Do you love built-ins? Me too. Do you have a spot for them in your house? Me neither. So what’s a girl to do? Hmmmm…. I think you know where this is going. Today I am going to teach you how to build industrial modern floating shelves. They are AMAZING and SO easy. I mean easy breezy.
Start by deciding how you want your shelves to look. I knew I wanted mine to go floor to ceiling and I knew I wanted them evenly spaced. So it was just a matter of deciding how many. Did you know that odd numbers in design are WAY more pleasing to your eye? Its true friends.
To visualize and space out the shelves I put painters tape up on the wall, please note that I put tape where I was planning on trimming out the windows. Thank you for noting that.
The goal for this project was to capture a really industrial vibe and then when you step in be a little caught off guard by the simple modern touch. Our secret weapon is Plexiglass. To figure out the amount of board you need measure the width of the ideal design of your shelf. Mine are 51” long and 10” deep. So for each shelf I needed 114” of wood (2 @ 51 “ and 2 @ 6”)
You will also need (5) 6” 2×1’s to use a braces to support your Plexiglass.
When it comes to your Plexiglass take a breath and get ready to jump for joy at this next sentence. Did you know that Lowes can custom cut it for you? I.KNOW. I thought that I was going to have to dig deep and find some unknown Plexi ninja moves. Whew, on that one. Just tell them the size that you need and they will make it happen!
As far as the hardware goes you are going to need a box of 2.5” deck screws as well as some giant hex bolts and washers to spice the design up a little. These are around $1.25 each. I used 20 on my shelves.
I wanted the wood to be fairly rustic I bought Cedar 2×4’s from Lowes. The prices were great (less than $5.00 for a 10 ft board) they have a really rough cut on them which was what drew me in in the first place…(you know when the hubs raises his eyebrows and says “there is going to be more work if you get these ones because you are going to have to sand them…” and then I just smile and say “nope, I like their roughness just fine.” and then he rolls his eyes and says “whatever.” Yea, you can expect that to happen.
Start by cutting your wood down to the correct length.
Give your boards a light sanding to remove any painful swear word inducing splinters. And for goodness sake make sure you are wearing safety gear friends. Just like we don’t want old people smell in our lungs we don’t want new wood smell in there either.
Line up the framework and start assembling. We drilled (2) 2.5” screws into the backs of each piece and then used the Hex Bolts to secure the front.
To make sure that the Plexiglass was completely flush with the top of the shelf we flipped it upside down with the Plexi on a flat level surface and attached our brace pieces with a nail gun.
If you thought that was fun, just wait for the next part…INSTALLATION!
Start with your bottom piece. Make sure that it is COMPLETELY level. Find your studs and drill 3” deck screws into them. Don’t worry about your shelf being centered on the stud, just put your screws where they need to go. Also remember the rule here at Vintage Revivals…don’t judge my messy house. Thank you in advance.
Just keep happily moving up the wall until all of your shelves are secured.
I wasn’t 100% convinced that I wanted to stain them before installation (because I am currently mildly obsessed with natural wood tones.) BUT once they were up I wanted a light stain. So I did something that I had never done before.
I used Restore A Finish on them instead of regular stain. Yes that is a cake pan…I couldn’t find a paint tray. Remember the whole not judging thing? Good.
I LOVE how the Restore-A-Finish turned out. Over time it has lightened to this super beautiful light walnut that I want to marry (if that was legal and stuff.)
And here it is all staged:
Clearly this was before the desk. And guess what?! I have a fun time lapse video on the staging so you can see the EXACT process, so watch for that over the next couple of days!!
Its been so fun to transform my living room, check out what it looked like 2 years ago when I build my Faux Fireplace…
Love Your Guts, Mandi
HUGE thank you to Lowes for teaming up with me on this fun project!!