Open Shelving DIY: Kitchen facelift part 1

The kickoff to our kitchen Reno… err I mean ‘facelift’ as I sold it to my husband 😉 … was tearing out dated cabinets, repositioning a couple cabinets and adding open shelving.

The kitchen is still a work in progress and will be for awhile yet- so this post is all about our open shelving DIY on a budget. Budget is key here. Brackets and ready made shelving add up quick – and it was very hard for me to find exactly the size and style I wanted.

One thing that limited the bracket style we could choose was our electrical outlets. I needed the style that only went up behind the shelves because otherwise we would loose too much wall space.

I started out looking online. Amazon, Etsy, world market, etc. Many of these stores appeared to have some type of shelf and bracket options but nothing that made financial sense for as many brackets as we would need. We estimated needing 17 brackets for all 7 total shelves we planned to add to our space.

So we took a trip to our local Home Depot to see what we could find that was readily available within a small budget. The short answer – there really wasn’t anything ready made at the store for our kitchen plans. But with a little imagination we were able to turn some regular hardware type brackets into exactly what we were searching for with just a couple coats of spray paint. BOOM black brackets done. Then it was on to the wood.

We had previously worked with common board for several home projects like an art ledge, our fireplace mantel and our small bathroom shelves – so we knew we liked the look and durability of this wood…but initially we were unsure we wanted to use the least expensive option for our kitchen.

But it was Labor Day weekend and unfortunately the wood selection at Home Depot had been pretty picked over…except for the common board. So we pulled just about every wood board off the shelf and hand selected the ones that spoke to us the most and were also the straightest. For me- that meant the more knots and imperfections – the better.

So a great thing about going to Home Depot is they will make straight cuts in your wood for you if you ask! This means you don’t have to own any kind of fancy saws or know how to use these tools to complete a DIY. This was something I didn’t know about a few years ago so I thought it might be valuable info to some of you. I knew my measurements and the super helpful guy working in the wood section that day fixed us up in 5 minutes.

After that we went to the stain and paint section and tried to choose how we would seal the wood. I picked out a stain sample and also a new product to me- Tung Oil. When I tried both at home on scrap wood I knew right away that the tung oil would give the look I wanted. Tung oil is simple to use and it basically just brings out the details and provides a light gloss to the surface. The can says that it will not darken over time which was a biggie for me since I knew from experience that polyurethane would yellow over time.

After waiting very impatiently for everything to dry Bill was able to start hanging brackets and we put up our new shelves. I’m pretty much in love with them. acs_0249acs_0248acs_0250

As I said earlier the kitchen as a whole is still a work in progress. A coffee bar area is going to be another big project in this space along with a faux tile backsplash, painting cabinets and changing out the hardware. I will be blogging the process and when its all done we will have some fun looking at before and afters – because who doesn’t love a good before and after am I right?!


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