Here is a relatively simple and inexpensive project that can add function and style to an entry wall or any hallway, if done correctly. For a professional look, the trick is to select the right type of wood for the shelf, use water putty to cover the attachment screws, and paint after it is installed. Spend some time at your favorite home improvement store picking out the wood boards with least warp and imperfections.
Materials and tools I used:
- 1×3 and 1×4 Select Pine boards, 8ft ($12 for both)
- water-soluble putty and putty knife
- fine grit sand paper (100 or 120 grit)
- leftover wall paint, a sponge brush, painters tape to protect the walls
- metal hooks ($12 total)
- finishing screws
- workbench clamps, stud-finder, level
Total investment: $25 + 3 hrs
- Measure the wall length and cut the boards to length.
- On a workbench, clamp together the boards in the form of an “L”, and screw them together. One screw per foot or foot and a half is sufficient.
- Find the wall studs using a stud finder, measure the locations, and translate that to the boards. You will want to place a screw near the middle as your first attachment point to the wall. This will help you level out the shelf without requiring another person.
- Attach the rest of the screws in the stud locations. Make sure the screwheads sink into the wood slightly, as they will be covered up by the putty.
- Mix putty with water and apply with a putty knife. Let it dry and lightly sand it until it is smooth.
- Cover the surrounding wall with painter’s tape, and use the sponge to apply wall paint to the wood shelf.
- After it’s thoroughly dry, attach the hooks anywhere you’d like, remove the tape, and wham you’re done!
Practical, easy and inexpensive… that’s why enjoyed this upgrade.