Introduction: Install Built-in Closet Shelves

About: We're Mother Daughter Projects, sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.

Recently we finished my (Steph) walk-in closet makeover. With that complete, I wanted to turn my old closet into a full storage closet. When I moved in, all my closets had that wire type shelving (which I really don't like). I ripped it all out and planned to make build-in wood shelves. Well, it's time to make that happen!

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Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Gather Materials

  • Plywood, 1x2 wood strips, base shoe molding
  • Ryobi Drill/driver
  • Circular saw
  • Kreg Rip-Cut
  • Kilz primer
  • Minwax poly protective finish
  • Magnetic stud finder
  • SPAX 2 1/2" screws
  • Construction adhesive
  • Ryobi 18 gauge brad nailer
  • RapidFuse glue

Step 3: Cut One Shelf and Determine Placement

Step 4: Cut All Shelves and Paint

We used our kreg circular saw jig to make nice straight cuts in the plywood. Our circular saw just slides into the jig and attaches in place. Cut out the rest of the shelves. We made our top shelf half the width of the others. This way we have room to put items on the shelf and the door frame will not get in the way.

Sand any rough spots on the plywood.

Paint the shelves. We used kilz primer then finished it with a clear poly.

Step 5: Attach Shelf Support

Find studs in wall then level the 1x2 board and drill pilot holes for screws.

Attach the side strips the same way.

Place plywood on top.

Step 6: Install All Shelves and Attach

We continued this process for all 4 shelves. The biggest challenge was working around the already installed shelves but we made it work! (We did not attach the top of the plywood to the support yet, in case we needed to move them out of the way while working.)

Use construction adhesive on the support wood, then place the plywood on top. Use a brad nailer to secure the plywood to the support.

Step 7: Miter and Attach Molding

We mitered the edges of the molding. It was a little challenging to figure out which angles on which side, but mom was a rockstar at this!

To attach the molding, use RapidFuse glue or wood glue. Cover the screws with wood glue. We also used caulk to cover any seams. Touch up paint and done!

Step 8: Done!

I really like how these shelves turned out! I have room for my books, old keepsakes, travel gear, guest supplies, future gifts and more! It makes me smile to open this closet now and see my organized closet of things!

What space in your house could use some build-in shelves or organization? Let us know in the comments below and follow us on instagram to see what we're working on next!

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017