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DIY Rustic Wood Shelves

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I am a huge fan of the rustic decor that has become so popular over the past several years.  The Restoration Hardware website doesn’t disappoint, giving me all sorts of ideas.  I also came across several great DIY rustic wood shelves on Pinterest.

Get even more DIY home decor ideas here.

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I got all of my supplies at Lowe’s, but you could likely find the supplies at any big box store. Instead of traditional wood stain, I used the tea and steel wool staining process that I used on my cute bare wood table from IKEA.


galvanized pipes for shelves

Paint the hardware black.

I spray painted the above galvanized pipes, floor flanges and pipe caps black.  I let these dry completely prior to assembling the shelves.

Staining board with black tea and oxidized steel wool

The above is a photo taken after I had brushed tea on the entire board with a chip brush.  The photo shows what the board looked like after painting on the steel wool and vinegar.  The staining is immediate!  If you haven’t tried this process before, give it a go.  It’s beautiful.

The color of stain is similar to Minwax Special Walnut.  I keep some of the mixture on hand at all times.  It makes it very easy to jump into a spontaneous project with bare wood.

Oxidized steel wool and tea on cheap board from Lowe's

This is after completely staining the board.  This staining method is a favorite of mine.

How to Hang Wood Shelves:

If at all possible, hang the shelves in wall studs so they are secure.

My shelves were unfortunately not in studs and my space was limited above the toilet, so using drywall anchors to ensure the wood shelves were secure was absolutely crucial.

Securing items for your family safety is important. I had to take a few extra steps with securing our large leaning mirror in our hallway, but it’s totally worth the time!

Finished DIY wood shelves on black metal pipes
styled wood shelves over toilet

The completed DIY rustic wood shelves!  I made a set of shelves to go in two different bathrooms then later I made more when I did a makeover on my basement/space bathroom.

They are perfect!

These shelves did take a while to complete due to the spray painting of the pipes and wood staining involved.  I was required to wait until everything dried before assembling them and putting them in the bathroom…waiting is not easy for me:)

Sign of from April at Love Our Real Life

More DIY Home Decor Ideas

Take a moment to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board!

How to build wood shelves with pipes

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  1. These are so pretty. I might have to try them. I’ve got a set of teal cowboy boot flower vases that would look great on those.

  2. April – would you ever do a tour of your home? Each tutorial is so packed with amazing ideas – I can only imagine how pretty your whole house is. 🙂

    1. Awww…Thanks so much, Karen! What a sweet comment! A home tour is intimidating. That would require cleaning all of my house at one time, lol! Who knows, I might just give it a go.

  3. I love the idea of open shelving and these are even better because you can stain them whatever color you want! This is a great tutorial!

  4. Love the shelves. Thanks for including the paint color. I am thinking of repainting and want a “white” toned gray.

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you like them. They really look great in our bathrooms. Regarding paint colors, gray can be difficult to select. I highly recommend getting sample pots and seeing them in the lighting of the room you are planning to paint. Have you considered Amazing Gray by Sherwin Williams or Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore? They are very popular, but they are popular for a reason…they’re gorgeous! When selecting a paint color, I also think it’s crucial to look at the other colors on the same swatch. This will give you a better idea of the color. Good luck! I’d love to hear what color(s) you select!

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