A bare wall is boring. Never mind the commercials with their high pitched harangue about the texture, high gloss, polyurethane, plastic finish, or what have you. To me, a bare wall is for shooting squads. One of the time tested, simple do-it-yourself projects are building floating shelves. It has a minimalistic feel to it and is very practical. They don’t take up floor space, and there’s no part of any home that could do without any added storage.
Going About Building Floating Shelves
This project is for all skill levels and can be accomplished without the use of any power tools if you prefer. There are many methods to do it. Before you start, every piece you fabricate must be sanded smooth and a protective layer of veneer, preferably two coats applied thinly. Protecting just the outer part is inviting trouble later because of dry rot, mold, etc.
My favorite is the shelf meets open box look, one of the simplest to make. Imagine a shoebox without the top or bottom hanging long side at the top and bottom.
For this, saw the planks to length but don’t make it too long or it will start sagging. Nail or screw the planks together. For a more sophisticated look, miter the corners. Finally, screw the box int a stud to hang. More storage and no supporting framework is a bargain. Ikea cant do better.
A Bit More Difficult
A more advanced shelf is more load-bearing, try this variation. Build a 3-sided box first — then move to the fourth side. After careful measurement, affix it to the wall. Use glue and screws to complete the ensemble. Sand all areas carefully and finish to your liking. This project is slightly trickier. But the result is both beautiful and can hold weight.
For more extended shelves, use the box design with the back end removed — it is the outer shell. Make a second frame consisting of the same three sides, but an eighth of an inch less than the outer box as that would finally slide over this inner frame. Fix three to four partitions to reduce the span. Fix the wall studs and mount the inner section. Eventually, slip the shell over it. There, a classic floating shelf.
No wonder, DIY enthusiasts are very creative and can come up with remarkable ideas. In one project, the guy used a hollow-core door. He cut a section off. Using a measured strip of wood that would fit in the groove of the door, he fixed it to the wall, slid the door section into it and glued, screwed the whole shelf onto this wooden support structure. Ingenious and truly marvelous.
If you are a DIY practitioner, there’s tons of stuff, great ideas out there on the web. But keep your thinking cap on. It is not necessary that you should source your inspiration from internet guides. Be very accurate at the start, but as you season into an expert, your ideas too will come forth. It’s well worth it to keep a project diary where you jot down your ideas and get down to implementation. All the best!