Installing Under Stair Shelves

What You'll Need
3/4 -inch shelving
1/4 -inch plywood
Four standards
Paint or stain
2 1/2 -inch wood screws
Screw Driver or Electric Drill
Painting Tools
Masking Tape

Installing under stair shelves is a great way to add inexpensive additional storage space to any home. Building and installing this type of shelving is quite easy and can generally be completed in a couple of hours. Follow this handy guide to build your own.

Step One - Measuring

Measure the width and height below the stairs to determine how many shelves you can place in the space. For this guide, we will use 12-inch wide shelves. Shelf opening heights are usually between about 12 and 16 inches apart.

Step Two – Preparing Materials

Purchase everything you need, including shelving and plywood for adjustable shelf standards and paint or stain. In addition, you can use a pre-finished product like ¾-inch melamine.

Step Three – Cutting for the Shelves

Cut the sides of the shelf to the desired height. Cut your top and bottom shelf pieces to the desired width and secure them to the sides of the shelf.

Now, cut a piece of ¼-inch plywood for your backing plate, and nail or screw in place.

Finally, secure the sides to wall studs under your stairs with 2½- or 3-inch deck screws. You might find it more convenient to use an electric drill for these longer screws.

Step Four – Installing the Shelf Standards

Install the shelf standards or adjustable brackets about 2 inches from the front and the sides.

Next, cut your shelving pieces 1/8-inch short of the opening of the shelf standards. This will allow you to easily insert and remove the shelves as you need to. Additionally, this will allow you to adjust the height any time you choose.

Step Five – Finishing Up

Finish the shelves using the paint, stain or lacquer of your choice. Use caution when painting or finishing close to the walls. In fact, you might want to consider using masking tape to tape off walls and other surfaces. When finished, remove the masking tape and allow the paint or finish ample time to dry.