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Shelf Life

Add style and function to your guestroom with this shelf, featured in the November/December 2004 issue of Lowe's Creative Ideas. We've included a list of tools and supplies as well as complete instructions to make this simple project a breeze to complete.



Set all nails. Fill nail holes with wood filler, and sand smooth when dry. Remove excess glue from exposed surfaces.


Step 1: Determine where you would like to hang the shelf, and lightly pencil the center point on the wall at the desired surface height. We hung ours 36 inches from the floor. Mark 16 inches out on either side of the center point for corbel placement (this will center the corbel about 8 3/4 inches from the shelf ends).


Step 2: Paint the corbels with primer and one coat of paint. Allow to dry. Pencil 1-1/2 inches below the points marked for corbel placements in Step 1 to allow for the thickness of the shelf. Using the appropriate wall anchors, attach the corbels at the marked points. Use a level to make sure they are even with each other.


Note: Have a Lowe's associate in the hardware department assist you in selecting the correct wall anchors for your shelf and help you determine if you need to secure the shelf into wall studs.

Step 3: Clamp the upper shelf board to the lower board, and then join using wood glue and 1-1/4 inch 3d finishing nails.

Step 4: Using 1-1/4 inch finishing nails and wood glue, attach the shelf nosing to front and sides of the shelf assembly as shown in the illustration.

Step 5: Prime and paint the shelf assembly. Allow to dry between coats. Use wood glue and 3-1/2 inch nails to secure the shelf to the brackets. Touch up paint as needed.

Cut List

Part Material Size Quantity Notes
Upper Shelf Board 1 x 12 3/4 x 11-1/4 x 48 1
Lower Shelf Board 1 x 12 3/4 x 11-1/4 x 48 1
Shelf Nosing (long) (8-foot-long) 1 x 2 3/4 x 1-1/2 x 49-1/2* 1 *Dimension is long point to long point. Cut to fit.
Shelf Nosing (short) (2-foot-long) 1 x 2 3/4 x 1-1/2 x 12* 2 *Dimension is overall length. Cut to fit.
Brackets Decorative Corbels* N/A N/A 2 *Use as is

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please read our terms of use.

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Project Details

  • Lumber
    • 1 (2-foot-long) 1 x 2, poplar
    • 1 (8-foot-long) 1 x 2, poplar
    • 1 (8-foot-long) 1 x 12, pine
    • 2 decorative corbels (Ornamental Moulding, IM-CA-62, maple, special order)
  • Hardware
    • 1 box 16d 3-1/2 inch finishing nails (optional)
    • 1 box 3d 1-1/4 inch finishing nails
    • Appropriate wall anchors
    • Wood glue
    • Paintable/stainable wood filler (Elmer's, Carpenter's Interior/Exterior Wood Filler)
    • Primer
    • Paint (semigloss)
  • Tools
    • Circular saw with straightedge guide
    • Power miter saw or handsaw and miter box
    • Power drill and drill bit set (including #2 Phillips driver bit)
    • Hammer
    • Nail set
    • Sandpaper
    • 48-inch level
    • Tape measure
    • Pencil
    • Clamps

About This Article

  • Publish Date: 08/01/2008