Displaying family photos brings such warmth and personality to a home. I love the idea of having a gallery wall, but I also like to change and rearrange things quite often. Just ask my husband.
Gallery shelves let you change out photographs or artwork without having all those nail holes in the wall. They are perfect for filling a large blank space, such as over a couch. Theses ledges would also look gorgeous in a dining room or kitchen displaying a row of plates.
Today, I’ll show you how to build gallery wall shelves like the ones we have in our hallway. If you’re just starting out with doing carpentry projects, this is perfect because you only have to make straight cuts. If you don’t have a miter saw, you can buy a miter box, such as this one:
A nail gun is not an absolute necessity for doing this project, but it’ll make all of your future DIY projects a whole-heck-of-a-lot easier. Trust me! It’s one of those things that you never realize what you’ve been missing till you buy it. After reading countless reviews, I ended up going with the Hitachi NT50AE2.
Here’s a sketch of how the shelves were put together. The top and bottom shelves were made identically.
The Materials You’ll Need:
(I found everything I needed at Lowe’s Home Improvement.)
1. 4″ wide 1/2″ thick MDF strips. I used 1/2″ MDF since I already had it left over from the board and batten hallway project. Since our shelves span between the door jambs in our hallway, I didn’t want the bottom board to jut out beyond the depth of the jambs. You can use 1 x 4″ boards instead if the depth is not an issue.
2. 1 x 4″ primed finger joint pine board for the ledges that the pictures sit on. I think it is well worth paying extra for something that is already sanded and primed because all the boring prep work is already done for you.
3. 1 1/8″ lattice strips for the front of the ledge.
4. Crown moulding that runs under the top ledge. The moulding that I used is called Coronado crown and the bar code number is #7-16781-01290-2. This also pre-primed and comes in 8′ lengths for $15.00. I fell in love with this crown moulding years ago and was so happy that I found a way to use it in our home.
Total cost of building materials: $56.00 for (2) seven-foot long shelves
Tools: level, stud finder, nail gun, and miter saw. If you’re not using a nail gun, you will need to countersink the nails with a nail punch.
Other: Heavy duty construction adhesive, wood filler, sandpaper and caulk.
Once you have the bottom board nailed into the studs, attach the crown moulding with construction adhesive and nails. Next, run a thin bead of construction adhesive along the top of the crown moulding.
Nail in the top ledge into the bottom board.
After that, nail the lattice strip to the front of the ledge.
After that, all that’s left is filling the nail holes, sanding, caulking and paint.
It took one can of spray primer and white spray paint to change all of the picture frames from black to white.
I love that our new gallery shelves are not only functional, but they also give our hallway architectural interest with the crown moulding.
If you’re looking for a little gallery wall inspiration, you can follow my Photography and Gallery Walls board on Pinterest.
Make sure you check out all the projects that have gone into our hallway. Just click on these links:
**Disclosure-this post contains Amazon affiliate links.**