A DIY with Impact: Stain and Install Floating Wood Shelves

Our guest bedroom/office has been a work in progress, but one of the projects that has made a huge impact in the room was the decision to install floating wood shelves from Ornamental Moulding & Millwork on the wall above our antique trunk.

I knew that I didn’t want to do another gallery wall in this room (the massive gallery wall in our hallway is enough!), but I did need something on this wall. A piece of art didn’t feel right and, since this is an office, I felt like a way to display books might be the best use of space.


As you may remember, we’ve installed shelves before. It’s one of those DIY projects that nags at me for weeks (okay, days, because we know I like to get things done), but, once I get started, it’s a quick(ish) process that I’m so happy with in the end.

These shelves were no different. We actually originally got them for the kitchen, however, when I began to measure them out, I realized they were too visually heavy for our white and marble kitchen. I didn’t want to cover up the wood grain with white paint, so I knew they would do the trick in the guest bedroom/office.

This project was a bit bigger than past shelf installs because I added in an extra element: I stained them. Which meant that day one, we installed, then days two and three, I slowly applied 4 (yes, four!) coats of stain. To be honest, it sounds like a bigger project than it was. But, read on.


ornamental moulding and millwork wood shelves - floating wood shelves - install floating wood shelves


These specific wood shelves came from a company called Ornamental Moulding & Millwork, which I’ll definitely be returning to when I decide to take on one of the picture-frame or chair rail moulding projects that I’ve been dreaming up and pinning.

This specific shelf is made of Ambrosia Maple and can actually be used as a mantle or a shelf. The wood grain is designed to be seen, so you could 100% finish them with just a clear coat and they would look stunning. However, I chose to finish them with a rich, burnt color to match the trunk below them. Here’s the exact stain I used.

The install was super easy once we got started (isn’t measuring always the hardest part?!). These screw in to the wall via a wood mounting cleat and they are surprisingly lightweight.

These specific shelves are 7″ deep by 5″ tall and come in 3′, 4′, 5′, or 6′ foot lengths. We opted for the 3-foot length for our space, which was perfect. The 7″ depth means they can easily accommodate books, but they don’t take up too much space.

I actually made the unconventional decision to finish these once they were already on the wall…and part of me wonders if that might be easier when you’re dealing with a shelf — as long as you’re a semi-tidy DIY’er. The staining process went far smoother than I anticipated. I left this room closed off for 2 days, with the fan on and window open, and I popped in twice a day to add a new coat of stain with a rag. It went on with absolutely no trouble and, 24 hours after the last coat, they were good to go.

In the end, I just love the masculine, library feel these shelves add to the room. While I haven’t 100% nailed down where we’re going with redecorating, these definitely fit the bill.

You can find these exact shelves at Wayfair, Home Depot, or Lowe’s.


ornamental moulding and millwork wood shelves - floating wood shelves - install floating wood shelves


Unfortunately, due to social distancing measures, I can’t do my usual spend a few hours in an antiques mall and see what I come up with approach to styling a room. I’d love to find a few prints, some vintage jars, boxes, etc. But, that’s going to have to wait.

In the meantime, I shopped my house, as they say. I pulled books and interesting pieces from a few different rooms, and arranged them to try to vary height and weight across the shelves. I alternated between books stacked, front facing, and in between bookends to keep the eye moving.

However, like I said, this is just a stand-in with items that belong elsewhere and I’m counting down the days until I can stroll through aisles of old treasures again…


ornamental moulding and millwork wood shelves - floating wood shelves - install floating wood shelves

ornamental moulding and millwork wood shelves - floating wood shelves - install floating wood shelves


Thank you to Ornamental Moulding & Millwork for gifting me with these shelves! As always, all opinions are my own (and I know y’all love them, too, from the feedback I’ve gotten every time I’ve posted these to my Instagram stories!).


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