Adding shelving is the quickest step and makes the space look like an actual wardrobe. You could buy exposed wood and treat it if you like, but I opted for melamine covered white chipboard as it’s made for the job.
#1 | Shelf supports
There’s a couple of ways the shelves can be supported – you can either use wood battens or small metal shelf supports. I went for wood battens just because I wanted an excuse for some more woodwork but the metal shelf supports would work just as well and save some time. If you go for wood battens, cut them to a length slightly less than the shelf depth and at an angle at the end so that they’re discreet and screw them into the wall/wardrobe side. As ever, whap out your spirit level to make sure your shelves don’t slant.
If any of the shelves are going to spread across a long distance, add shelf supports to the back wall to make sure it’s sturdy. You can also support long shelves across the front by cutting a rabbet (basically a small recess) into a cross-section piece of framework and sit the shelf into this. I borrowed my neighbours table saw to do this. It makes the shelves ultra-strong and looks pretty sexy, if that’s your kind of thing.
#2 | Cutting shelves
To save yourself a load of time and stress, you can get the shelves cut to size at B&Q. I got my pal Zach (he had a name badge) to cut the melamine sheets to 4mm less wide than the space that the shelves were sitting in which by chance worked really well with no need for adjustment. If you do need to make small adjustments, I’d suggest using a finishing sander with a medium grit paper to gradually remove material without damaging the melamine.
If bigger adjustments are required (I had to to reduce the depth of one shelf), you can reduce damage to the melamine covering by taping on a couple of layers of masking tape. This won’t leave a perfect finish but it’ll be far better than cutting without the tape.
Because the shelves were a fairly snug fit and weighed a decent amount, there was no need to fix them in place so that’s it, shelves done! I was feeling pretty smug after sorting the shelves out relatively quickly but was brought swiftly back down to earth once I realised how long the doors were going to take me…
- Mitre saw or woodsaw
- Table saw/circular saw if you need to make accurate long cuts
- Measuring tape
- Spirit level
- Wood screws
- Frame fixers
- Combi drill
- Impact driver or screwdriver with bits
- Finshing sander medium grit sandpaper
- Wood battens
- Melamine covered chipboard – I used 500mm width