How to Make Shelves From Drywall
Drywall is a common wall covering in many homes, but it can be a bit challenging to hang heavy shelves on without the support of studs. Luckily, there are a few different ways to hang shelves on drywall that will help you make your shelves look and feel great.
1. Make a frame for each shelf
If you’re installing floating shelves on a drywall wall, the best place to start is by building the frame for each shelf. This will ensure the shelves fit properly and are level on the wall. Once the frame is built, you’ll need to attach each shelf to the frame using wood glue and 2-inch wood screws or drywall screws.
2. Create a shelf cleat to hold the shelves against the wall
For heavy shelves, it’s best to use a cleat on each shelf to provide added strength. A cleat is basically a piece of wood with a hole in it that you screw into the wall and then onto the shelf. You can find a shelf cleat at any hardware store.
3. Cut the frames to size
Once you’ve figured out how long and wide your shelves are, it’s time to make the frames that will hold them in place on your wall. This will also allow you to sand down any rough edges on the frame, and paint or stain the shelves to match your interior decor.
4. Using a miter saw, cut the shelves to size
Once the frames are cut to the correct length and width, it’s time to sand down each shelf so it fits inside the frame. This will make it easier to stain or paint them and ensure that they don’t warp over time.
5. Drill pilot holes into each frame and the wall
To hang the frames on the wall, you’ll need to use a cordless drill to make pilot holes in each frame. You’ll want to use these holes as a guide for the rest of your mounting process.
6. Locate a stud for each shelf support
Once you’ve located a stud for each shelf support, it’s time to mark the stud locations on your wall. You can do this with a stud finder, but it’s also a good idea to use a level to ensure that the studs are in the right spot.
7. Set the shelf standards on the studs
If you’re going to be hanging shelves on a drywall wall, you’ll need to use wall studs to attach your standards to the wall. The studs are the vertical framing members that run from floor to ceiling. They’re usually spaced 16 or 24 inches apart.
8. Attach the shelf standards to the studs with screws
When you’re installing shelves on a drywall wall, it’s important to use screws that will drive into the studs. You can use regular hollow wall anchors for plaster walls, or butterfly or toggle anchors for drywall.
9. Fix the shelf to the wall with the brackets
Once you’ve made the brackets, it’s time to fix them to the drywall. You can use a masonry drill bit or a wood bit.