Happy Sunday!

Welcome back!  If you’ve stayed with me this long, thank you!!! 🙏  The end is in sight, as I wrapped up the last major project of the Ugly Home Office Makeover with this week’s project, adding Industrial Shelving to my office.

There is a plethora (word of the day 😛) of online tutorials for DIY Industrial Shelving which helped make this a fairly simple project.

The finished project exceeded my expectations – especially since Greg and I ended up adding a special touch that IMHO really took the shelves over the top!

Industrial Shelving

Read on to hear how this project came together, and why I opted for a slightly modified design of the typical DIY Industrial Shelving.

The Plan – DIY Industrial Shelving

My original plan was to build shelves similar to these at Magnolia Market.

I love 💕 the look, but ended up having to go for a more cost-effective solution due to those pesky budget constraints 🙄.

The pipe flanges, nipples and caps needed for the horizontal supports alone cost about $13 per support – and I needed a total of 9!

The cost of additional piping for vertical supports wasn’t worth it for the hit my budget would take.

So instead, I “settled” for these shelves.  And I couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out!

The Project – Part 1 (The Supports)

I had my heart set on “chunky” shelves 6 feet in length that spanned this large section of wall.

Because I knew the shelves would be heavy, I wanted the supports screwed in to studs to make sure they would hold up under the weight of the shelves. 

Using our handy-dandy Zircon stud finder, we located the studs.

The problem with using studs was that the spacing didn’t line up with where I wanted the pipe supports – one in the middle and one at end of each shelf.

Thankfully a super helpful Home Depot associate suggested we attach 1″ x 6″ x 6′ boards to the wall studs for each shelf, and THEN attach the pipe supports to the boards.

This not only gave us the flexibility of placing the supports exactly where we wanted them, but IMO it gave the shelves a more finished appearance.

Brilliant, Mr. Home Depot Associate (I wish I knew your name!)

Feeling pretty good about this plan, I moved on to distressing and sanding the boards.

I distressed first, then sanded the boards smooth and rounded the sharp edges and corners with the sander.

Ahhh, freshly sanded wood ☺

I wanted a medium stain for the shelves, so I chose Special Walnut by Minwax.  This was my first time using this shade, and I. LOVE. it!! 💖

I loaded up my lint-free rag with stain…

and rubbed it on.

Know what’s so great about stain?  It’s EASY to work with!  Easy = 😃🙌👏

It was warm and sunny outside, so as soon as I had stained the whole board, I immediately wiped the excess stain off with another lint-free rag.

Good gravy, Special Walnut – you look good!! 😍

With the “back boards” stained and drying, I moved on to the pipe pieces.

The flanges, nipples* and caps are very greasy and messy to handle, so I wanted to clean them up a bit.

I filled a pan with hot water and Dawn dishwashing soap…

and added the flanges and caps to the soapy water to soak.

I did the same with the nipples, and then grabbed my trusty Husky 14-in-1 tool to scrape off the labels and adhesive.

Apparently the labels are intended to survive a nuclear holocaust, so I had to scrub with steel wool to finally get all of the paper and gumminess off.  This part was a pain and took more time than I expected.

After drying the nipples (ha ha 😂), I lined them up and sprayed them with this Carbon Mist Rust-Oleum Metallic Paint & Primer.

I painted one side, then flipped them and did the other side.

Hint: don’t use paper towels like I did.  A plastic drop cloth or even that cardboard box right there in the background would have worked much better. 🙄

I ended up getting little bits of paper towel stuck to the the paint after flipping the nipples and had to pull/rub the paper off after the paint dried. 😫


I wanted to paint the screw heads also, so I lined ’em up on a piece of cardboard and did a quick spray with the Carbon Mist.

Finally, it was time to mount the back boards and supports for the shelves.  We spaced the shelves 14″ apart.

Greg used two 1 3/4″ wood screws on each stud to mount the boards.

First, he secured each board on the center stud with a single screw and made sure the board was level.  Then he added the 2nd center screw and the screws for the studs on both sides.

Next, he screwed the flanges onto the boards using 7/8″ wood screws.

And here they are, mounted with the flanges attached.  I love how the stain highlights the distress marks! 💕

The Project – Part 2 (The Shelves)

2 weeks passed before I tackled the boards for the shelves because I was down in Florida doing this and this.

It’s a good thing, too, because after we got home from purchasing all the materials, we realized the 2″ x 10″ boards that would be used for the shelves were wet!

Perplexed (and unaware at this point of the difference between kiln dried and pressure treated lumber), we set them out in the sun to dry for several days before I headed to Florida.  Then they went back into the garage for a week while I was gone.

