Reclaimed Wood Shelves – Perfect DIY Job for Your Kitchen?

Three reclaimed wood shelves mounted on a stone wall in a kitchen with wine glasses and bottles arranged on them. Across the top are the words, "Reclaimed Wood Shelves - Perfect DIY Job for Your Kitchen?"

Are you tired of staring at bland, cookie-cutter shelves in your kitchen? Do you want to add a touch of rustic charm to the kitchen without breaking the bank?

If so, reclaimed wood shelves are the perfect DIY project for you!

With a few simple tools and some reclaimed wood, you can make beautiful shelves that will instantly lift your kitchen.

Besides, reclaimed wood is a sustainable material that is kind to the environment and your wallet. Thus, you don’t have to worry about your carbon footprint when making these shelves.

In this article, I’ll guide you on how to make reclaimed wood shelves for your kitchen.

From floating shelves to pipe shelving, you’ll get a grip on making shelves from reclaimed wood to add some rustic charm.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready for a DIY moment.

How to Make Floating Kitchen Shelves With Reclaimed Wood

A floating shelf made from reclaimed wood is installed above a kitchen sink. The shelf has drinking glasses, a tin of extra virgin olive oil, jars of spices, and other food items. There are two loaves of bread to the sink's left on the countertop, a bucket of fruit, and a blender to the right.
Floating shelves can be installed almost anywhere and present a clean, stylish look. Image courtesy of Gareth Hubbard on Unsplash.

Floating shelves are your go-to option if you want to create extra space in your kitchen. These shelves create more space because the brackets supporting them are hidden from view.

Additionally, floating shelves add a touch of elegance to the kitchen with their minimalistic design.

Here’s how to make floating reclaimed wood shelves for the kitchen:

Materials and Tools

First things first, you’ll need the following materials and tools:

  • Reclaimed wood planks for shelves {approximately 2 inches (50mm) thick, 10 inches (250mm) wide, and 48 inches (1,200mm) long}
  • Sandpaper (80 grit and 220 grit)
  • Wood glue
  • 4 Wood screws (3 inches (76.2mm) long)
  • Clear coat finish (optional)
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Orbital sander
  • Clamps
  • Drill and bits
  • 3/8-inch wood dowel
  • Measuring tape
  • Kreg jig
  • Pencil
  • Level


Once you have the tools and materials, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty!

  1. Measure the floating shelves’ reclaimed wood board to the desired length and mark.
  2. Use a table saw to cut the measured planks based on the measurements.
  3. To make a wider or longer shelf, you’ll need to glue pieces together. To do this, cut each end of the boards at a 45-degree angle using a miter saw. This ensures they’ll fit together like a picture frame.
  4. Sand both pieces of wood with 80-grit sandpaper to remove the roughness and splinters.
  5. Apply wood glue to the mitered edges and clamp them together. Wipe excessive glue with a damp cloth.
  6. Wait for the glue to dry, then sand the entire piece of wood with 220-grit sandpaper to smoothen it.
  7. Use a brush to apply a clear coat finish to the wood.
  8. Measure and mark where you want to hang the floating shelves on the kitchen wall. Hold the board over the marks on the wall and make sure they align.
  9. Set the Kreg jig, 1.5 inches (38.1mm), on the reclaimed wood plank in line with the marks.
  10. Drill pilot holes with the Kreg jig. Don’t drill all the way–you need enough wood to hold the screws’ weight without cracking.
  11. Lift the shelf on the wall and screw in one side.
  12. Put a level on the reclaimed wood shelf and screw in the other side.
  13. To get a floating effect, insert the 3/8-inch wood dowel into the drilled holes and cut it with a miter saw according to the measurement.

And you’re done! Now you have reclaimed wood shelves to add rustic charm to your kitchen.

To simplify your work, here is a video demonstrating the above process:

A screenshot of a video on YouTube showing the procedure for building reclaimed wood floating shelves. Two floating shelves are mounted on the wall and filled with cosmetics products.
Image courtesy of Nailed it on YouTube.

Reclaimed Wood Shelves With Brackets

A dark brown reclaimed wood shelf with two wooden brackets made from matching wood.
Reclaimed wood works well with brackets to form a shelf. This type of shelving is particularly good when heavy weights will be placed on the shelf.

Besides floating shelves, you can also make shelves with brackets. This is the simplest way to make reclaimed wood shelves and works best when the weight of the items to be placed is particularly heavy.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about buying those expensive metallic brackets. I’ll show you how to make sturdy brackets from reclaimed wood. Let’s get into the work.

