Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Open Shelves, Up and Running?

Okay, probably not running, but functional.  Yeah, lets go with that.

Last night I got sick of looking at a blank wall and shelves sitting on the ground.  So I did what I always do.  Got the tools out and took care of the job.  And look at what I accomplished in a very short period of time.  

Installing shelves are not really that impressive of a task.  I'm pretty sure anyone can do it.  But just in case you were wondering how I do it, I  included step by stem instructions.

First things first, draw your line.  

Now I know a lot of people don't do this, but I always do, especially when I'm doing this by myself.  It's easier for me to line up the level if I have an idea of where my shelf should go.

So to do this simple step, I held the shelf up to where I wanted it and drew a light line.  Then I got the level out and re drew the line level.  You wouldn't want an unlevel shelf now would you.  I also marked where the shelf would end and decided the brackets would be 3 in from the ends.  I just pulled that one out of you know where.  You can put the brackets where ever you like I guess.

I then used the stud finder to see if I would luck out.  I did not.  The studs were right next to my dry erase board, right in the middle of the shelf, and right next to the fridge.  But that's okay, that's why they make anchors.

To install anchors is just as easy as putting up a shelf.  Make sure your anchors are made for the job at hand.  I keep a pack of general anchors in the kitchen all the time.  You never know when you'll need them.  They hold four different screw sizes and need a 1/4" drill bit.  And they are tough little guys.  Perfect for our shelves.

And here we go.  I held the bracket up at my 3 in mark and lightly drew where the holes would be.  Then used my little level to make sure that the bracket would be level as well.  Then with my 1/4" drill bit and my favorite Dewalt handheld screwdriver (that also has a drill setting), and I started drilling my holes.

I use the painters tape trick to catch the mess that falls out of the wall when you drill.  Thank you internet for this tip.  It saves on clean up time.

And now I have both of my holes drilled.  I normally take my level and make sure that these holes are still as close to level as I can get.  Not that I know what I would do if they were off.  I guess patch and wait to be able to drill again.  

Now you just insert the anchors into the wall.  If they don't go in with a hard push, just use a hammer to lightly tap them in.  They should fit snugly in the holes you drilled and not feel like they are going to fall out. 

Now you're ready to install the bracket.  Just install the screws like you would if there was a stud behind the wall.  Easy Peasy.

I used black drywall screws for this project because they match our modern/slightly industrial look we're going for.  We used same black screws to make the free standing counter.  They are our go to screw in projects that the screw will be visible.  But you can use any screw that will work with your decor and bracket.   

Then just install your shelf.  Use small screws to make sure the shelf in secure to the brackets.  I pulled on each bracket and the shelf to make sure that they would hold up to what ever I intended to put on them.

My shelves are not secure right now because I need to take them down and put the trim around them.  Hopefully that will happen this weekend.  Also, our plyboard bowed a little bit (as you can see), so we are hoping that by putting something on it, it will straighten out a bit.  If not, we'll be making new shelves in the near future.

I just repeated these steps for the top shelf and before I knew it, I had two shelves installed.  Now I need to go pick up a third bracket for the large shelf.  It might start to sag in the middle if we don't.    And like I said above, the trim has to be added, but overall, not bad.  The kitchen looks so much nicer with them up.  Sorry for the night shot, by the time I got the shelves up, the sun had set.  But you get the idea.  Now to decide what to put on them.  :-)

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