DIY Shelf for a Half Wall

After finishing the stripes I painted in my downstairs bathroom, I decided that I really wanted to finish the poor little half wall.  The top was textured, and for some reason always dirty.  It needed a shelf.  Here is what I started with:

Here is what I needed:

  • 1″ board for shelf
  • Quarter round (already primed)
  • Miter box (THIS is the one I purchased)
  • Finishing nails
  • Nail set (like THIS)
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Caulk
  • Wood putty

Here’s what I did:

1. I measured the width and the length of my half wall.  I bought a board that would hang at least 1″ on every sides (my wall was 4″ wide, so I bought a 6″ wide board).

2. I measured (adding an extra inch or two for mitered corners) how much quarter round I would need to wrap around the bottom of the board/by the wall.

3. Then I cut the shelf board to size and used my palm sander to get the board really smooth– including the edges.

4. I laid the board on the half wall just to make sure that it fit well.  Then I took it off and primed it while I worked on the quarter round.

5. I measured, then started cutting my first piece of quarter round.  This step was admittedly the hardest.  And I spent a good 15 minutes sitting by the miter box trying to get the angle I needed.  Here is what I figured out.

  • Put your quarter round against the wall you want it, mark the spot where the inside edge will hit the wall.  Do both long walls, then measure the piece on the short end after you’ve cut both long ends.
  • Lay the quarter round with the rounded side down on the bottom of the miter box.

  • Pull the quarter round towards the edge/wall of the box.

  • Put your fingers under the rounded side of the quarter round and gently pull it towards the edge/wall of the box.

  • Line up the your mark with one of the 45 degree saw lines (use the opposite 45 degree angle cut for the other side)
  • Make sure that the angle you’re cutting is correct (mine were all outward pointing angles)

  • Saw through the quarter round

6. Measure your other sides of quarter round and cut.  This is what your angles should look like when you’re done.

7. Make sure your shelf board is hanging over an equal amount on both sides.  Then nail it into the half wall with finishing nails.  Use your nail set to get the nails all the way into the wood without damaging the wood with the hammer.

8. Nail some finishing nails partially into your quarter round.

9. Nail your quarter round underneath your shelf against the wall.  Use the nail set to get the nails all the way into the wood so you can cover those holes with wood putty.

10. Use wood putty to cover nail holes.

11. Paint the shelf and quarter round.

12. Once the paint is dry, use a paint-able caulk around every edge for a seamless look.

I absolutely love  how the shelf turned out.  Now all I need to do is grab some cute vases to set there!

Have you built anything recently?

I’m linking up to Thrify Decor Chick’s April Before & After Party.  Check out some other great projects there!


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