A simple and easy way to boost your garage storage!
Storage space in a garage is always at a premium. When you finally run out of room on the garage floor, it’s time to look at adding shelves to those walls! In this project, I’ll show you how to put up DIY floating garage shelves. It will only take approximately 20 min. to install one shelf. And the best part is that they’re remarkably sturdy: the shelf brackets can hold up to 320 lbs per pair!
Materials and Tools
Step 1: Use a saw to cut the lumber down to size
Use a circular saw (or your saw of choice) to cut the 2 x 12 to the desired length of the garage shelf. In this example, I am making a 5 ft. long garage shelf.
Note that I’ve found a shelf that is about 12 in. wide to be ideal for balancing maximum storage space with keeping the shelf from protruding too much from the wall – hence the use of a 2 x 12.
I also trim off the front two corners of the shelf to avoid any potentially painful head/eye collisions with those sharp edges. To do this, I simply mark 2 in. from the end on each side, connect those two points with a line, and then saw off the edge along that line. One sawed off corner should look like this:
Use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges from the saw cuts.
Step 2: Use a stud finder to mark the centers of the wall studs
Mark the wall studs that the shelf will go on. I tend to place the center mark at approximately the height of the garage shelf.
Step 3: Mark the height of the garage shelf
For one wall stud, use a pencil to mark the height of the garage shelf from the ground. You will need this mark to know how high on the wall to place the floating shelf bracket. In this example, I am placing a garage shelf that will be 6 ft. off the ground.
Step 4: Set up the laser level
Screw the laser level onto the tripod, then face it toward the wall. Turn the laser level on and make sure the cross hairs are easily visible. This particular laser level is self-leveling, which will make the rest of the steps a breeze!
Step 5: Have the vertical cross hair of the laser level go through the wall stud center mark
The floating shelf brackets used in this project have three screws that will go into the wall stud. You’ll want these screws to go into the center of the wall stud. In order for this to happen, you will need a vertical line marking the center of the wall stud. Use the laser level for this, as shown in this picture:
Step 6: Line up the garage shelf bracket holes along the laser level vertical cross hair
Place the floating shelf bracket on the wall at the desired height, then make sure the laser level vertical cross hair goes through the center of the top and bottom screw holes. Use a pencil to mark the center of these screw holes.
Note that the middle screw hole of the shelf bracket is slightly off-center (the bracket’s bracing would otherwise get in the way and make it impossible to place a screw in this hole, so it was intentionally placed off-center). Simply mark the center of the middle screw hole as is. Your screw hole markings should look like this:
Step 7: Use the laser level’s cross hairs to mark the other wall studs
In Step 2 you found the center of all of the wall studs. So move on to the next wall stud and, with the shelf bracket in hand, have the vertical cross hair of the laser level go through that wall stud’s center mark. Then have the horizontal cross hair go through the prior wall stud’s screw holes, like this:
This is where the laser level really excels!
Step 8: Install the brackets and shelf
With a cordless drill, screw in the shelf brackets to the wall first. Then place the shelf onto the brackets and make sure it is centered. Finally, screw in the shelf to the brackets. You might need one hand on top of the shelf pushing down to provide counterweight as you use your other hand to screw the shelf in from the bottom. The underneath of the garage shelf should look like this:
Step 9: Enjoy your new garage shelves!
Did you find this step-by-step guide useful? How did your garage shelving project go? Let me know in the comments below!
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