How to Build Wood Closet Shelves

Wood closet shelves increase the amount of storage area inside any closet, whether it is a pantry, linen or bedroom closet. With some basic carpentry skills, you can easily add some inexpensive wood closet shelves to your existing closet. Building wood shelves should take about two hours, but plan on a little more if you don't have much experience with carpentry. Pine is an inexpensive wood to use; buy a little extra to compensate for mistakes.

Step 1

Remove the existing closet rod or shelving by unscrewing all brackets and mounting hardware with a power screwdriver. Pull out the shelving and brackets. Patch the holes in the wall with drywall compound and a plastic scraper. Let this dry for 12 hours or until it turns white.

Step 2

Mark the walls in two places with a pencil at 20 inches from the floor, and then every 15 inches up the wall. Adjust this measurement to your own needs if necessary.

Step 3

Draw a straight line along the back and sides of the walls with a carpenter's level at each mark. Sight the level to ensure the line is straight each time.

Step 4

Measure the width of the interior of your closet at each line and use a power saw to cut 12-by-1-inch shelving boards and 2-by-1-inch cleat boards to the measurements. Measurements may differ at each mark. Cut two more 10-inch-long cleat boards for each shelf from 2-inch pine boards or whiteboard with a power saw.

Step 5

Mount the longer cleats to the back wall using the lines as a guide, and the 10-inch cleats to the side walls, lining them up with the longer cleats. Run a stud finder along the wall to find the studs and screw the cleats to the wall at the studs. If no studs are available, drill a hole through the cleat and into the wall with a 3/16-inch drill bit. Remove the board, drill out the hole with a 3/4-inch bit and insert a #10 anchor into the hole. Replace the cleat and screw a #10 screw through the cleat and into the anchor. Repeat this for each shelf.

Step 6

Place shelf boards on each cleat and screw 2-inch screws down through the shelf boards and into the cleats at the back and on each side to secure the shelves.