How to Build a Floating Wood Mantel Shelf
Building your own floating wood mantel shelf is an exciting project. If you have all the materials ready, it is just a matter of some precise measurements and cuts. However, it is important to select the wood that complements the existing woodwork and gels with the ambiance in the room. The floating mantel works best with the principle 'less is more,' thus resulting in less clutter.
Step 1 - Measurement
The first step is to get the measurements right. Decide on the length and depth of the shelf. Make sure that they are proportionate. It would be wise to leave 2 inches on either side for aesthetic enhancements.
Step 2 - Choosing the right wood
Hard wood and faux wood are commonly used to build a wood mantel shelf. Oak, Maple, cherry, teak, cedar, walnut, mahogany are popular hard wood varieties. Or go for faux wood which is plywood, either compressed or layered
Step 3 - Cutting the Plank
Once you have decided on the wood, use a circular saw to cut the length and depth in accordance to the measurement. It is advisable to keep the thickness of the plank at 2 inches. Check the plank for any unevenness.
Step 4 - Making the Notch
A notch helps in securing the mantel onto the wall. It has to be cut in a straight line on the back of the wooden plank and has to be half its size. The notch should be rectangular.
Step 5 - Smooth the Wooden Plank
Coarse sandpaper works wonders with hardwood. Use the sand paper to get a smooth surface, rub the wood only in one direction. Remove any trace of wooden dust using a soft cloth.
Step 6 - Staining the Wood
Stain the smoothed wooden plank with a sponge brush or a piece of cloth. Let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Then wipe with a cloth piece. If the desired intensity of the stain has not been achieved then add another coat after 6 to 7 hours.
Step 7 - Applying Polyurethane
Applying polyurethane will help retain the stain and add a shine to the mantle.
Step 8 - Attaching the Scrap Wood
A scrap wood has to be screwed on the wall. It has to be the exact measurement of the notch created earlier and has to be strong enough to hold the mantels weight.
Step 9 – Mount the Wall Brackets
Screw the brackets into the wall and use horizontal measurement to ascertain there are no tilts. The brackets will have additional support from the attached scrap wood.
Step 10 - Mount the Wooden Mantle
Apply wood glue over the notch then the slide the mantel over the scrap wood mounted on the wall. The wooden mantel is now secured by the wooden brackets.
Step 11 – Double Check
Check the position of the wooden mantel; it has to be secured by the wooden brackets.
Step 12 – Personal Touch
Add a personal touch by adorning the new addition to your room with memorabilia and other items that are close to your heart.