DIY Floating Shelves in the Laundry Room
After we moved into our newly built house almost three years ago, Rob and I quickly discovered that we had a serious storage issue. More specifically, we had a lack of it. In attempt to battle it, we decided to use this little wasted space of a nook in our laundry room as extra storage for those small kitchen appliances that we didn’t have the cabinet space for (along with other overflow kitchen goods!) We put an Ikea bookshelf there as a ‘temporary’ solution, but you know how those things go. Fast forward to now, as we are in full nesting mode to get ready for this baby, we decided to finally tackle building shelves up to the ceiling to maximize our storage space.
You may have tuned into our Instagram Stories to watch the building process. (If you missed it, the stories are saved to a highlight in our profile!) But today on the blog, I can’t wait to share with you a closer look and in-depth tutorial for how we got it done. I absolutely love how these DIY floating shelves came out. Not only was it super easy to tackle in one weekend. But the way it also transformed our space is almost unbelievable!
READ ALSO: DIY Easy Entryway Makeover (with Paint!)
DIY Floating Shelves
I keep telling Rob that I don’t understand why we waited so long to do this project. It was so easy to tackle, and we got it done in just one weekend. I’m really kicking myself that we didn’t do it sooner! If you’re looking to tackle something like this in your home, I hope this tutorial helps you to transform the storage space in your home.
Here is a look at our laundry room before starting the shelves.
- (4) 2×4 – 96″ Prime Whitewood Stud – for the shelving support
- (2) 1×4 – 96″ Select Pine Board – for the front trim
- (1) 4×8′ Sheet – 3/4″ thick – Maple Plywood – for the shelving
- (1) 4×8′ Sheet – 1/4″ thick – Birch Plywood – to hide the support underneath the shelving
- 8oz can – Varathane Wood Interior Stain – Early American
- Frog Tape
For the support underneath the shelving, we ripped the 2×4 boards through the tablesaw to create our own 2×2’s. We also ripped the 1×4’s through the tablesaw to approximately 1×3″ to create the front trip / face plate to hide the support underneath the shelves.
I also misspoke on Instagram and said that we bought oak plywood for both 3/4 in and 1/4in sheets. When looking at the receipt to type this blog post, I realized we really purchased Maple and Birch. But you can use whichever type of plywood that you prefer!
I didn’t want anything sitting on the floor, so I had Rob create a bottom shelf like we had with the bookshelf that was just shy of 2 inches off the floor. For the bottom shelf, we placed scrap pieces of wood (I believe they were 1×6’s) on the floor and used pocket holes to screw them into the floor trim / wall. From there we placed our first shelf (using 3/4in plywood) on top. We went back at the end to put a trim / face piece along the bottom to hide the support. We ended up cutting the trim piece to fit around the floor trim so we wouldn’t have to mess with that.
This is where a lot of math came into play. After measuring from the floor to the ceiling, I knew that I wanted 6 shelves with each opening approximately 14.5 inches wide. Taking into account the 3/4″ thickness of each shelf + 2″ thickness of the support + the 1/4″ thickness of the bottom of each shelf (hiding the support), we measured up from the bottom shelf 17 inches to mark where we would place the supports for our next shelf. (And as we worked upwards, we would repeat that measurement to make all the shelves the same.)
This is where it came it handy to have our Bosch self leveling cross line laser level. If it wasn’t my favorite tool before, it definitely is now. It made this project incredibly easy, and I give it a lot of credit to why we were able to move and finish so quickly. After we measured up 17 inches, we placed the laser level on my tripod and had it shine a level line all the way around the space. All we had to do was butt up the 2×2 support pieces to the bottom of each line and screw it into the studs!
From there, we nailed in the 3/4 in shelf piece on top, the 1/4 in shelf piece on the bottom, and the select pine board on the front using our nail gun. Once the shelf was finished and in place, we simply just measured up 17 inches again and repeated the process! Easy peasy!
After a lot of back and forth on whether to paint or stain the shelves, I decided to stain them. Y’all, I am so glad that I did! They look absolutely fabulous. I prepped the wood with a light, even coat of Varathane pre-stain wood conditioner prior to staining. After giving it some time to soak in / dry to the touch (about 30 minutes with a fan blowing and circulating air in the room), I started staining with Varathane interior wood stain in the color Early American. I applied the pre-stain and stain using an old tea towel that I cut into small shop rags specifically for staining projects.
When you stain, you may notice that some parts of the wood (especially around edges, knots, or more porous areas) absorb the stain ‘darker’ than other spots. Pre-stain wood conditioner is used to condition the wood for oil based stains and is designed to cut down / eliminate blotchiness and and give you a more even coverage when you apply stain. Keep in mind that pine is always tricky when it comes to staining! Even with the wood conditioner, you may still experience some blotchiness. However, with the pre-stain wood conditioner, it will definitely even out more in color and won’t look so drastic once it is completely dry.
When working with stain, I also definitely recommend using a rag or old t-shirt over a brush so you have more control over the stain as you work. A little goes a long way with stain. You always want to start small and build the coverage as you go, working in long continuous strokes moving with the grain of the wood to give it the best and most even coverage.
Another Note: Even with a fan blowing into the room, I also make sure to use a respirator mask when I am painting or staining in a closed area that is not well ventilated!
Well there you have it, friends! There is a look at the DIY floating shelves that we did in our laundry room. Not only was this project super easy to tackle in one weekend. But the way it also transformed our space is almost unbelievable! If you’re looking to do something similar in your own home, I hope this tutorial helps you!