How to Build Recessed Shelves Between Studs | Bathroom Organization

– So my girls share this bathroom. It’s our guest bathroom. And the counters are
always looking like this. So here on Remodelaholic
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have coming out each week. So Cassidy and I, we’re tired of the counters always looking like this. So we came up with a solution. We wanted to do this in a wall, and we thought it’d be really cool. And this was the perfect
opportunity for it. So today, we’re gonna show you how we built this bathroom built-in inside the wall to add five more shelves to our bathroom and get
everything off the counter. Where would you install a
shelf like this in your house? Let us know in the comments below. We love to read them. So to start on this project, I mark the top, the bottom, the sides of where I wanted to start
cutting out the drywall. Right here is where the
stud goes up and down on this corner of the wall. I’m just gonna draw a
line right up and down where that stud is and cut along that line and then center the built-ins
based on this first side. I like working as clean as possible, so right here I’m using my cutting tool and a vacuum right
underneath it to collect all the dust from it. Now here’s the other
side drawn on the wall ready to be cut next. So both sides of the opening
are centered on the wall. Now, we get to see what’s behind the wall and make sure we don’t
have any studs in the way. Okay, I’ve got the sheet rock cut out, and it looks like the previous owners put insulation in there just for, probably for noise
barrier in the bathroom. But that’s basically where
the shelf’s going to go right in that spot. So now we’re gonna remove
all this insulation, and then I’m gonna take some two-by-fours, probably reinforce this edge right here and up on top and on the bottom. I’m making sure that
the two-by-four is level and then I’m going to
drive some dry wall screws through the dry wall right
into that two-by-four. And those screws will be just enough to hold that two-by-four in place. I’m also adding more screws up the side of the two-by-four, the existing
two-by-four that’s there so that the dry wall is secured to it. So if my studs were 16 inches on center, I wouldn’t have to have this extra board that I’m putting in. So this board basically represents another stud at 16 inches on center. So what we’re thinking here
is the back of this sheet rock is going to be the back
of the built-in shelves. So we’re just gonna smooth it out, patch any holes, and call it good. So the next step now
is to build the frame. We’re not gonna have adjustable shelves. They’re all gonna fixed. So I went in SketchUp, and I figured out exactly how big I wanted everything to be and how I wanted it to look. And I showed it to Cassidy. She loves it. She thinks it’s gonna be great. So now it’s time to put it together. So the frame’s gonna be
at 14 1/2 inches wide and 67 1/2 inches tall. Oh, and so the two-by-four
is 3 1/2 inches deep. So from the front of the dry wall to the back of the dry wall
is actually four inches because we have a
half-an-inch of dry wall. So what I did is I bought some boards that are wider than four inches. I’m gonna cut them down
to width at four inches. So the total depth of my
built-in is gonna be four inches. And then the back of the wall
is going to be the dry wall. We’re just gonna paint that. So first of all, to get started I’m cutting down the
boards to four inches wide. So I’m gonna have four
one-inch thick shelves, and I’m gonna use this
material right here for that. And then the rest is gonna be
for the outside of the box. So the leftover piece
from cutting the sides to four inches, these are
gonna work out perfect for the little fence that we’re making at the end of each shelf. Now, I’m cutting all
the shelves to length, the two top pieces, and then I’ll cut the two side pieces to length. Alright, here are my four
shelves, one-inch thick. Here’s my two. Here’s my top and bottom of the box. And here are the two sides. So this is 5/8 of an inch
thick, 5/8 of an inch thick, and this is one inch. Before I put the frame together, I’m gonna round off the front edge of the top and bottom piece
that joins up against the sides. It’ll look really good in the end, and I’ll show you how that turned out. So I’m gonna use my speed square, and I’m gonna set up all the marks where the shelves need to be
so when I set it on the side, I can line it up, glue
it, and nail it in place. And I laid both sides down together so that I can take my speed square straight across and mark
both sides at the same time. So I’m already to assemble
all these pieces together. I’m just gonna use glue. I’m gonna be using the
Titebond II and some brad nails and then let it sit for
about a half-an-hour, maybe put a couple clamps on
it and then we will be ready to go put it in place in the bathroom. So MDF is a great product for this project because it is easy to
paint, easy to work with, and it’s nice and straight. We won’t have to worry about
warping, anything like that. Just double-checking here to make sure everything’s square while it’s drying. I’ll be able to, once
it’s in the wall cavity, I’ll be able to square it up
for sure when I install it. Now, I’m gonna let that
