How to Build Open Shelving for Your Kitchen

Easy + Affordable DIY Project

Article by Audrey Kuether

Last March I shared the reveal of our DIY kitchen remodel where we did most of the work ourselves and saved a TON of money (about $48K). The only bad part was it took us two years. Yes, it tried our patience, but it was so worth it.

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I wanted to share how we made our DIY kitchen open shelving.

The shelves were a very affordable addition to the space, and I love the functionality and warmth they provide.

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We started out with our supplies—all from Lowe’s.

  • (2) 10×2 boards from Lowe’s (enough for 4 shelves)
  • Wood stain (Mission Oak)
  • (8) L brackets
  • Metallic gold spray paint
  • Drill and masonry bit
  • Screws
  • Anchors
  • Saw
  • Laser level
  • Hammer

I took the screws and eight chrome L bracket and sprayed them with two even coats of gold spray paint, and set them aside to thoroughly dry. To easily spray screw heads, find a scrap 2×4 and drill all holes slightly wider than the screw, then set the screws into it and spray—works like a charm.

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Ted got started by measuring and cutting down the boards to fit the wall. He then sanded down all sides before staining (not shown).

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Once the brackets and stain dried over a full day or two, Ted got to work marking and hanging. He used his laser level to mark his drill holes then used his drill (with masonry bit) to slowly and carefully drill the holes for each bracket in one swoop.

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After all holes were drilled, he hammered the anchors in for added stability.

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He repeated this step until all anchors were in place, then installed all of the L brackets.

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Repeat this step until all brackets are installed.

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Next, Ted measured and marked up the wood sections and drilled pilot holes for the screws that would attach to the brackets.

Once all pilot holes were drilled he placed each board on the L brackets and drilled securely into place. You’ll want to buy screws that are shorter than the thickness of your board so they don’t pop through the tops. Repeat this step until all boards are screwed into place. That’s it for the DIY kitchen open shelving tutorial. Pretty easy, huh?

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Wipe the shelves down and place in plates, bowls and whatever else. It’s a good idea to let the shelves set and out gas their VOC’s for a day or two before placing upside down cups on them. This part killed me—I live for some good shelf styling. 

Now it’s time to style these puppies! I love how convenient it is to grab a plate or cup, and since they are exposed to the world, I am much better at keeping everything organized.

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I absolutely love them, and in whole, this project probably cost us about $30 to 40. Not too shabby!

And in case you missed the kitchen reveal, here are a few shots to give you the idea. Head to the blog post to see all of the the crazy before photos. 

Follow Audrey Kuether @ohsolovely_blog

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