painting brackets

DIY Project 1: 4 shelves under $50

After posting about the 5 must haves for your changing table, you know that I am in need of some shelves to install on top of it. There’s too many products I need to have at hand when changing my baby and a shelf or two will help me unclutter around the changing pad. 

A month ago I got a shelf at Home Depot and it appeared longer than it’s actual size. My hubby installed it and we realized it wasn’t going to be long enough to cover our needs, so I decided to return it and make my own.

This is my first DIY project for the blog so I hope I can explain well all the things that I used and remember, if you have any questions, feel free to post a comment, I always answer.

So on with the project. This is the list of items you are going to need to build 4 shelves of 3’X 1′ in 1″ MDF board with glossy espresso brown finish spray paint.


4 pieces of 1″ MDF cut to size 3’X1′

8 shelf brackets

1 can of red primer

1 can of espresso brown gloss finish spray paint

4 packages of 10 screws,

Wood sandpaper 200 and 400 grain

Facial mask 

Security glasses

Gloves (optional)

You can also use wood if you prefer, just make sure it is straight and dry. To make it easy for you to buy the screws, at the Home Depot by my house, they sell a package of screws of two different sizes to fit the width of the shelves when installing the bracket and to reach and anchor in the wall and they even sell them in colors, so to combine with my espresso brown I chose the black ones but I think I’m going to spray paint the screw heads too just to make them blend better.

You can also choose whichever color of spray paint you prefer. Since I am installing two shelves on top of my changing table, I chose espresso brown cause that’s the closest to my mahogany changing table (they didn’t had mahogany color).

Al right, now that you are back from the store, let’s get to how the heck are we going to put this together.


For the shelves

Sand all the surfaces of the shelves. Using a palm sander is going to make your life easier. Just put your sand paper in the palm sander and let the dust begin.

When you finish sanding, clean all the surfaces of the shelves with a rag. You will also need to clean the shelf brakets.

Place your shelf on top of a base, clearing the area around it.

Shake well your spray paint primer can, for at least one minute.
Start painting in lines along the longest side of the shelf, one shelf at the time, holding your can of paint at least 5″ away from your shelf to prevent drips and taking one second each time you run your hand across the shelf. This will look like you are leaving a lot of dust but is going to prevent drips which means you are saving time and you are going to end with a professional look.

Spray paint one side at the time, including the edges.

Painting like this, you are going to give two hands of primer.Remember to cover the edges too.

If you have any drips, let the paint dry totally, approximately 2 hrs and then sand the drips making sure you don’t reach the base material. Spray paint the area again with two hands of primer.

After two hours, your primer is dry, so you will be ready to paint with the actual color.

To use less paint you can lightly sand your shelves after the last hand of primer with a very fine sand paper.

Paint with the espresso brown glossy finish three times, leaving a 30 minutes of dry time in between hands.

After the three hands of spray paint, let the paint dry totally in a covered area free of dust and humidity. It may take around 1 day to have it fully dry.

For the brackets 

Place your brackets on top of a base, trying to minimize the amount of surface in touch with the brackets.

Spray paint with the primer all along the sides of the brackets, including the central part. Do this twice to fully cover the side of the brackets that’s meant to be seen.

Allow the primer to fully dry, around 30 minutes.

Spray paint with your final color, in my case the espresso brown glossy finish all throughout the bracket, keeping your can away from the bracket approximately 3″-5″.

Allow the paint to dry 30 minutes in between coats.

After applying three coats of color spray paint, let the brackets dry totally, preferably 1 day.

After this time, you are all set!

materials for shelves
materials for shelves
Painting shelf
Painting shelf
Painting bracket
Painting bracket

I hope this tutorial was enough to convince you to put together those two shelves that are going to decorate your son’s bedroom too. If you have any questions about how to apply paint, where to but the materials or about the sizes of the MDF or the screws, please leave a comment and I will be happy to assist you in your project.

Which items have to do it yourself? Do you think that a mom has time to do a DIY project? Comment and if you find this article useful, share it with your friends. See you!

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