This might be my favorite project to date. I really can’t believe how easy it was! And it looks like it’s from Pottery Barn or something! I first saw this project on the Lowes project site, and then made some modifications from there. I really like the kind of rustic/industrial look, but I don’t want a purely industrial house. Just some touches here and there. I also love to bake, and needed somewhere to put all of my baking supplies. There is plenty of cabinet space, but baking supplies are so cute and I think they deserve to be shown, as long as they don’t take up a bunch of counter space (which we do not have). So I came across these shelves and knew they would be perfect!
(5) Wooden Planks (I used 1x12s at 4 feet long; You can also buy huge sheets of plywood, but I liked them pre-cut)
(16) ¾” galvanized pipes at 18” long (you can vary the height; I measured the height of my mixer and gave it some extra space)
(8) floor flanges (found in the plumbing section)
(12) ¾” pipe couplings
(4) wheel casters
(48) ½” #8 Wood Screws
Stain or paint of choice
One note before I begin: They do sell galvanized pipes at pre-cut lengths but it was way cheaper to buy a few long ones and have them cut them and thread them all at Lowes or Home Depot. Plan an extra day to leave them overnight.
1) If you need to, cut and/or sand you wooden planks. I like to buy pre-sanded wood whenever I do just because it saves me so much time, but I’m sure it is cheaper to sand everything yourself.
2) Stain/paint planks
- Because I was going for a rustic feel, I wanted to stain the wood and make it look a little stressed. I knew I wanted a gray undertone with brown as the base color, but didn’t quite know how to get there. I had pine boards, and it is important to know that every type of wood will stain differently.
- I started by trying out the white-wash pickling stain by Minwax. It definitely lightened it, but wasn’t at all close to what I was going for.
- I then put my favorite stain – Dark Walnut – over the white pickling stain. It was getting there, but wasn’t quite light enough.
- I put on a top coat of Weathered Gray, and got the right color!
- It was very dependent on how long I let the stain sit. I let the White Pickling Stain soak into the wood and did not wipe any off. Once it was dry (about 15 minutes) I put on a coat of the Dark Walnut. I put the coat onto two boards at a time, grabbed a ton of paper towels, and wiped it off. It probably sat on each plank for about 5 minutes before I wiped it off. After I finished all of those, I put on the Weathered Gray. After coating each board I immediately wiped it off so that there was just a hint of lightening.
- Let it dry for at least 24 hours! You don’t want to be moving your boards around and end up with finger spots everywhere!
- If you are painting your boards, be sure to put a few top coats on and be sure to let it dry and set for a few days. Paint tends to stay tacky for a while.
3) Drill the holes for the steel pipe
- DON’T TRY TO EYEBALL IT. That’s what I did. Luckily the BF knew how to fix it…
- You are not drilling holes into the bottom or top shelves.
- Drill the holes in two boards at a time. Set the boards into a vice to hold them perfectly in place. It is helpful to place a rag between the vice and the boards so that the vice doesn’t leave marks in the wood.
- Start with a smaller drill bit and work your way up to a 7/8” bit. By starting small you make sure that the larger drill bits don’t get off course.
- I placed the holes about an inch in from each corner, but it is really up to you.
- Once you have the first two boards done, keep one board in the vice and put in the last board. Now you can start ahead with the 7/8” drill bit since you are starting through the board with the hole done already. Now those are done!
4) Put on the floor flanges on the bottom shelf
- Place one of the boards with the holes in it directly on top of the bottom board.
- Trace through the hole to mark where the floor flanges need to go.
- Place the floor flanges on the bottom shelf and predrill the holes for the screws.
- Screw in the floor flanges on all four corners.
5) Clean off all of the galvanized pipe using acetone. Dab some acetone on a rag and simply wipe off all of the grease off of the pipe. Super easy J
6) Screw four of the pipes into the floor flanges that are now on the bottom shelf. Make sure they are nice and tight.
7) Screw on connectors to each of the four pipes sticking up.
8) Screw in the next four pipes. You can tighten them, but you might have to slightly adjust in a second.
9) Slide on the next shelf over the pipes. The connector will be big enough to hold up the shelf. It will not go through the holes as long as you use the right size drill bit. Using a level, make sure that the shelf is level. If it isn’t screw or unscrew the connectors from the bottom pipes. It shouldn’t take much. You still want them to be pretty tight in the end.
10) Repeat that process until you get to the top board.
11) Since I am not a tall Amazon woman, I had to tilt the shelf down to reach the top shelf.
- All of the pipes should be screwed in. Screw in the last 4 floor flanges as well.
- Place the top shelf in line with the rest of the shelves. I used a marker to place a dot where each pre-drill would go. I then pre-drilled where the screws would go, and screwed in the top shelf. If it isn’t perfectly level, you can adjust the amount that the pipe is screwed into the connector screw. I wouldn’t adjust the floor flange since there aren’t as many threads on there.
12) Attach the wheel casters to the bottom shelf. Pre-drill the holes for the screws and make sure they don’t align with the screws from the floor flanges.
13) Tilt the shelf up and roll it over to its rightful place!
I did agree with a lot of comments on these types of shelves about how unstable they looked. One of the websites mentioned using floor flanges for every connection to keep it more stable, but it will be way more expensive. I ended up using small shelf brackets to stabilize the shelf, making sure to attach them to wall studs. It’s now nice and sturdy.
*Once we got the puppies I realized I have to be very selective on what goes on the bottom couple of shelves. They seem to really love taking plastic bowls down…