How to Finish a Decorative Shelf How to Finish a Decorative Shelf

What You'll Need
Timber to make small bracket boxes
Crocheted strip
Paint and/or Varnish

Once you have installed a decorative shelf you can improve it by the way you finish it. A wood decorative shelf can be improved by a finish using varnish or a decorative edging.

Step 1 - The Brackets

Often brackets can be made to look much more decorative simply by changing the way they are colored. They can be made much brighter and obvious to enhance any special design features or they can be made to blend in with the wall to which they are attached.

Step 2 – The Brackets

If you don't like the look fot he brackets, they can be boxed in. The shelf can be extended downwards to form a long box that will conceal the brackets. Another option is to create a small box around each of the brackets so that it looks like the shelf is supported by wooden blocks or forms.

Step 3 – Box in the Brackets

Measure the size of the brackets to create a template for the box sides. If the brackets would be enclosed by simple right angled triangles, for example, the template could simply be the depth of the bracket from the shelf and the depth of the shelf. For example, the sides could be 8 inches by 6 inches by 10 inches by 1/2 inch with the box side being 10 inches by 2inches by 1/2 inch.

Step 4 – Build the Box

Put the 10 inch side piece against the 10 inch side of one of the triangular pieces and use wire nails to hold them together. There will be a small edge to be planed off at the top and bottom of the side.

Step 5 – Finish the Box

Finish the box off to match the shelf. Because the box will bear no weight it will be safe enough to simply glue it to the underside of the shelf. All of the brackets will be boxed in the same way.

Step 6 – Decorate the Shelf

The application of a textile trim can make a big difference to the appearance of a shelf. It could be as simple as a shelf runner hanging over the edge of the shelf. It could be something a little more personal like a crocheted strip applied to the edge of the shelf.

Step 7 – Lighting

If the shelf is to be used for particular items that should be highlighted, the shelf could be fitted with small lights or lit from a main spotlight in the room.

Step 8 – Shelf Contents

What is put on a shelf can have a tremendous effect on just how decorative the shelving is. One or two select items instead of a collection of miscellaneous items can make the shelf seem more special.


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