I am a bit shy to admit this, but we built these DIY peg rail shelves in Febuary. We were busy doing all sorts of other updates in our home, then Hubs finally got his knee replacement surgery after a five year wait, what can I say life happens. My apologies I really am excited to show you our updated bedroom.
The DIY peg rail shelves are the largest part of our upgrade, along with fixing damaged walls, white paint, some new linens, rug and curtains. The total refresh was less than $400 and we finished it over a weekend.
The first step of making these DIY peg rails shelves is taking the measurements. As they are in the bedroom start by taking a look at your existing furniture as you don’t want your shelves to end up behind furniture. We began by measuring the height of our headboard and five drawer dresser as both are quite tall. It surprised me to find out that our headboard is actually 2 inches taller at 59″, than the dresser.
Deciding the width of the peg rail shelves is straight forward. Decide which wall(s) you want the peg rail on, we chose to do two walls. The longer shelf we ran the entire width of the wall behind our headboard. The second smaller shelf we snuggled in between the two window casings. We skipped the other wall as we walk past it all the time and didn’t want to run into them, or knock stuff off as we motor around. The last wall has Hubs tv on it.
To decide the height of the moulding we went to the building supply store and spent more than two hours placing different styles of moulding together. The ledge needs to be wide enough to hold pictures firmly and light enough not be visually weightly. I want them to blend into the wall, and appear light weight and modern.
We chose three different types styles of moulding for the shelves. There are no corbels as they are really expensive and unnecessary on narrow shelving or picture ledges.
All the moulding is white primed wood moulding.
The backing is 6″ plain moulding 3/4 of an inch thick. We chose the 3/4″ thickness so that it was flush with the existing window frame. The 6″ height leaves enough space for crown moulding and the pegs.
For the upper shelf bracket we chose 2.5″ inch crown moulding, because it was on hand. We could buy in long lengths, and it left some space for the upper shelf to protrude above it.
The upper shelf we chose 4″ moulding 1/2 inch thick.
For pegs, we purchased plain 1/2″ diameter wood pegs 4″ long.
With our notes about what we chose, I still suggest going to see what moulding is available to you and swap the styles out to find something all your own that you love. The only thing I really recommend is making all your moulding wood and not mdf, I just don’t trust mdf to be strong enough.
Cutting the Moulding to Length
Begin by measuring the distance the peg rail will be along the walls. Make sure it accurate, Hubs checked this a couple of times. Next he cut the 6″ moulding, then went to “test” fit it on the wall. Once we were 100% sure it was the correct length, he used the first length of cut 6″ moulding as a guide to cut the shelf and crown.
It was minus 32 when he was in the garage doing this, bless his heart he told me I could stay indoors so I have no pictures of the cutting. All the cuts are done square, at 90 degrees, using his mitre saw.
Once the moulding was cut we set up saw horses in our living room so that we could work in the warmth. Excuse the mess in the pictures.
Attaching the Moulding
The three pieces of moulding together can be quite heavy and the length is awkward so we glued and air nailed the crown to the other moulding prior to placing it on the wall. We left the upper ledge until later.
Attach the crown to the back board first.
Apply wood glue to the back of the crown moulding. Align the top and the two ends of both the crown, and back moulding together so everything is square. Use clamps to hold in place while the glue drieds. Then attach using small nails (air nails).
Adding the pegs took some math calculations. We took the width of the wall, subtracted the width of the dresser and then divided it by four. This gave us the distance from the end of the board so that the peg was half way between the window and the dresser. Our pegs are 1/2 diameter so Hubs used a half inch drill bit and predrilled the two holes.
For the wall with the headboard we only wanted one wooden peg, so instead so we divided the distance into 1/3s.
Once we had the height decided at 56″ Hubs went ahead and using the stud finder located the studs in the wall and marked them well above where the shelf will be located.
Then we placed it into the room, lining the bottom edge up with the marks we made using the level.
Then mounted the shelf to the wall using 2 inch screws, using the level as its done.
Once the first two pieces of moulding were mounted to the wall. Hubs glued the top ledge on and then nailed it with 1 1/4 inch air nails.
To add the pegs fill each hole with wood glue and slide the pegs in place.
Finishing the Peg Rail
We filled the holes screw holes with putty, let it dry completely, then sanded them smooth. I then painted the shelves with two coats of white paint and used silicone to fill in the ends, the seams underneath the top shelf and the crown moulding.
We began by washing the walls with tsp, fixing too many holes from decor, painted the walls with two coats of Snowbound from Sherwin Williams. Then I got busy recaulking all the existing trim. We bought new farmhouse style curtain rods, and plain white sheets for over the windows.
In our previous home we did not have room for two nightstands, I was not able to find a second matching nightstand. Buying two matching night stands was not in the budget so we updated a bleached wood night stand , and its perfect for all Hubs extra stuff.
We purchased new white linen bedding and I finally convinced Hubs that having a small rug over wall to wall carpet was a good thing.
Hubs fell in love with the picture over the bed, we found it at Home Sense. I found a second picture at a local boutique, and love how much the barns in both pictures match.
The room is bright and looks larger than it is because of the white paint. The peg rail blends into the walls and I really like how it blends in like it was always there.
Let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions about the tutorial. I always look forward to hearing from you.