How To Make Simple Floating Alcove Shelves

This is a project where I’m making some very simple floating alcove shelves. These are made in such a way that all of the fixings and supports are hidden. The shelf top and bottoms are made from MDF.

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How I Make Simple Floating Alcove Shelves (no nailgun)

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This was a relatively simple floating shelf install. I didn’t have my nail gun with me so had to use screws to hold the top & bottom panels in place, which is fine. I fitted a framework around the wall using 20mm battens ripped to size in the workshop. These were screwed to the wall. Sometimes I’ll also use grab adhesive depending on the wall type and the anticipated loading of the shelves – especially on hollow walls.

Grab adhesive was applied to the top and bottom surfaces of the battens prior to screwing the shelf panels in place.  I used 18mm on the top and 6mm MDF on the bottom. I generally prefer to use plywood for the top surface if possible but nowhere had any decent quality stuff in stock at the time. MDF will be fine for this one. This is much easier with a nail gun but I didn’t have it with me! I’ll do another video at some point where I do it the normal nail gun way… but I guess this one is a bit more accessible.

A front trim fascia strip was added – again glued and screwed in place. Finally all of the screw holes were filled with 2-part filler. This was sanded down and edges of the shelves were caulked to leave a neat finish. The customer will be priming and glossing them.

Andy Mac

For many years Andy ran a successful property maintenance business. He's established and run award winning companies over the years and has been self employed most of his life. He now shares his experiences via several YouTube channels and the UK's first commercial joinery podcast.
Andy Mac