How to Build a Laundry Shelf

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Our laundry room makeover is complete and the project that I’m most proud of has to be the DIY laundry shelf over the washer and dryer.

When I was pulling together the design board for this room, I knew that I wanted something over the washer and dryer. We had already used that space as a landing area, the laundry shelf would make it feel more intentional. It would also help muffle the sound of the washer and dryer a bit.

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DIY Laundry Shelf

The plan was fairly simple. Line the surrounding walls with 1×2 boards and lay common boards on top to make the shelf. Here are my tips for creating a DIY laundry shelf.

1. Invest in sawhorses. If you don’t already have them, get some. They will make staining and cutting infinitely easier.

laundry shelf stain one coat

2. Measure obsessively. I was so worried that I was going to mess this part up that I probably would have finished the project a lot faster if I only measured twice. Labeling the back of each wood piece helped me keep track of what went where. Leave room for any hoses or cords that are above the shelf.

laundry shelf cut mounts

3. Cut everything first. We had the large boards cut at Home Depot. The wall supports and the hose cutout I did with a jigsaw. Be picky when you are buying your wood. Make sure your 1×2’s are straight and that your common boards are not warped and have some character to them.

laundry shelf home depot

4. Sand down the edges – it will give everything a more finished look.

laundry shelf sanded

5. Stain last. Follow the directions on the stain container and stain the edges and under parts if there is any chance it can be seen. I used the Minwax Polyshade in Espresso.

laundry shelf stain options

laundry shelf steel wool

6. Use a good level and stud finder. All of the support boards were mounted at 30 inches high using either stud screws or drywall anchors/screws.

laundry shelf mountslaundry shelf mounts installed

7. Connect the boards underneath to prevent sagging. Attaching a small piece of 1×2 across the boards will help support them. Pre-drill the hole through the support and be careful not to go too far into the common board.

Laundry room shelf for over the washer and dryer that makes a huge impact. An easy DIY project that creates storage and folding space. This stained wood shelf is perfect for small spaces. See our full laundry room makeover for more ideas.

See more pictures of the finished room here.

DIY Laundry Shelf

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  1. I had no idea this was such a low cost item to do. I think I can even make this over the weekend!

    1. It really is, low cost and high impact. The thing that takes the longest is waiting for the stain to dry completely. If you are on a time crunch, pick one that is quick drying.

      1. It’s from Target! It’s actually peel and stick, I did a post about my experience with it here.

  2. Very NICELY done, and a GREAT tutorial as well!
    This is proof that even areas like a laundry room can be beautiful with a little effort and without spending a fortune!

    1. Thank you! I’m super proud of this room and yes, it’s proof that small spaces and small budgets can still make a HUGE difference!

  3. An awesome job. You not only gained counter space for folding your clothes, but also a nice space to add your decorative containers for your laundry products and perhaps a nice plant as well. Love it.

    1. Thank you! I had to put in a fake succulent because that room gets ZERO natural light. I wish I could get more greenery in there but the wall paper will have to do. 😉

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