Shelf Help!

Here are the answers to the questions our customers ask us most often.
If you can’t find the answer to your query here, please don’t hesitate to give us a call; we’ll be happy to help!

All of our shelves are carefully hand-made and individually manufactured to your specifications. Our current lead time is 10-14 working days from the date of order and, while we are working hard to keep to this, your order may take a little longer to be dispatched. We will process orders as quickly as possible and in strict date order and we thank you for your patience. When your order is ready for dispatch, we will email you with your delivery information.

Please note: all orders will be dispatched in the New Year, starting in the week beginning the 8th January

We are now able to offer an expedited shipping service; this ensures that your order will be dispatched within 5 working days of you placing your order. You can choose this service at the checkout; please feel free to contact us if you’d like any further information.

Please note: We are a small, family-run company and, while we do all that we can to ensure the most prompt delivery possible, circumstances outside our control (such as problems with suppliers) can sometimes lead to delays and extended delivery times. Please be assured that we are working at all times to manufacture and deliver the highest possible quality products and sometimes this takes a little while longer! Please bear this in mind when placing your order. 

Courier Delays: we can’t be responsible for delays caused by couriers; we always use national, reputable couriers but their services are not guaranteed and may be subject to delays which are beyond our control. Where expedited shipping has been selected, the excess charge will only be refunded when an order has not been dispatched within stated lead times; we are not able to refund the excess when the delay is due to courier failure.

At ShelfDirect, we want to deliver the best quality at the lowest possible prices, so we always aim to match any online quote for bespoke shelving, provided that:

  • You are able to show us a like-for-like, full quote for bespoke shelves (the quote must include any charges for shipping, VAT, fixings, finishing etc.)
  • You are able to show us evidence of the quote, including a link to the relevant website

Just drop us an email with your requirements and the details of the quote you have and we’ll get straight back to you.

Contact us for more information; we’re always happy to help!

If you have any particular size requirement, we will always do our best to help and make your shelves to your exact measurements. For example: if you require a shelf at 25.5cm long, simply order your shelf at 26cm long and then let us know the exact measurements you’d like in the order notes section at checkout. We will then make the shelf at 26cm long and trim the .5cm off. Please note: we will endeavour to get this measurement exact, but slight differences between your measurements and ours are inevitable! Please feel free to talk to us before ordering if you are at all unsure; we’re always very happy to help!

If you are not able to calculate the shelf you want on our website, please contact us and we’ll be happy to make your shelves to suit your requirements.

We deliver anywhere in the UK mainland for a standard shipping charge of £16.50.

Deliveries to Highlands & Islands and remote areas are charged at £37.50 as courier charges rise significantly to those areas. We now offer an expedited service which you can choose at the checkout; this ensures dispatch of your order within 4 working days of the date of order. Please feel free to contact us for further information.

As standard, we deliver on workdays, to the address of your choice, and can arrange Saturday and morning deliveries at a small additional charge; please contact us for further details.

Please note: we can’t be responsible for delays caused by couriers; we always use national, reputable couriers but their services are not guaranteed and may be subject to delays which are beyond our control. Where expedited shipping has been selected, the excess charge will only be refunded when an order has not been dispatched within stated lead times; we are not able to refund the excess when the delay is due to courier failure.

We want to ensure that you are delighted with your shelves, so once your shelves have been delivered, we recommend that you follow these steps to ensure the best possible outcome:

  • Unwrap the shelves as quickly as possible. This is particularly important if your shelves are solid wood or wood veneer finish as the bubble wrap around the shelves can lead to a build-up of condensation inside the packaging. This can lead to the shelves sticking together or the bubble wrap sticking to the shelves.
  • Store the shelves on a flat surface; leaning them up against a wall can lead to the shelves bowing, making them more difficult to install
  • In the event of any query, please make sure that you let us know promptly!

Our floating shelves are primarily decorative, and are usually used to display a number of small items such as photos, trophies and ornaments. The weight-bearing capacity of every shelf depends very much on the type and quality of wall into which it is being installed. If you need your floating shelves to hold more weight, we can supply a range of brackets which will bear up to approximately 50kg per shelf. Our floating shelves with batten fixings,when installed onto a plasterboard wall, may not be suitable for heavier loads such as books, but can be used very successfully to hold light ornaments, photos etc. Our batten fixings can also be used on a masonry wall, and can hold up to 10kg. Please note: any weights quoted include the weight of the shelf.
Because of the unique fixing system we use, our alcove shelves are able to hold up to 50kg per shelf; comfortably holding all of your books and more.

