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  • Ikea Lack shelves, and a wall with no studs

    Let’s talk about Lack shelves, shall we? Do you love them or hate them? I honestly want to know how you feel!  I have always loved Lack shelves, I love their clean and simple design.  What I don’t love is how arduously deceiving they are! If it looks simple, it should be simple to mount, right? Maybe it’s me, maybe Ikea has finally found a way to test DIYers out there and by saying “good luck mounting this to your wall studs!”

    I’ll spare you the painful story upfront and tell you I won the battle against the Lack shelves! HOORAH! {That’s my war cry, if you couldn’t tell}



    Like I said, I’ll do you all a favor and spare you all the details of pain and frustration that I experienced with these shelves.  Instead I’m going to share with you what Ikea doesn’t explain in the picture-book manual: how to hang Lack shelves on a wall with no studs!

    LACK post

    I actually shouldn’t rag on these shelves too badly, they’re very easy to mount, the caveat that Ikea so kindly leaves out of their instructions is, they’re easy as long as you have the right tools and knowledge of the walls in your home or apartment.

    I think our building’s contractors were asleep when they put up our wall.  There are zero, and I mean zero, wood studs in our living room wall.  I kept thinking, there’s no way I’m the only person experiencing this problem.  So, after having drilled at least 15 pilot holes in our wall searching for a stud (with a stud finder no less!), I gave up. I patched the holes with putty then hung some framed wallpaper art as a temporary fix while I researched the solution to my problem.



    Ok, so maybe I am divulging all the painful details… I’m sorry! I can’t help it! I performed a bit of research and found these glorious, magical things called “drywall anchors” that could hold up to 300 lbs on just one anchor! Say wha?

    drywall anchor-001


    Be cautious when searching for the appropriate drywall anchor, there are a billion variations of all shapes and sizes.  I tried 2 different kinds, a metal one, and this WingIts plastic anchor, and this plastic one worked like a charm.

    I picked up a pack of 6, which seems a little pricey at $11, but I’m telling you, totally worth every penny! The only bummer thing about using this wall anchor is…. you’ll need to drill a 3/4″ hole into your wall…

    Deep breaths! Are you still with me?

    Drilling a giant 3/4″ hole in your wall is SUPER painful I know.  We (I should say “I”) wasn’t too worried, since we’re renters and all, we could just slap a big wad of putty over the anchor whenever we move out.  Plus, you really only need to drill two holes for each Lack shelf, one placed at each end of the shelf mount.  I placed a third in the middle for good measure, but it was probably overkill.


    Phew! I’m so relieved to have won the battle against these Lack shelves.  Now my man and I can gaze admiringly at these shelves whenever we’re in the room, and confidently think to ourselves ‘if we can hang Lack shelves, we can do anything!’

    But honestly, I’m proud to have a tad more knowledge in my DIY bank – that when push comes to shove, use a drywall anchor!

    1. Love how you styled the shelves with the artwork!

      And those lovely drywall screws/anchors are the best. We got something custom framed, and I was petrified to hang it up on a wall with no studs. I am still scared that it might come crashing down and shatter everywhere!

    2. Love these and I think you have just inspired me to put up shelves behind our daybed in our office! Thank you!!! I have this huge blank space and a big art display directly across from it and mirrors on the other wall. I tossing around making a big art piece or putting up shelving and seeing your pics has me sold on shelves! They look GORGEOUS and are styled perfectly! I just recently found your blog through Centsational Girl…(loved your post on the gold spray paints) and I feel like I have been missing out! Love it! I spent quite a bit of time on here last night. Love your style, your writing and all the inspiration! ;) Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

      1. Oh Jesse, how nice are you! I feel like I have a celebrity commenting on my blog! I’ve been lurking your blog since I started blogging :) I’m so glad we finally “crossed” paths!

    3. Good timing right?! I held onto my Lack shelves for probably 6 weeks before I got the guts to hang them.. only to face the problem with the studs. So glad they’re up and done with!

      1. 6 weeks?! Try 7 months. Put them up yesterday after living with 2 of the super long ones and 2 medium ones in my spare room hallway for 7 MONTHS! Anchors for sure. Because of course where I finally decided they had to go had no studs where the holes on the shelf are.

    4. Love your living area! Beautiful. Where did you get your grey sofa? Yes, the lack shelves are tough to hang, I used to have 4 black ones…but got sick of the black. Your white ones look great! Love the way you styled them.

      1. But just look how beautiful the room looks as a result–I would hand over my deposit on the spot if I was checking out this space as a prospective tenant. People who beautify their space by definition don’t trash it=dream tenants.

      2. It’s called put a dab of spackle, sand it, and paint it. No more holes. Just because you’re renting a place you have to refrain from decorating? That’s silly.

    5. Bless you! My son is getting the shelf he wanted for his birthday, thanks to you! Daddy told him no because there was only one stud near his bed but he relented after seeing the super industrial wall anchors you used. We’re putting it up tonight, hooray!

    6. Hi Brittany.! ..This Ikea Lack Shelf is driving me Crazy! After many attempts I read your experience and finally bought the wingit anchors you suggested. I put them in the wall and they hung down a bit. I called Wingits and they said that means its in right and it means the wings are in place.But They said I needed the bracket to hang the shelf on. I thought I was supposed to hang the shelf on the nail itself. So they sent me the brackets and I screwed the brackets in that have a hanger on them. But now I can’t hang the shelf on them for some reason!! Help! Maybe I could send u pics and vise versa!

      1. Someone needs to realize here that to have a wall there has to be studs of some kind, or it is solid concrete. What do you think the drywall is mounted to? The dangers of blindly drilling pilot holes include electrocution if you happen to drill in the wrong place. Read the directions again on the stud finder the studs are in your wall and if by code they are spread out vertically every 16″ on center of the stud. You also probably have firewall studs which run between the vertical studs. Now about the shelves They look fantastic and glad you were finally able to find what looks to be one of the better drywall anchors I have seen. Good luck on future DIYing your house but beindfull of the hidden stuff behind the dry wall including electrical, cable and possibly network wiring.

    7. Brittany. .These lack shelves..mine are the smaller ones and are driving me Crazy! !! I made many attempts like you and then got the Wingits like u suggested. After putting them in the hung down a bit. I called and said that’s should. .it means the wings are in place. I thought I was supposed to hang the shelf on the nail head. This doesn’t work. So wingits sent me metal bracket s to screw in and there is a hook to hang the shelf on.Still doesn’t work!!! Help!!!

    8. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I bought an Algot shelving system for my daughter and then realized the studs in her closet wall are totally in the wrong place. I was about to return everything when I found your blog. Saved the day (and my daughter’s terribly messy room)!

      1. they hold as much as the sum of the drywall anchors allow! drywall anchors vary, depending on which type you go with.

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