How To Put Up Shelves

Learning how to put up shelves is something every homeowner should do. Not only does shelving help organize a space, but properly hung shelves can also add aesthetic value to a room’s décor. Of course, as with all do it yourself projects, there are a few pitfalls that you can encounter when tackling this project; and, a few tips and hints illustrating how to put up shelves will certainly come in handy. 

To learn how to put up shelves you will need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Stud Finder
  • Drywall anchors
  • Saw
  • Shelves
  • Shelving Hardware
  • Drill, Screwdriver
  1. Measure the area where you intend to put up the shelves. It is important to determine the size width and height of the shelving needed before you purchase the materials. Keep in mind that if the shelving is too small, it will seem out of place; but too much shelving can make a room seem cluttered and disorganized.
  2. Purchase the shelving and shelving hardware. At the hardware store, purchase the shelves that you would like to install. You will also need to purchase any appropriate shelving hardware, such as brackets and drywall anchors. Many hardware stores have a wide selection of prefinished shelving and decorative and plain shelving hardware. 
  3. Locate the studs. Using the stud finder, locate the studs. If you can find studs in the appropriate spots, this will help ensure that the shelves you put up will be sturdy; the screws will be able to anchor directly into the studs. Take note that if you cannot locate studs where you would like to install the shelves, you will need to purchase drywall anchors. Drywall anchors are not as sturdy, but if installed properly, they can handle a fairly large load.
  4. Measure twice cut once. Measure out the area where you want to put up the shelves. Using the tape measure and level, mark out an edge line where the bottom edge of the shelving units will sit. Now is also an appropriate to cut the shelves down to there proper length if needed.
  5. Mark and drill holes to match the brackets. Using a level, pencil and carpenters square, line up the brackets with the shelving edge line and mark where the holes will sit. Next, drill the holes; you will not have to drill too deep, just enough to enough to ensure that the screws can get started. If you need to use drywall anchors, follow the instruction included along with the anchors. 
  6. Screw the brackets to the wall. The brackets should sit firmly and snugly. For maximum security, the screws should anchor into the wall and studs by at least one inch. You can then lay the shelves across the brackets, and test to make sure that everything is level.
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