If you have any particular requirements, please feel free to contact us and we can advise you.

Our shelves with brackets (2cm & 3.5cm) are suitable for holding heavier loads. On our 2cm shelves each bracket will support approximately 12 kg; our 3.5cm shelf brackets will support approximately 15kg. If you have any particular requirements, please feel free to contact us and we can advise you; it may be as simple as supplying you with a few extra brackets!

All of our shelves can be fitted to solid or plasterboard walls. Our standard fixings are appropriate for masonry (solid) walls, but not for plasterboard walls. We are happy to provide plasterboard fixings on request at no additional cost.

It is difficult to be precise about how easy our shelves are to install, as it depends entirely on your level of experience and expertise! We would say that a skilled, experienced DIY enthusiast would find them straightforward to install. If you are in any doubt, you may wish to consult a skilled tradesperson.

As standard, on our Mezzo, Piccolo and Twin -Slot shelving, we recommend two brackets with each shelf, with an additional bracket for approximately every additional 50 cm of shelving (so a 100 cm shelf will have 2 brackets, a 150cm shelf will have 3 and so on).

Solid Wood or Wood Veneer Finish

Our standard finish is a clear Danish oil. This is a blend of natural oils and resins that penetrate wood to provide a tough, durable and waterproof finish, enriching the wood’s natural patina and providing protection from the inside out. To keep your shelf in good condition and maintain the finish, we recommend the regular use of clear Danish Oil, which can be purchased from most hardware and DIY stores.

Your shelf will benefit from an additional treatment with Danish Oil approximately 3 months after installation, when the wood may start to lose its lustre and may begin to appear slightly ‘dry’. Following this treatment, you can apply the oil at any time in the future when you feel your shelf might benefit from it. (It’s hard to be exact about this, as it depends on the location of the shelf, the warmth of the room etc.)


  1. Shake the tin of Danish Oil thoroughly before use
  2. Pour a generous amount of the oil onto a lint-free cloth and wipe over the wood
  3. Rub the oil well into the grain of the wood (alternatively the oil can be applied sparingly using a brush)
  4. When the final coat has dried, an improved sheen can be achieved by buffing with a clean, lint-free cloth

Our ready to paint shelves are made from MDF and come to you finely sanded to give a nice clean finish (the front edges of the floating shelves are finished with a paintable solid wood veneer strip). They are lovely and easy to work with and we recommend the following:

  • Use a glossing roller kit to help ensure a good smooth finish. These are available in a pack which includes the roller, heads and a small tray from most good DIY shops.
  • Apply two primer coats, sanding lightly in between. You can use an acrylic primer to give your top coat a good base, but if you have any spare emulsion you can use that.  If you are using expensive, thick emulsion it’s worth watering it down slightly (around 10% water:90% paint); if the emulsion is a cheaper, thinner type there’s no need to water it down.
  • Sand the shelves lightly between each coat.
  • For your top coat, use any paint suitable for painting interior wood, choosing the colour and finish you prefer (gloss, matt, silk etc…)

It is important to use a primer, as the MDF will be very absorbent and the primer gives a good foundation to get a good finish when you apply your top coat(s). As you’ll see from the information above, you don’t need a specific product; a bit of watered down emulsion does the job really well!

At the end of each month, we will select a winning entrant to our Shelfie Competition and inform the winner via email.

The winning customer will win a £50 e-gift card to use at either Amazon UK or John Lewis. The winner of the competition will select which e-card they would prefer. There is no cash alternative and we regret that we are unable to offer vouchers for alternative retailers. Please ensure that your email is secure; we will use the email address you have used to send your entry to the competition to send your gift voucher code and we cannot be liable for the loss of this voucher if your email is compromised.

By entering the competition, you agree to allow us to use your photo on our gallery page, website product pages, instagram &  facebook feeds, google ads and any other marketing platforms we use. Please don’t send us pictures of your shelves in which children’s faces are clearly visible; we won’t be able to use these pictures.

We reserve the right to suspend the competition if too few pictures have been received or if the pictures received are not suitable for publication.