How To Make Floating Shelves From Solid Wood

Floating shelves are a great aesthetic for any home, but they’re especially useful in small spaces because they don’t take up much room and can be used to store smaller items. You can use them to hold books or decorative objects in your living room, or even as a place to store spices in your kitchen. Some people think that floating shelves are hard to make, but really you just need some woodcut into rectangles and drilled with holes along the sides—then attach those with brackets onto walls. If you want an easy DIY project this weekend, here’s how I made mine

Getting the Right Wood

The first thing to look for when buying wood is its quality. Solid wood is often the best choice, because it’s stronger and less likely to warp or split over time. Hardwood is better than softwood, as it tends to be harder and more durable. The type of hardwood you choose will depend on what look you want for your shelves. For example, pine has a softer texture and lighter color than oak or maple; this makes it ideal for light-colored backgrounds that need warmth but don’t want an overpowering look (such as if they’re hung above a kitchen island).

If possible, try to find lumber that is straight and free of defects such as knots or splits. The straighter the better—you’ll spend less time sanding down edges later on

Preparing the Wood

  • Make sure you have the right wood.
  • Check the wood for knots and flaws.
  • Make sure the wood is straight.
  • Clean up any rough edges with a plane. If you are using a piece of lumber that isn’t straight, you can use a hand plane to smooth out any imperfections in its surface before beginning your project.

Staining or Painting Your Shelves

When you’re ready to stain or paint your shelves, you have a few different options. A roller or brush can be used to apply paint and stain, but for polyurethane and clear coats it’s best to use a rag.

When using a brush or roller, make sure the bristles are clean and not frayed. If they are too long, trim them with scissors until they aren’t any longer than 1/4 inch (6 mm). If they’re too short, replace them entirely with new ones that have a 1/2-inch (13-mm) nap length.[1] Use latex paint for woodworking projects that you’ll be painting multiple times throughout their lifetime—if the shelf will never see another coat of finish after its initial application then oil-based enamels will offer better protection against moisture damage over time.[2]

You also want to make sure that whatever type of varnish or shellac you choose is compatible with both types of surfaces so even if one side gets more wear than another over time it won’t affect how well either side holds up under normal conditions.[3]

Drilling the Holes for Mounting

  • You will need to drill holes in the back of each shelf so that you can mount it to a wall. To do this, first make sure that you have a good sharp drill bit on hand and then use it to drill your holes in the wood.
  • If you are not familiar with using a drill, start off by practicing on some scraps of wood until you get comfortable with how it works before drilling into your solid wooden shelves, which are much more expensive than scrap wood
  • Now place one of your floating shelves up against the wall where you want it mounted and mark where each hole needs to go for mounting purposes (there may be four total). You should also measure twice or three times just so that everything lines up correctly when everything is done

Attaching the Brackets to the Walls

  • Make sure the brackets are level. A good way to do this is by using a level and making sure they are all even.
  • Mark where you will be attaching the bracket on your wall. If you want to add an extra measure of security, use some painter’s tape to mark where you want them placed so that when attaching them, they stay in place and don’t move or shift around while drilling pilot holes into the wall.
  • Drill pilot holes for each screw using a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the size of your screws (you can check out our chart at [link] if you aren’t sure). This helps prevent splitting in case there are any small cracks in your walls or wood lamination beneath your cabinets/floating shelves; it also helps prevent splinters from getting caught in between boards when screwing things together

Hanging Your Floating Shelves

Once you have your brackets in place, it’s time to mount the floating shelf. You’ll want to make sure that all of your screws are equally spaced and straight. Use a spirit level or other measuring device to check the brackets are level before proceeding with mounting your shelves.

You now have some gorgeous floating shelves

Well, now that you’ve got them, where will you put them? Floating shelves are great for any room in your house. They’re especially useful in spaces like kitchens and bathrooms that have limited wall space to use. However, they can be used anywhere! Think of ways to display items in your home that may not work with other storage solutions (like bookshelves or cabinets).


Great job on building your own floating shelves! We hope this post has inspired you to try making more woodwork projects of your own. If you’re looking for some new ideas, check out our posts on how-to build a wooden wine rack and how-to make wooden picture frames.

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