Our first home is a 1950s cottage so we have to get pretty creative with storage solutions. I’ve found one of the best ways to add storage without eating into the precious and limited space of a small home is by adding built in shelves. Here I share how to make + style DIY industrial pipe shelves.
I love these industrial pipe shelves from Restoration Hardware but the price and size wouldn’t work for my budget or the space I had in mind in our living room. Since we were DIY novices at the time and these shelves didn’t look too complicated, we decided to try recreating them. These shelves weren’t the cheapest project, but at $200 for 3 – compared to almost $400 for 1 at RH, we were able to get the look for a whole lot less. Theses DIY industrial pipe shelves actually turned out to be a great first-time project. Here’s how we did it:
- 1 – 8′ long 2 x 10 pine board (the straightest you can find)
- 6 – 10 3/4″ galvanized pipe
- 6 – 3/4″ floor flanges
- 6 – 3/4″ pipe caps
- 24 each – Toggle bolts and screws
- Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Spray Paint in black satin
- Minwax Jacobean Wood Stain
- Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane
- Lint-free cloth for staining
- Medium grit sandpaper
DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves
We started by assembling the pipes and spray painting all of the elements and screws. Tip: Use a paper plate or scrap cardboard to secure screws for paining.
We put a total of 2 coats of spray paint on the piping pieces, letting each piece dry completely between coats.
Destress + Stain the Wood
While the piping dried, we cut the pine boards to our desired size and hand distressed them with sandpaper and a hammer. (Our shelves are 3′ wide.) This part was so fun because beating up the wood was the whole point! The dents and dings made the shelves look rustic and vintage. I spent more time distressing the sandpaper but used the hammer to beat up the edges which really make the wood feel old.
After distressing the wood we made sure to wipe it completely clean before applying the stain. We used Minwax Jacobean since we had some left over from our floor stain and used 2 coats to achieve the deep warm color.
We let the stained boards dry overnight before applying a coat of Midwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane. Once that was dry we transferred everything inside to install.
To make sure there were no issues with where we were hanging our piping shelf supports we used a stud finder with built-in laser level. This tool is totally optional but it is inexpensive and makes finding studs and hanging on a straight line really easy – even around a corner! Here’s the stud finder we use.
We then used the toggle bolts and screws to secure each piping support in sets of 2 for a total of 3 shelves. There is roughly 25″ between each support.
After the supports are set simply add the pine boards and voila! RH reproduction industrial pipe shelves. Tip: Loosen each pipe cap before placing the wood shelves on top. Once added, tighten the caps back down to make the shelves extra secure.
I love how these turned out and it definitely gave us the confidence to try more DIY projects. These shelves were super easy and have become one of my favorite areas to style.
These shelves provide a chic display while adding storage for some of our favorite books.
Try adding a pop of dusty green with a real of faux plant to complete the look.
So what do you think? Leave a comment below and let me know how you think these turned out and make sure to tag your #shelfie with #decormademedoit to share your own version!