We figured that should easily dry ’em out.

Or not.

When I returned from Florida a week later, they were *still* wet!

Another week went by, and thankfully temps were in the 80’s.  I faithfully placed them outside and brought them back in for several days in a row.

That seemed to do the trick – or at least close enough for my purposes, since I wasn’t actually building anything that would be affected by the wood shrinking as it dried.

I wanted to distress the shelves to match the back boards, so out came my distressing tools (I also used a couple of screwdrivers).

One distressing technique I really like is placing the teeth of the saw on the board and lightly hammering them into the wood.

This technique creates a “perforated” line that really pops once the stain is applied.

Once again, I pulled out my palm sander.  See the green on the board?

This is an indicator that the board is pressure treated – the green comes from a chemical reaction between the copper in the preservatives and the wood.

Pressure treating involves submerging the wood into a tank full of chemical preservatives, where pressure (thus the name) is applied to force the preservatives into the wood.

This helps protect the wood from outdoor elements (including termites!).

All facts I did not know until I Googled “why is my lumber wet”. 😛

And this explains why our pressure treated boards were wet when we got them!

After sanding, I brushed the dust off with a paintbrush, then wiped the board down with a damp cloth.

As with the back boards, I sanded the edges and corners to round them.

Then out came Special Walnut again.  Hint: Save your Cool Whip and Sour Cream cartons and lids! They’re perfect for small DIY projects like this.  I hoard them, much to my husband’s dismay. 😉

On went the stain.

And here they are, all done!

See those little paint sample canisters underneath?  I have a boatload of these things leftover from other projects.  They’re great for elevating boards, etc. for painting and staining.

Here you can see the saw tooth marks. I LOVE this effect. 😍

AND, I 💕 stain.  It takes a plain ole piece of wood and gives it so much depth and character.

I decided not to use a topcoat on the shelves.  They won’t see much traffic, and I prefer the raw, rustic quality of  the wood as-is.

Once the stain dried, up went the shelves on the supports that had been waiting a couple of weeks for their friends to join them.

And here they are, all purtied up with some books and other goodies…

The Budget

While the last project was super light on the budget; this one was just the opposite.  For this week’s project, I started out with $223.26 in the budget.

And here is the price list for all materials purchased this week:

Yikes! $195 not including any accessories!

Full disclosure – with accessories, I’ve already shot past my budget.  And I still have a couple of small projects to go.  

But I’ll press on and try to minimize my expenses for the last remaining parts of the Ugly Home Office Makeover.

Materials Used

  • See price list above for materials purchased
  • Lint-free rags
  • Paper bowl and Cool Whip container 😛

Tools Required

  • Drill/Screwdriver (for attaching boards to the wall and flanges to the boards)
  • Various distressing tools (hammer, saw, crowbar, screwdrivers, etc.)

What’s Next

This was the most expensive project to date – pipe fittings are not cheap, but in my opinion, it was worth it!

  • PART 1: Intro
  • PART 2: Design Layout and Select Color Palette for Walls, Furniture and Accessories
  • PART 3: Paint Walls
  • PART 4: Install and Paint Shiplap Accent Wall
  • PART 5: Build and Install Desk
  • PART 6: Refinish “Printer Stand” Dresser
  • PART 7: Build and Hang Industrial Shelving
  • PART 8: Add Accessories and Wall Decor
  • PART 9: Wrap-up and Big Reveal

All that remains now is to add some finishing touches.  Of course, my finishing touches *may* include building a bench and some ladder shelves!  

We’ll just have to see what happens 😊

There is no HOMPOW (Home Office Makeover Prize of the Week) winner this week, so I’m carrying over the giveaway to next week.

For the upcoming week’s contest, just leave a comment below on anything in this post and YOU will qualify to win a…

$25 Amazon Gift Card

(Winner announced next week in the Part 8 post)

And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive blog updates and notifications about our One Day Flash Sales!

9 thoughts on “Ugly Home Office Makeover – Part 7: DIY Industrial Shelving with a Twist”

    1. Thanks Robyn!!

      The shelves are just sitting on the pipes because I don’t have little ones around anymore.

      If I did, I would recommend using pipe straps like these to secure the shelves to the pipes – I’ve seen others do this and it’s cheap insurance to keep the littles safe, if that’s a concern!! 🙂

  1. Looks like a magazine cover ~ Just Beautiful!! (and I Love that you admit the screw-ups [paper towels] – keeps us from the same woe. Sorry ~ but Thanks! Lol)

    1. Thank you Pam! Mistakes are a learning opportunity so I never mind mentioning them 😊. I think I learn more from the things I do wrong than the things I do right – and not just with DIY projects!! 😜

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