Small Space Solution: DIY Industrial Shelves

DIY Industrial Shelves

I love our home. It’s old and has lots of old house charm but it’s also small and storage space is limited. Because of this I have always struggled with keeping things organized in the kitchen.

After I started painting the refrigerator I started thinking about ways I could make better use of the space next to it. I decided I wanted something taller and with shelves. This would allow us to keep the coffee makers where they are (which frees up counter space) and also give us more storage.

I found this at World Market for $89.99.


I love the looks of it but it just wasn’t big enough. After a little more searching I just couldn’t find anything I wanted in my price range so I decided to make one using the World Market piece as my inspiration.

I found this at Home Depot.

Gorilla Rack

Gorilla Rack Free Standing Storage Unit

The metal is almost exactly the same as the World Market piece which is one reason I chose it. The second great thing about it is that it’s the perfect size for my space and third it claims to hold 250 lbs per shelf.

The makeover was really pretty easy. Spray paint my friends, spray paint. I went with a metallic silver finish because I thought it would look good next to the freshly painted black refrigerator (which is almost finished). I used a combination of the following three spray paints.

  1. Brushed Nickel by Valspar
  2. Dull Aluminum  by Krylon
  3. Hammered Metal by Krylon

I gave it one coat of the brushed nickel followed by a coat of the dull aluminum. Then I randomly sprayed sections of it with the hammered metal. I wanted it to have dimension and look a little less new.

I didn’t want to use the particle board shelves that came with it. I wanted actual wood shelves. So I took one of the shelves to Lowe’s and picked out the type of wood I wanted from the Lumber Isle. Then I just gave the very nice wood cutter guy the particle board shelf  and asked him to make the boards the same size.


I love the people that work at Lowe’s!

I chose paint grade pine. I knew it would give me the look I was going for. So I sanded them down and stained them with one coat of vinegar soaked in steel wool then I stained them with a layer of Min-wax in Dark Walnut.

DIY Industrial Shelves

I used the scraps of  wood that were left over when they were cut to test the stains first. Always keeps the scraps so you use them for testing when using a new paint or stain.

I decided I liked the richness of the stain over the vinegar. Now if you are going to be using anything that could get these boards wet, like coffee makers,  then you will want to apply a polyurethane. I recommend Rust-Oleum Polyurethane  in matte finish. It protects the wood really well without any shine.

I let the boards dry overnight before I put anything on them.

DIY Industrial Shelves

DIY Industrial Shelves

DIY Industrial Shelves

DIY Industrial Shelves

DIY Industrial ShelvesDIY Industrial Shelves

After buying everything I needed for this shelving unit I still spent less than I would have on the piece from World Market. Plus it’s bigger and it’s the exact color that I wanted.

If you want to do something like this for your own home you can usually find these shelving units at Home Depot and Lowe’s in various sizes and styles. Home Depot offered free shipping to their store which was perfect for me. You could possibly find these on Amazon as well.

So what do you think? Would you use something like this in your kitchen or do you prefer that everything be hidden?

Have a great weekend everyone and Happy DIYing!!!

These are the fabulous blogs I’m linking up at this week.


TDC Before and After



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  • Susan

    June 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    This was such a great idea! You did a really good job.

    1. Stephanie Kent @ The Styled Soul

      June 8, 2013 at 6:28 am

      Thanks Susan! And thanks for stopping by.

  • Kbellatti

    August 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I did something similar a few years ago to put next to my desk so my printer, radio, OTT Lite, and framed photos had somewhere to go. These utility shelves can be used as separate units instead of one large one–which is what I did. I spray painted the shelves and metal frame with Rustoleum paint in Hammered Bronze to give it a worn look. Mine came out looking almost identical to the ones from World Market. My home office was in my living room and giving the garish shelves a new paint job made them blend in with my decor. No one even noticed unless I pointed it out.

    1. Stephanie Kent @ The Styled Soul

      August 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

      That’s awesome! I almost went with the oil rubbed bronze but it’s next to my black refrigerator so I was worried it would be too dark. I’m rethinking it though.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Kbellatti

        August 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

        I’ve been enjoying your blog after I came across this DIY on Pintrest. :)

        One other thing I forgot to mention is that I also used a spray primer in a light color. I suggest against using the lighter color because it can be seen in the notches on the shelving unit (oops). I think I may have also used black paint before using the Hammered Bronze color. My memory is a little fuzzy, and I didn’t keep notes or anything. The black layer helps tone down the coat of paint on top of it.

        1. Stephanie Kent @ The Styled Soul

          August 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm

          Thanks for letting me know. I will keep all that in mind if I decide to paint it again. And I’m sure I will at some point!

          Thanks for following!!!

  • Grace Villaflor

    March 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    This is a great idea. I have a very small kitchen, I am going to do this as an organizer for my condiments and containers. Having this shelf will make my kitchen neat. I just need to decide which color will match my kitchen wall paint.


      March 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks Grace! I love these shelves, they free up so much space! If you use a metallic for the metal then probably any color would work. Happy DIYing!

  • Maja

    October 31, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Love this project!
    I was just wondering about your application of the Vinegar and Stain process. Would you mind expanding on application and wait time?

    I am thinking you are just applying distilled white vinegar to the wood with a paint brush, allowing to dry and then applying the dark wood stain on top? (without using the steel wool and vinegar combo)

    Thank you!



      November 3, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Hi! Thanks so much! I actually applied the vinegar that was soaked in steel wool first, let it dry (it dries pretty quickly) then applied the stain. I think the way I have the photo labeled is probably a little confusing. Sorry about that! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Maja

    November 3, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    No problems. Thank you for the reply!

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