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Floating Wall Shelf

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

This do-it-your-shelf project features helpful storage and an eye-catching design.

Yellow Floating Shelf

Project Overview

Skill Level

Intermediate

Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost

$$$$$

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Steel ruler
  • Pencil
  • Table saw
  • Sanding block and sandpaper
  • Clamps (32" capacity)
  • Electric drill and twist bits
  • Double-faced carpet tape

Materials

  • 21/32"x11-1/4"x8' primed MDF board (#9489)
  • 1/4"x2'x2' birch plywood (#6197)
  • Titebond II premium wood glue, 4 ounces (#218256)
  • Madison Mill 1/4"x36" poplar square dowel (#27546)
  • Hangman Anchor System (#56378)
  • Toggler 6-pack self-drilling nylon drywall anchors (#103046)
  • 3M blue painter's tape, 2"x60 yards (#53140)
  • 1 quart Valspar Signature Colors interior semigloss finish paint, Gold Tone #CI 3001-1C (#216350)
  • Valspar 12-ounce Satin White spray paint (#282277)
  • Valspar 12-ounce Satin Black spray paint (#282318)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources

Instructions

Machine the case parts

Step 1

From a 21/32"x11-1/4"x8' primed MDF board, crosscut the top and bottom (A) 1/2" longer than listed and then rip the parts to finished width (Project Diagram and Cutting List) . Crosscut the remaining board 1/2" longer than listed for the back (B) and then rip the back to width. From the remaining piece, cut the sides (D) to length and 1/16" wider than listed. Cut the divider (C) to finished size.

Good to Know

To make it easier to transport and to save time in the shop, ask a Lowe's associate to crosscut the primed MDF board into the three oversize pieces for the top and bottom (A) and back (B).

Step 2

For a square cabinet with tight joints, the top and bottom (A) and the back (B) must be exactly the same length. Here's how to ensure the best results. Adhere the over-length pieces for the top, bottom, and back face to face with small pieces of double-faced carpet tape. Keep the ends and one edge of each piece flush. Use a table saw to shave a thin slice off one end of the stack and then trim the other end to finished length. Separate the boards.

Step 3

To cut grooves in the top (A) for the sliding doors (E), adjust the blade of your table saw to cut 7/16" deep. Position the rip fence 3/8" from the blade and cut a groove. Moving the rip fence away from the blade in small increments, make additional passes to widen the groove until the plywood for the doors slides easily in the groove. To accommodate paint on the case and the doors, the fit should be fairly loose. Reposition the rip fence 1" from the blade and cut a groove for the second door. Repeat to cut door grooves in the bottom (A), this time increasing the depth of the groove to 3/16". Sand the bottoms of the grooves flat.

Good to Know

Instead of measuring for the second set of grooves on the bottom, place the top over the saw blade while it's off and press it against the sides of the saw teeth while sliding the fence into position.

Step 4

From a 1/4"x2'x2' piece of birch plywood, cut the doors (E) to size. To make inserting the doors in the grooves easy, sand along the top inside edge of each door. From a 1/4"x1/4"x36" square dowel, cut the handles (F) to length.

Assemble the case

Step 1

From MDF scrap, cut four 3/8"x2" spacers. Apply glue to one edge of the back (B). Place the back on the spacers on a flat surface. Clamp the top (A) to the back, keeping the ends flush. (The spacers create a 3/8" recess at the back of the case for the hanging hardware). Let the glue dry.

Step 2

Apply glue to one end and one edge of the divider (C), and clamp it, centered, to the top and back. Make sure the divider is square to the back. Let the glue dry.

Step 3

Apply glue to the edges of the back and divider, and once again place the back on the spacers and clamp the bottom (A) to the assembly with the ends of the back and bottom flush.

Step 4

Cut 1"x10" shims from tablet-back cardboard. Apply glue to the ends of the top, bottom, and back, and place the assembly on the shims on a flat surface. Clamp the ends (D) to the assembly with the front edges of the top, bottom, and ends flush. (Because the top/bottom/back/divider assembly rests on the shims, the upper and lower edges of the ends protrude beyond the outside surfaces of the top and bottom). When the glue is dry, use a sanding block and sandpaper to sand the edges of the ends perfectly flush with the top and bottom. Sand the front edges of the top, bottom, and sides flush and smooth. Sand slight bevels on all edges and corners.

Step 5

Finish-sand the doors (E) and handles (F). Glue and clamp the handles to the doors.

Good to Know

If you will be painting the doors with the optional bar code pattern, do not glue the handles to the doors at this time.

Paint the cabinet

Step 1

Paint the case, inside and out, lightly sanding between coats with fine sandpaper. (We used Valspar Signature Colors interior semigloss paint in Gold Tone #CI 3001-1C color).

Good to Know

Because the cut edges of the MDF soak up more paint than the primed faces, you'll get uneven coverage. To avoid this, seal the edges by brushing on "glue sizing," a one-to-one mixture of wood glue and water. When the sizing is dry, sand it smooth and then apply paint.

Paint the doors

Step 1

Apply three coats of white semigloss spray paint to both sides and all edges of the doors and all but the back surfaces of the handles, sanding lightly between coats with fine sandpaper.

Step 2

To replicate our bar code-inspired pattern on the doors (E), cover the outside face of each door with painter's tape. Then use a crafts knife and a steel ruler to cut through the tape and create a stripe pattern. For the barcode effect, cut a variety of widths. To "hide" the white handles in the barcode pattern, make sure there is a 1/4"-wide white stripe 1" from the opposing ends of each door. Also, paint the handles white except for the bottom surface, which you'll glue later.

Step 3

Carefully peel back alternating tape strips. Burnish the edges of the remaining tape strips, pressing them tightly to the panels to prevent successive coats of paint from bleeding under them. To seal the edges of the strips and create super-crisp edges, spray on another coat of the white paint.

Step 4

After drying for 24 hours, give the outside faces of the doors two coats of black spray paint. With the paint dry to the touch, remove the remaining tape. Let the doors dry for 24 hours.

Step 5

Arrange the doors on your workbench with the top edges away from you and the 1/4" white stripes for the handles (F) at the left- and right-hand edges. Apply glue to the backs of the handles, and clamp them to the doors within the 1/4"-wide white strips and with the bottom ends 3/8" from the bottom edges of the doors. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth.

Hang the cabinet and install the doors

Step 1

Drill pilot holes and screw the Hangman Anchor System case member to the back (B), centered with the top edge of the case member 1-1/4" from the bottom edge of the top ,(A). Drill pilot holes and screw the Hangman wall member to the wall, using the bubble level accompanying the hardware to ensure it's horizontal. Drive at least one screw (preferably two) into a wall stud and use drywall anchors for the remaining screws. Hang the cabinet on the wall, interlocking the Hangman case and wall members.

Step 2

Floating Shelf Detail

Install the inner door with the handle next to the side by inserting the top of the door into the rear deep upper groove and then dropping it down into the shallow rear lower groove. Repeat with the outer door in the front groove.