From the second the fiancé and I decided to make the move to our new construction site, my home-loving heart was dead set on adding open shelving to the new kitchen. Sexy, rustic, chunky wood shelves mounted on shiny, classic, white subway tile. Pass the bib. I’m drooling.
From then on, every kitchen design decision was based around my love affair with pretty white dishes perched happily on open wood shelves…and last week, after months filled with countless hours of painting, tiling, grouting and rubbing sore muscles, it was finally time for my shelves to take center stage. Angels sang and it was glorious.
With so many DIY labors of love already happening around every turn of our new home, it would have been super simple to add a few shelves to my online shopping cart and be done with it—West Elm has a handsome pair for $98 a pop, mind you—but then I remembered just how easy it would be to suck it up and make a few myself.
Don’t believe the easy part of that last statement? Join me on this DIY project breakdown.
Grab a couple 2×10 inch boards and cut to size. My shelves were each 36 inches long, but make yours as long or short as your heart desires…don’t have a saw? No excuse. A helpful hardware store associate can help you make your cuts.
You may want to give your boards a light sanding to kick any splinters to the curb, but once nice and smooth, it’s time to stain. I have a can of Minwax wood stain in Dark Walnut that has been hanging around my house getting in on the action for countless projects over the years. Naturally, this was my go-to. I would suggest picking up a much smaller can if this is the only staining project you have up your sleeve. A little goes a long way.
Once the stain had time to dry overnight, I wanted to give the boards a quick coat of sealant. Probably not an absolute must but it made me feel better since the shelves would be coming into contact with dishes right out of the dishwasher.
There are tons of sealant options out there. I had a can of Waterlox left over from my bathroom vanity project at the old house that I used. This stuff is amazing for waterproofing wood but kind of pricey and only available online, but hardware stores have lots of other great options.
Stained, sealed and ready to mount. A few 10×8 inch stainless brackets from Home Depot…
…and wood screws (hint: the brackets have a label that tell you which size screws to pick up. I’m telling you, easiest DIY ever.)
You’ll want to mount the brackets before attaching your shelves, and I made sure to hit a stud for extra support since dishes can get heavy.
Mark and predrill holes for your screws. If you are drilling through tile like I was, make sure to use a masonry drill bit so that you don’t annihilate your pretty tile by chipping it to pieces.
Screw brackets into place. Position your shelves on top and secure in place.
Shelf heaven, people. And the cost? Just $25 a piece.
Cara Wilkerson is a real estate broker, business owner, and DIY expert, who writes about her adventures in nesting on her blog, Live the Home Life.