctly).

  • Screw in the other two metal strips the same way.

  • Attach 2-3 brackets for each shelf. Lay the shelf on the brackets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Electrical tape the same color as your shelves is a simple way to cover up rough edges.
  • Make sure you take accurate measurements of the shelf width and the height of the shelving area.

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