How to Do Particle Board Shelves

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Making shelves out of particle board is a cost effective solution to your storage challenges. Particle board is comprised of sawdust and other wood-waste products mixed together. A resin is added to the mix and then the mixture is compressed into a board configuration. Later it is coated with a laminate making it stronger and somewhat stain and water resistant. Particle board is easily cut to size using a table saw or circular saw. It can be painted any color desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Particle board
  • Tape measure
  • Builder's square
  • Level
  • Eye protection
  • Saw
  • Paint
  • Pencil
  • Shelf brackets
  • Drill
  • Wall anchors and screws
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver

Building the Shelves

  • Measure the area where the shelving will be erected. Decide the best length and width of the shelves and how many shelves you'll need.

  • Purchase the particle board according to the desired width and length. If you want 4-foot long shelves it is more cost effective to purchase an 8-foot length of board, and cut it in half. Keep this in mind when purchasing the boards.

  • Using a tape measure and square, mark off the length you need on your piece of particle board. Draw a straight line on the board where you will cut it.

  • Suspend the board on saw horses or any other available support. Put on eye protection. Using a circular saw cut the board along the penciled line. Do this to any other pieces of board you have.

  • Apply paint to the shelves and allow them to dry.

Installing brackets

  • Position brackets 3 inches in from the end of where each shelf will rest. If the shelf is 6 feet or longer use three brackets. Use a level to correctly position the bracket. Then use a pencil to mark the screw holes on each bracket. Put the bracket aside.

  • Place a bit on the drill that is as wide as the widest end of your wall anchors. Drill holes in each place you have marked.

  • Insert the wall anchors. Lightly tap them with a hammer until they are flush with the wall.

  • Install each bracket by inserting screws into each hole in the bracket, and screwing them into the corresponding wall anchor. Make sure the screws are snug.

  • Place each particle board shelf upon the appropriate brackets. If desired, anchor the shelves by inserting one or two screws per bracket into the underside of the shelf.

Tips & Warnings

  • If painting is not desired consider covering your particle board shelves with contact paper.
  • You may also choose to buy pre-cut particle board to avoid cutting your own.
  • Never operate power equipment under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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References

  • Photo Credit Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images tape measure image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com saw horses image by Gareau Enterprises from Fotolia.com yellow paint image by Jennifer Griner from Fotolia.com drill image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com
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