INDUSTRIAL SHELVING - DIY
Oh, how I love the world of Pinterest. So many excellent ideas and endless amounts of inspiration. When I saw these industrial looking shelves popping up everywhere I knew I just had to have them for myself. I think shelving adds a nice touch of character to the room and it's a fun departure from simply throwing paintings up all over the place. I love styling décor with some depth so I had a blast sourcing things to display up there. I actually bought a lot of it before I even built the shelves and had to majorly edit when it came time to style. Oops!
Originally, I wanted to do 3 shelves, 72 inches wide. I love, love oversized décor and didn't want the shelves to look dwarfed on the large, empty wall in our dining room. Once I had the new table built, though, it was clear that the room wasn't quite as spacious as I saw it in my head. I had also planned to hang them above the long end of the dining table but it was clear that our tiny apartment wouldn't allow for that. Whoever might sit on that side would no doubt hit their head! So, plans changed! Such is life.
What You Need:
(2) pieces of wood, I bought 48'W x 10"D boards at Lowe's for about $9 each
(4) 3/4" black steel pipe caps
(4) 3/4" black steel flanges
(4) 3/4" x 12" black steel pipes
(1) can of wood stain, I used Provincial Walnut
(1) can of textured black spray paint
(1) bottle of Goo Gone
(1) bag full of screws/nails/bolts/sharp things to distress your virgin wood
(16) black screws, make sure the head is thick enough as to not fall through the holes in your flanges!
(16) plastic molly bolts - I ended up not needing these but if you can't find a stud where you plan to hang, these are a must for sturdiness
I ended up going with just 2 shelves at 48 inches wide so that they were centered nicely with the table. Note: doing 2 shorter shelves also saved me about $75 because that black piping isn't cheap!
What You Do:
These pipes are sort of greasy so you need to clean them before painting. Using a rag and some Goo Gone, wipe away all the grime and use another rag wet with water to get rid of any residue. Lay out all the piping outdoors or in a well ventilated area on top of some spare cardboard. (PSA: don't use old packing paper you have lying around for convenience because the pipes will stick! LOL oops.) Spray one coat of the textured black paint on all your pieces, wait for them to dry, flip to the other side and repeat until evenly coated. Wait 15 minutes and repeat that process for a second coat.
In the meantime, start distressing your wood by hammering little holes and dents, scraping screws across it, etc. Whatever floats your boat. I was too lazy to sand down all the edges of my wood for that worn in look so I ended up hammering down all the sides so they appeared rounded and less sharp/fresh. Once you have the look you want, go ahead and stain it! I recommend wearing gloves for this! I used some old rags and simply dipped them in the stain and wiped it on in a circular motion until covered. Wait about 10 minutes and flip to the other side to complete the process. Don't forget your edges! You could also add a clear coat to seal but again - the lazy in me just wasn't having it!
I let the shelves dry and air out on the deck overnight because they were so smelly! While you wait, you can assemble your support pieces if they're dry. Screw one steel pipe in to each flange and finish with a cap on the open end. Once they're ready, grab a level and a measuring tape - or in my case, call your dad and beg him to come help! Figure out where you want the shelves to hang. We sort of eyeballed this and changed our minds a couple times but landed on placing the bottom shelf at 60" off the ground and the top one at 72". With a pencil, mark your wall at these two heights at the center point of your shelves. Next, mark a spot 18" out from your center point in each direction for both shelf heights. This is where you will hang your hardware, leaving 6" of wood overhang once you place the shelf on top. Now your circular flange obviously has four holes so we placed the piece over our marks and lined the top two holes up with the level so they are actually hanging a touch lower than 60" and 72". This allowed room for the wood to lay on top and keep the spacing far enough apart to decorate with. With the pencil, mark each little circle where you need to drill your holes. Dad pre-drilled the holes to make sure we were hitting something harder than just drywall, then we lined up our steel contraptions and drilled away. Lay your wood pieces over the piping and voila!
A simple update to an otherwise boring space. It took me about 6 months to tell myself to go buy the supplies for this project and about 2 hours to physically make the shelves...I only wish I'd done it sooner!