1. After cutting and sanding everything, you need to notch the brackets to fit the cleat.
2. Pilot drill and screw the brackets onto the cleat. Note – things are upside down and backwards at this point.
3. At this point, we painted the bracket-cleat assemblies and the shelves.
4. Here’s where this starts making sense: because the brackets are acting as braces against the wall, they don’t necessarily have to be screwed to the wall. So you didn’t have to make sure you were spacing them out to match existing studs – you could space them evenly.
So now you need to attach the cleat part of the assembly to the studs at the height you want – you have to be sure to hit studs if you want the shelves to stay attached! You can also screw through the brackets into the wall if you think you need to.
5. Last step: screw the shelf down to the cleat-bracket assembly. Then just fill all your screw holes, touch up with paint, and you’re done.