Hanging 1x4 board intodrywall without studs

Help Support House Repair Talk:


New Member
Aug 6, 2019
Reaction score
I am trying to put in shelves in a small closet basically have 1 x4 boards on the walls and a piece of 1/2 inch plywood as the shelf problem is that the stud is in the corner of the wall. I am thinking wall anchors but I don't know the best way to align an anchor in the wall with a screw I want to insert in the board. I am guessing I need to place the anchor measure the distance and then measure on the 1X4 board. I can't find any youtube tutorials and any help would be appreciated.


Fixer Upper
Staff member
Feb 5, 2013
Reaction score
Erie, PA
I would strongly suggest something stronger than just the drywall for a shelf. People have a way of adding more and more weight on shelves at some point.

If you can even get a screw here and there into a stud in the corners it will help. You can also use liquid nails on the wood to spread the weight out over more of the drywall.

If you are going to do anchors pre-drill the wood and then hold it up and mark the locations thru the holes in the wood.
  • Like
Reactions: Ugh


Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2011
Reaction score
Use large toggle bolts.
A 1/2" thick shelf will just bow down in the middle when loaded if it's more then about 2 ft. long.
You can get away with it if you cut the 2 side pieces about 1" short and install another piece of 1 X across the front under the shelf for support.
Use a level to mark lines where the boards will be, (if you mark where the top of the board will be the shelve will cover up the lines) hold the board up and drill the holes slightly larger then the size of the bolts through the board and the wall at the same time.
Remove the board and enlarge the holes in the sheet rock to the size of the toggle.
I'd remove the screw from the toggles and install a washer to increase the surface area of the head of the screw.
Install the toggles on the board, apply drywall adhesive to the back side of the board, install the boards.
Group Builder