DIY Open Shelving In The Kitchen

Tell all ya friends and neighbors!

Super easy DIY project – how to replace a kitchen cabinet with DIY open shelving. This is a great beginner woodworker project and something you can have done in an afternoon!

Our kitchen is pretty blah at the moment, honestly.

Brown wood cabinets, weird layout, and T H R E E layers of linoleum flooring. Sheesh. We have our work cut out for us, but we’re up to the challenge.

kitchen with brown cabinets

We also have this one single cabinet on this wall. {But like, why though?} Do any of you have upper cabinets like this – with just one alone on a single wall?

single brown cabinet on wall in kitchen

A complete kitchen renovation is in the plans for the (wayyyy far) future, but it just isn’t in the budget at the moment.

Right now we are focusing on small wins and today I’m going to share with you how you too can have small wins and create the DIY kitchen of your dreams!

Open Shelving Kitchen Storage

Note: We made 2 shelves that are 26 1/2″ long so all of our measurements and supplies will be to make 2 of these pups. If you need more, adjust accordingly ๐Ÿ™‚


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empty drywall where single shelf in kitchen was

  1. Measure your wall.

    Measure the wall where your wood shelves will go. Mark a line with a pencil to help you hang and level them.

  2. Paint your screws.

    Spray the head of your screws with matte black spray paint so that they’ll blend in better with your shelf brackets. Or don’t, whatever. It’s your world, squirrel.spray paint screws matte black

  3. Cut your wood

    Cut your wood to the desired length. Again, for reference, our shelves needed to be 26 1/2″ inches long, so we cut ours to that length.

  4. Stain your wood

    Apply 1 coat of stain, let dry, and then repeat.

  5. Polyurethane your wood

    Apply poly to your wood. Follow the instructions on the can for exact applying and drying times.rustoleum triple thick polyurethane

  6. Add your brackets

    Using your speed square (which whoever names things IS WEIRD because this is a T R I A N G L E. I digress…), butt it up against your shelf. Place your bracket up against that so that you can make sure your brackets will be screwed in straight into your floating shelves.speed square to make DIY floating shelves

  7. Mark pilot holes

    Mark your pilot holes with a sharpie and then drill your pilot holes using your 1/8″ drill's hand drawing on open shelving in kitchen with sharpie

  8. drilling into open shelf in kitchen

  9. Screw bracket to floating shelf

    Take your freshly painted screws and drill those bad boys right up in them holes.screw bracket into DIY open shelving

  10. Level your shelves

    Using your level, make sure your shelf is where you want it (on that line you drew earlier because you’re a genius) and then mark your holes where the shelf needs to screw in the wall.

    If you’re wondering, I don’t have a picture of this part because Jordan was sitting on our counter yelling at me to hurry up as I was running on either side of our kitchen cabinets like I was running some weird relay race trying to mark the holes before Jordan’s arms fell off.


    We are all about painting pictures of reality so it doesn’t get much more real than that.

  11. Drill holes in the wall

    For the holes that do not require you to use drywall anchors, drill your marked holes with your 1/8″ drill bit.

    For the holes that do require drywall anchors, drill using your 1/2″ drill bit.1/8" drill bit drilling into wall

  12. Add drywall anchors

    Insert your drywall anchors according to the package. You guys are big boys and girls. Read it for yaself.1/4" toggle bolts drywall anchors

  13. inserting toggle bolt into the wall

  14. Hang shelves on wall

    Hang your shelves and ta da!

styled open shelving in the kitchen

I’m super pleased with how they turned out. Such a cheap upgrade for kitchen shelving for our kitchen and it was done in a day!

NOTHING around here gets done a day.

What’s that saying? Rome wasn’t built in a day? Yeah. Neither is this shanty, but that’s okay! We will be here hopefully for the long haul if the Lord allows!

Let’s answer a few common questions:

Is open shelving a fad?

I mean, maybe. It could be said that most home decor trends are a fad. Wallpaper was a fad, then was considered the words, and now it’s back again. We’ve even used it in our house in our new office and our recently redone cleaning closet.

closeup of open shelving kitchen shelves

Is DIY open shelving a farmhouse thing?

I wouldn’t consider our house fully farmhouse style. I definitely don’t consider this a farmhouse kitchen and I feel it works. If you just take a gander and some open shelving images either on Google or Pinterest, you’ll see them from every style from farmhouse to modern.

For what it’s worth, I consider our house to be transitional style and these work awesome for us!

Where do you put open shelving in a kitchen?

Ummmm, I mean I ain’t tryna be rude but anywhere you friggin’ want. It’s your house. If you have the space for it and want to give it a shot, go for it! If you don’t have a dining room like us and just have an eat in kitchen, do what makes sense!

It didn’t make sense for us to replace our entire upper cabinets because we’re messy humans, but this small wall space was the perfect spot for it.

What do you put in open shelves in the kitchen?

If you have all matching servingware, I would do that. For us, we put our actual glasses and our white dishes. These happen to be our every day dishes too, but we don’t always use them; we’re more the paper plate kinda fam.

One of these days, I’m hoping to be posting our gorgeous kitchen, open and glorious, but for now, DIY open shelving in the kitchen will have to do!

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Create your own DIY open shelving in the kitchen! via Living Letter Home

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