Timber Floating Shelves

My first project to document is part of ‘Operation IKEA No More’. I’ve never been a fan of IKEA-type furniture or style, but like many others, it fills a void when starting a home.
So over the past few months I’ve been trying to out the IKEA and go for more original pieces and would like to make more of these myself.

Step 1 – Sourcing the Wood

I managed to pick up a few bits of reclaimed wood from a reclaim yard for a couple of pounds – this got me a couple of crates and some timber. I like the worn, rustic look so anything with old nail holes, rust etc. is a plus.
For my shelves I used these boards and found a couple of pieces of beat up timber to use as the support for the shelf.

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Step 2 – Cleaning it up 

I liked the rust and damage to these boards so didn’t want to sand them and take that away. Instead I opted for wet steel wool which got all the dirt off and then kind of blended some of that back into the wood to keep it looking weathered. Nails were removed.
I had to glue and clamp all the boards in places as they were split in quite a few places (2 of these boards I deemed too far gone to be used as practical shelves, so will save them for something else).

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Step 3 – Stain

I ended up going with a Finishing Oil to enhance colour. I went light and used dry steel wool in between two coats to ensure a good bond. I finished off with a one coat of Clear Coat to protect the wood.

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Left Board finished
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I dug out and cleaned some damage to the Timber support which retained the ‘worn’ look

Step 4 – Creating the Shelf

My design was to have a Board sit on a piece of 2×4 Timber which would sit on floating brackets. To secure the Board to the timber I made 4 metal brackets that attached to the back of the board and timber to help keep them together. I also added some Gripfill in between for added bond. As the boards weren’t 100% level I felt I needed to add the brackets to ensure they fixed together well.
I also drilled 3 x 12mm holes into the Timber – this would allow the shelve supports to hold up the shelf when on the wall.

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I cut and sprayed the metal brackets black to finish them off
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Shelf board fixed to supporting timber

Step 5 – Fixing the Shelf

I wanted 3 floating brackets to support this so drilled holes for these evenly on the back of the supporting timber. I then measured these out on the wall I was fixing to and secured.
As my house is fairly new (<20 years) so a lot of my walls are ‘dry-lined’ – which is a pain when trying to fix/hang anything substantial off them. I use and recommend ‘Gripit’ fixings – they have 4/5 different sizes which require what can seem a big drill hole to support but I have found these excellent when fixing to plasterboard.

 

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Initial hole for Gripit Fixings
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Fixings are pushed in and tightened to secure
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Floating shelf brackets screwed to the Gripit fixings

Finished Floating Shelf

 

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