DIY Industrial Shelves

My decorating style is ever evolving. Lately I’ve been obsessed with industrial shelving. I love the mix of vintage, clean lines and rustic industrial.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the funds to pay for some of these beautifully crafted pieces.  These are some of my “if I had an unlimited means” or “if I was married to a star quarterback of a small market football team” inspirations.

1. Emerson Bookshelf
2. Teak Atelier Bookcase
3. Homelegance Factory Bookcase
4. ZUO ERA Mission 3 Level Distressed
5. French Library Shelving
6. White x White Bree Bookshelf

All over the interweb, there are versions of DIY industrial shelving. some were free standing, and some were screwed into the walls for support.  Since I rent, I didn’t think that screwing holes and anchors into the walls. The version I liked the best, I found over at Anythingology.  My kitchen and dining area isn’t the largest of spaces.  I had to scale my version down.  I wanted something that I can use to store my microwave on, since it was taking up much needed on my counter top.

Material List

  • 1- 2 inch x 12 inch x 12 foot cut into 3 sections of 4 feet each
  • 8- 12 inch x 1/2 inch galvanized pipes
  • 8- 10 inch x 1/2 inch galvanized pipes
  • 8- 1/2 inch flanges
  • 4- 1/2 inch couplings
  • Screws
  • Spray paint

Thursday afternoon, I stopped with Jenny at Home Depot and picked up some wood.  A nice gentleman cut my wood for me to the length I needed.  All I had to do was sand the edges on Saturday.

Before I could get started, I had to raid my dad’s garage for a few things that I needed.  I needed a spade drill, so I asked him if I could borrow one of his.  I wasn’t really sure if he had one and his response of “I think I have one, it’s somewhere in the garage” made me leary of trying to hunt it down.  Luckily, I was able to find one that was a 3/4 inch, and it take forever.  I also found some steel wool, a vintage wooden tool box that I think may have been my grandpa’s.  I have plans for the tool box.

After the raid on my dad’s garage, I had to clear out the shelving unit I had in my kitchen. My previous shelf, was starting to sag and wasn’t really functional. And it was beginning to be a glorified collector of miscellaneous items.  I needed something more functional. Once it was cleared off and a path made to move it up stairs, I pulled it up a flight of stairs and into my office, where I’m hoping to put it to good use.  My legs and arms are still a bit sore.

I decided that I needed some practice drilling holes with the spade drill.  So I drilled some holes, that ended up working out as a support for the pipes so I can spray paint, I may have gotten a little carried away.  Once I had fun with the drilling of holes. I prepped the pieces.  I purchased the galvanized pipes instead of the black because they were less expensive. I spent what seems like forever, and a few broken nails, pealing off the bar codes from the pipes.  Note to Home Depot, you don’t need 5 layers of tape to make sure the bar codes are on the pipes.

While the paint was drying, I started aging the wood. I did a quick once over with the sander on the edges and then drilled holes on two of the boards.  To make sure that all of the holes were in relatively the same place I took one of flanges, and placed it in the corner and then traced the center. I repeated the process on the four corners of 2 of the boards.  Then I took the 3/4 inch spade bit and drilled holes where the circles were marked.  I decided to drill holes into the bottom boards because the flanges were fairly expensive.

There are lots of tutorials how to age new wood to make it look old. I followed the instructions found over at Sweet Pickins. I didn’t leave my vinegar and steel wool solution in for 24 hours.  I’m the impatient sort. I think mine sat and stewed for about 18 hours or so. Shh I used and SOS pad not realizing it had soap in it.  Not to self read the packaging.

Once the holes were drilled, I grabbed the vinegar and steel wool solution and started spreading it on the boards. I did this about 4 or five times to get the aging to my liking.  I still think I’m going to stain it.  I just can’t decide what color stain.  Leave it to me to assemble something and THEN decide what color I wanted to stain.
When the boards were dried to my liking, I screwed the wheels into place.  I don’t plan on moving it a whole lot but if I need to the wheels make it a cinch to move it.

The next step was the assembly.  I screwed the pipes into the holes I had previously drilled.  For the second shelves, I needed to have enough room to store my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer so I had 8 10 inch pipes and I used a coupling to secure two pipes together.  Then I took the flange and screwed that on to the top of each leg. Then placing the next board on top, with the hole side up. I leveled the poles and the boards as best as I could and then I secured the flange to the wood with screws.  I repeated the process with the next shelf. The only difference was that I used 4 12 inch pipes.  I finished with the top board, securing into place with screws.

I like the height where it is for the time being. I like the fact that I can add more shelves or adjust them as needed.  I like being able to have a place for my serving dishes and my KitchenAid mixer, my jars of pasta on display.  I still have to stain it. I think I’m getting close to honing in on the color.

I have a little more sprucing/adjustments I’d like to make…I’m thinking about changing the mirror and making flipping it vertical. Sorry this picture is so grainy, sometimes my phone takes good pictures, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I’m looking forward to all of the rummage sales this season!  I can’t wait to find unique treasures and possibly additional pieces to make over or upcycle.  My brother thinks that I should start selling things because I make or upcycle because I am fast running out of space.  It’s something that I am definitely interested in, I feel like I would need to research the possibility.   I can tell you this, I feel a change coming. I’m not sure what kind of change or how big but something’s coming for sure.  Maybe this is just the beginning.

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