Materials and Tools

For this project, you’ll need the following:

  • Reclaimed wood planks {approximately 2 inches (50.8mm) thick}
  • Wood screws (3 inches (76.2mm) long)
  • Pencil for marking
  • Miter saw for cutting the wooden brackets
  • Countersink drill bit
  • One by two wood pieces for the brackets
  • Hand saw
  • 5/8-inch brad nails
  • 5/4-inch wood screws
  • Corner clamp
  • Measuring tape
  • Water-based polyurethane paint
  • Brush


  1. Measure one plank according to the desired length and width of the shelf and cut it with a hand saw.
  2. Make two wooden brackets with the one by-two wood pieces by cutting them at an angle of 45 degrees using a miter saw.
  3. Cut two 1-by-2 pieces at 5 inches (127mm) for the wider shelf brackets.
  4. Cut the other two 1-by-2 pieces at 6 inches (152.4mm) to serve as support pieces.
  5. Assemble the five-inch and six-inch pieces at a 90-degree angle for the brackets. Use wood screws and a countersink bit for this.
  6. Set up the corner clamp between the horizontal and vertical sections of the brackets for an accurate 90-degree angle.
  7. Paint water-based polyurethane over the wood for a smooth finish and let it dry. You can use your preferred paint.
  8. As the wood dries, measure and mark the points where you want to attach the shelf on the kitchen wall.
  9. To hang the shelves on the wall, attach the brackets to the underside of the shelf using 5/4-inch wood screws.
  10. Attach the mitered bracket pieces on the brackets using 5/8-inch brad nails.
  11. Attach the shelf to the brackets using 3-inch wood screws.

Voila! You now have a DIY reclaimed wood shelf with functional and stylish brackets!

Here’s a video demonstrating how to make these shelves:

A screenshot of a video on YouTube showing how to make shelves from scrap wood. The shelf is painted black and the brackets are natural wood color. There are two plant pots sitting on the shelf.
Image courtesy of Simply Mindy on YouTube.

Reclaimed Wood and Pipe Shelving

A screenshot from a YouTube video showing how shelves can be made from reclaimed wood and piping. The image shows the finished shelving with kitchen items placed on the shelves.
Reclaimed wood and piping make a surprisingly good shelving system. Image courtesy of The Rehab Life on YouTube.

Making permanent kitchen shelves is not an option if you move often or are renting your current home. In this case, you need something you can assemble and disassemble easily. That’s where pipe shelving comes in handy.

Pipe shelves are among the reclaimed wood shelving ideas you can easily make at home with little equipment and just a few materials.

Let’s proceed to make wood and pipe kitchen shelving with reclaimed wood.

Materials and Tools


Assembly plan for pipe shelving using reclaimed wood and metal pipes. The plan shows a series of T-pieces, straight sections, and flanges that fit together to make the framework upon which the reclaimed wood shelves are mounted.
Metal piping and reclaimed wood shelving assembly plan. Image courtesy of Autodesk, Inc.
  1. Measure and cut the 2-by-8-inch lumber to your desired length.
  2. Measure and cut the 1-by-2-inch pieces of wood into four parts that are the right length to form a border around the shelves.
  3. Arrange the pieces of wood in a manner that allows you to make a border around the 2-by-8-inch wood.
  4. Secure the borders with trim head screws.
  5. Fill off the screw holes with a wood filler.
  6. Wait for the wood filler to dry before sanding the boards.
  7. Stain the wood (optional).
  8. Wait for the stain to dry, and then apply some poly.
  9. Assemble the piping based on the plan attached below and screw everything together.
  10. Measure and make a line at the exact wall location you want to attach the shelves.
  11. Put the assembled pipe along the line and mark holes through the floor flanges.
  12. Drill out the marked floor flange holes using a tile drill.
  13. Insert wall anchors into the walls.
  14. Place the pipe over the hole and secure it with screws.
  15. Using a level, make a straight line across the wall from the top of the installed pipe.
  16. Place the second pipe at an appropriate distance against the line.
  17. Level the second pipe and draw a line parallel to the first pipe.
  18. Place your second pipe over this parallel line and mark the floor flange holes. Drill and anchor the holes.
  19. Screw the second pipe into the walls.
  20. Place your reclaimed wood pipes across the pipes.
  21. Use tube straps to secure the shelves onto the pipes.

Here is a video demonstrating the above process:

A screenshot from a video on YouTube showing how to install pipe shelves with reclaimed wood.
Image courtesy of The Rehab Life on YouTube.

The good news is you can use a very similar procedure to make reclaimed wood bookshelves.

Final Thoughts

Reclaimed wood shelves are an excellent DIY project for anyone looking to add rustic charm to their kitchen.

With a little creativity and some basic tools, you can create a beautiful and functional addition that’s sure to impress.

Whether you’re an experienced woodworker or a beginner, the satisfaction of completing this project will be worth the effort. Give it a try!

If you need other sustainable practices to complement your reclaimed wood kitchen shelf, here is an article detailing how to achieve a self-sustaining home.

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