dry for about 30 minutes before I move it and
put it in the bathroom. Okay, so here it is. Here’s the frame I just built in the shop. And all I have to do is put
it in place and level it out. So, I measured it out so I have
a little bit of wiggle room. I’m gonna use some shims to square it up and then nail it place
with the brad nail gun. That’s pretty close to level there. So what I’m gonna do is this is up against this stud right here,
so I’m just gonna nail it in. So the only place I’m gonna shim it is just right here just so
it doesn’t move around much. I am going to add another layer of molding over the top of this. And you can see that design right here. I’ve been working on it in SketchUp so that I get the look that I want and the sizes that I want. Alright, so this is installed. Now, that’s as far as I’m gonna go with putting in nails and shimming it. It’s in there pretty square. So you can see here there’s
a little bit of a gap. That’s fine because we’re gonna caulk it. We’re gonna caulk all those
corners and paint it all. Now, that the frame is
installed inside the wall, I’m going to cut all the
trim pieces to length. I’m gonna round off the edges where I cut it on the table
saw or on the miter saw. You can also do this by hand
if you didn’t have a router. Okay, I’ve got everything cut except for these little railings here. And it’s just gonna go right
in between this main frame and kind of keep stuff from
falling off the shelves. And you give it a nice look and design for the overall finished look. (saw buzzing) I also wanted to make sure all the edges were sanded smooth, so I
took a little bit of time and sanded the edges that
were gonna be painted and then rounded off
those edges that would be butted up against another piece of trim. So I’m gonna stand here
and paint all these pieces at least two coats, and I like to use a four-inch foam roller
because it gives it a nice smooth finish. There are times where I
just like to pre-paint, put it up, and then just
only do one more coat instead of having to do a couple coats. So right here, you’re actually seeing the trim for the built-ins, for around the pocket
door, and the baseboards. So I was painting all those at once. Now, that everything’s painted, I’m gonna use a brad nail
gun and nail them in place. (nail gun clicking) So for the trim piece
in front of the shelf, I’m gonna line up the bottom of that piece with the bottom of the shelf
and then nail it in place. I’m gonna leave off part of the railing that sits above the shelves, so I can get in there and caulk and paint. And then I’m gonna glue that piece in place when it’s all done. So I’m gonna patch the holes
with DAP Patch-N-Paint. This product’s really nice
because it dries really fast and you don’t even have to
sand if you don’t want to. Now, that everything’s
installed on the wall, I’m gonna caulk all the
edges, fill in all the gaps. So we use this a lot throughout the house for all of our trim work. So we can paint it within
an hour, and it’s white. We tend to do a lot of white trim. So when you’re caulking, you
just wanna make sure you have a wet rag with you. Put the caulk in the
corner and just wipe it off with your finger and then wipe it smooth with the rag if you need to. After about an hour, you’ll be able to come back and paint it. Now that I’ve given the patch time to dry, I’m gonna sand it off a little bit and then I’m ready to paint everything. Alright, so I forgot to do something. I’m gonna paint the back
of this with dry wall paint so that the other paint
doesn’t soak in so much and have to have multiple coats. So we’re gonna do that real quick. Now that the dry wall paint is all dry, I’m gonna start putting
on the final white color that I’m gonna use. So we’re going to use an Ultra Pure White. This is something we
use all over the house. It’s an eggshell, and
we like it on our trim. We like it all over the walls. So I ended up painting
about three coats of white just to make sure everything
was covered equally. It is a bathroom so a lot
of steam, stuff like that. We don’t want any water
damage on the wood. So getting a nice coverage
is really important. Once all the shelves were painted, the last thing I need to do is install the little railing an
inch-and-a-half above the shelf. I ended just gluing the rails in place with the RapidFuse glue by DAP. And then I went through and touched it up with a little bit of
paint to finish it off. Alright, so there you have it. We have five new shelves in the bathroom, more space to store things
and be better organized. So what do you think? Give us a thumbs up if you could use some more shelves in your bathroom. And you can click here to get
a download of this project. Don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching, everybody, and we’ll see you in the next video!


  1. Hi guys….like I said before, I love this project, I'm glad you put it in one video start to finish…

  2. Nice project, just a word of advice next time you do a project like this take a few minutes to add some house wrap that you put behind your siding into the wall around the 2x4s along with caulking and paint just to ensure that the moisture doesn't seep through the cracks and deteriorate the 2x4s faster

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