DIY Floating Kitchen Shelves: Want the look of large floating kitchen shelves but can’t afford them? DIY them with plumping supplies and 1″ x 12″ boards.
It’s week 6 of this 7 week makeover for this fall’s One Room Challenge hosted by Calling It Home. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers progress at Calling It Home. I’ve been making over my kitchen and it’s almost done. Next week will be the big reveal, and I cannot wait to show you how great it looks!
If you missed any of my updates you can catch up here:
DIY Floating Kitchen Shelves
This week I’m excited to tell you how to DIY large floating shelves and do it on a budget. During my design process I decided that I wanted to take down my existing upper cabinets on either side of my range hood and replace them with open shelving. I felt like it would be a great update to the kitchen and as someone who likes to change their decor often I thought it would be a great spot for display. I was planing to change our existing backsplash to subway tile, and thought that extending it up the entire wall behind the new floating shelves would look great.
Adding Reinforcement to the Wall
My brother-in-law Shaun of Benjamin Tileworks is a contractor and he did all the building for this project for me. Removing the old tile backsplash in the kitchen damaged the drywall, and we ended up having to replace it, so while the walls were torn apart, he added in some reinforcements for the shelves. I knew I’d be using the shelves for all my heavy plates and dishes and didn’t want to be worried about it ever falling down.
Shaun notched out the studs and added in some more 2 x 4 in our predetermined locations of the shelves, so that he’d be able to attach our shelf hardware directly into it for added support. After the blocking was added to reinforce the wall we added our new drywall.
Creating the Shelf Supports
To create the floating shelf supports we used plumbing supplies. We thought about a lot of different options for the floating shelf supports. We had trouble finding anything large enough. The floating shelf supports we could find were only for a 6″ deep shelf. I knew I needed 12″ deep shelves in order for them to be deep enough to hold dinner plates.
We did find some larger ones that were handmade in a little shop on-line, but they would have been very expensive for our 8 shelves as each needed two supports, for a total of 16 supports. We thought about having some custom welded for us, but again it would have been very pricy for 16 supports. In the end Shaun came up with the idea of using inexpensive plumping supplies, and it worked out great.
We used 1/2″ galvanized flanges and screwed 1/2″ x 6″ long threaded pipes onto them as the shelf supports. Shaun then used a 2 1/8″ hole cutter in a drill to cut the dry wall out and attach the support to the wall where it had been reinforced. Shaun used a level to make sure that all the pipes were level and straight at this stage.
When we did the tiling, we tiled right up to the pipe, and then Shaun used a 1 1/4″ diamond drill bit for the tile to cut out a hole for the pipe to go through for a really clean look.
Building the Shelves
To make the actual shelves we picked up some 1 x 12 pine and cut them to 28″ lengths. Shaun used a router to cut channels for the posts on each side. Then two of the boards were glued and clamped together to create 2″ shelves, with routed holes in the back to accept our pipe shelf brackets.
We could have used 2″ pine boards to create solid wood shelves, but we didn’t think that was the best choice for a couple of reasons. It would have been difficult to drill perfectly straight holes into the back for the pipes to fit into. If the holes weren’t perfectly straight the shelves won’t have been level.
It was also much cheaper to buy the 1 x 12 boards, and it really looks great, so it was a real win-win.
I sanded the shelves and then conditioned the wood with Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, since we were working with pine and it accepts the stain more consistently when the wood is pre-conditioned. Then it was time to stain the wood. I used Minwax Classic Grey and followed that with a light layer of Minwax Dark Walnut to add a bit more brown. After the stain was dry I sealed it with Minwax Polycrylic giving each shelf three coats. I love using the Polycyclic Protective Finish because it has a matte finish and doesn’t look yellow at all when it dries. The soap and water clean up is a real plus too.
Installing the Shelves
Shaun installed the shelves. He started by making minor adjustments and getting the shelves perfectly level with some small wood shims around the pipe brackets where needed.
Next, to secure the shelf to the pipes, he drilled a hole through the top of the shelf and into the top of the pipe.
He screwed 1/8″ x 1″ metal screws into each bracket to hold the shelf firmly in place. Since the bottom shelf is eye level, he secured it from the bottom so it won’t be visible. The rest are done from the top so they’re not seen either.
I love the Minwax stain colours. The greyish shelves look great with the dark grey grout from the backsplash.
Shaun did an amazing job of making my vision come to life on a budget. Using the plumping supplies and the 1″ x 12″ pine boards really helped our budget. If you’re trying to find the look but need to do it on a budget, I hope this idea helps you as well.
The finished shelves look amazing, and I am having so much fun styling them.
Next week is the big reveal of the finished the kitchen. I can not wait to share it with you. It has definitely been worth all the hard work, and having our house in a bit of chaos for the last six weeks. Follow me on Instagram and check out my stories for some sneak peaks of the finished kitchen.
With new Modern Farmhouse Affordable Large DIY Floating Shelves, life really is a party!
I’m working with some amazing brands on my One Room Challenge Kitchen Makeover, and I’m so grateful. I’ve received products or discounts, but as always, all opinions are my own. I’m so happy to be partnering with Home Depot, Wayfair Canada, GE Canada, Benjamin Woodworks, Lagostina, Smith Sprayers, Lee Valley Tools, Delta Faucet, Krylon, Minwax, and Hamilton Beach.