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Do it yourself

DIY picture ledge

Whether over the bed, in the living room, or in the bathroom, a good picture ledge can be beautiful just about anywhere. It’s both functional and decorative, which is why I love installing this ledge on empty walls.

Julie-Pier Pellerin
Interior designer

Preparing the pieces

  • 1.1 - Measure and cut the MDF sheet (1/2") into 3 pieces:
    • Piece A (the back): 3" x desired length
    • Piece B (the bottom): 5 ½" x desired length
    • Piece C (the front): 1 ½" x desired length

Pro Tip

I often use the wood cutting service at RONA because it’s simple and affordable. They cut the pieces according to my needs, in which case I can skip step 1.1.

Make sure the length of each piece is identical.

Assembling the parts

  • 2.1 - Apply a small amount of wood glue to the front and back pieces (A & C).
  • 2.2 - Glue the pieces onto the bottom piece (B). The whole should look like a J.
  • 2.3 - Use clamps to hold the shape into place while the glue dries.
  • 2.4 - With a nail gun, secure the pieces into place. For best results, nail down about every 4 inches.
  • 2.5 - Remove any excess glue with a towel.
  • 2.6 - Let dry with the clamps in place.

Finishing the shelf

  • 3.1 - Fill the nail holes with wood filler. Sand if needed.
  • 3.2 - Paint the shelf with a paint brush and foam roller.
  • 3.3 - Let dry as recommended and apply a second coat.

Securing the picture ledge to the wall

  • 4.1 - To make sure the shelf is as secure as possible, find the studs in the wall with a stud finder.
  • 4.2 - Mark the studs with a pencil, using a level trace a line on the wall at the desired installation height.
  • 4.3 - At least 2 screws will be necessary, one per stud.
  • 4.4 - Place the shelf on the wall and mark it with the stud locations.
  • 4.5 - Pre-drill holes into the shelf in order to avoid splitting the wood.
  • 4.6 - Hold the shelf into place and screw into place. The screws should go through the back of the shelf into the studs.
  • 4.7 - If the holes are not hidden with picture frames, simply paint over the screws with a small brush.

Pro Tip

The type of screw used will depend on the wall and the weight of the items being placed on the shelf. In most cases, 2" wood screws will suffice.

If you’re unable to find the studs, use wall anchors.

Julie-Pier Pellerin
Interior designer
Julie-Pier is an interior designer who loves DIY projects that create dimension and add personality to a room. Discover her latest projects as well as tips and tricks on her Instagram account @juliepierp.

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