DIY Farmhouse Industrial Shelves

You know those annoying home characteristics that could be unique and gorgeous if you could just find the right thing to do with it?

This is the story of one such characteristic….

We have a HUGE, white wall in our dining room. Even though I’m known for being a little over-dramatic, I swear I’m not doing that right now! Seriously! This wall is about 8 feet wide and is more than 15 feet tall. It’s a white, cold monstrosity sitting in the middle of our home.

The big white monstrosity in the flesh drywall?

Find a DIY project to warm that baby up, of course! And that’s just what I did with these DIY Farmhouse Industrial Shelves!

You’ve likely seen these shelves before…unless you live under a rock and/or have a strict no-Pinterest policy. But this was my first crack at them. And it wasn’t all smooth sailing!

A Bumpy Process
We purchased the wood, black iron pipes, caps, and flanges at a big home improvement store near us.

When we got home, I got busy sanding. I used a 100 grit sandpaper at first, then I took some big chains my husband had in the garage and further distressed the wood {along with my knuckles}. After hurting my hand for the umpteenth time, I recruited my son to help finish up the distressing. He did a great job and only hit himself once.

I then sanded again with a 220 grit sandpaper. Just a quick sanding to smooth everything out and not undo all of the distressing we’d just done.

I wiped down the boards thoroughly to remove all of the sanding dust, then got set up to start staining.

I know I’ve used wood stain in the past, but I don’t remember loving the effect so much! The stain brought out the natural characteristics in the wood and our distressing so beautifully. Since then, I’ve been staining everything I can get my hands on {my Fall Tables cape post is one example}!

After going on a serious staining binge, I came back to my shelves and gave them another two coats of stain, being careful to wipe off any extra stain that the wood didn’t absorb. Then I let them sit for several days.

We decided not to do any kind of a top coat. Yes, I will probably end up regretting this, but I loved the wood so much at this stage that I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything else to it.

Next came the fun part…the installation of the hardware {did you catch the subtle sarcasm there?}.

We measured everything and got the first flange hung without a single snag. I was ecstatic! Usually, my big home improvement experiences end up being a disturbing cross between a Stephen King novel and a Charlie Chaplin movie. #ScaryandComical #SeriouslyBadCombo

I did call in the expert for measuring….Hubs!

To double check the height of our first shelf, I attached the pipe to the first flange, then rested one side of the shelf on the pipe while Hubs held the other side.

Roadblock #1

Wait! *screeching sound*

The pipe was several inches longer than the shelf, which left a huge gap between the shelf and the wall!

After a bit of thought, we realized that we had assumed the pipe would screw all the way into the flange and that the cap would screw all the way onto the pipe, which would account for the extra couple of inches.

We tried to trim the pipe down ourselves with a hacksaw but realized that the professional tool for trimming the pipe actually bevels the ends, so that it can be screwed into the flange and the cap.

The next option was to go back to the hardware store. We actually went to our neighborhood hardware store this time and had them cut the pipes for a small fee. While we were waiting for the pipes to be cut and threaded, we realized our neighborhood store actually stocks the pipe size that we needed.

Once the pipes were {properly} cut and threaded, we headed home, checked the height of the first shelf, finished the rest of our measurements, hung the flanges, attached everything, and voila! Our shelves were done!


Victory? Or defeat?
Did the shelves actually warm up the big white wall and make it feel like less of a monstrosity? This was our next possible roadblock….

I’d say problem solved!

I love these DIY Farmhouse Industrial Shelves! They make the dining room feel like an actual room, instead of a big, empty open space.

I probably should have styled them first, but I was just so excited to share them with you guys! Stay tuned for the styling portion next week!

What have home improvement projects you been working on? Are they going smoothly?