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How to Make Custom DIY Wood and Industrial Pipe Shelves

DIY modern farmhouse laundry room shelves. Learn how to make wood and industrial pipe shelves with our step-by-step instructions.

When I started my laundry room makeover I knew I wanted farmhouse-style wood shelves.

I wanted to be able to add baskets and other storage on the shelves.

And of course some pretty decor pieces too.

You can see in my laundry room inspiration board I originally wanted to make floating shelves between two wall cabinets.

But when I was trying to come up with an idea for a space to hang dry clothes I changed my original plan.

I hang dry a lot of my clothes so it was really important to me to include enough space in my laundry room for that.

After looking at different ideas I decided what we had in the room before really worked.

Although the wire shelving and hanging rod definitely weren’t making a reappearance!

How to Determine the Layout of Shelves

view looking into laundry room from open door washer and dryer on left side of room with wire shelfing above and on wall straight ahead wire storage shelves with towels and bins on left side of room

Just wait until you see how much this room has changed!

As you can see there isn’t much room for any storage or shelving on the right side of the room. It really only works on the left and back walls of the laundry room.

I revised the original plan of wall cabinets over the washer and dryer and bought a set of lockers to replace the wire tower of shelves.

Since I’d now have the closed storage I needed with the lockers, I decided to build two longer wood shelves over the span of the washer and dryer wall.

In addition to those two shelves, I decided to combine a wood shelf with black iron plumbing pipes to create a hanging rod below the shelf on the far wall of the room.

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Supplies Needed to Build Wood and Industrial Pipe Shelves

How to Prepare Black Iron Pipe Fittings

1 long and 2 short black iron plumbing pipes with white numbers printed on pipes

The black iron pipe is in the plumbing department of most home improvement and hardware stores.

When I bought the pipe it was greasy & dirty and covered in printed white numbers.

I did a quick google search to see what’s the best way to clean and remove the numbers. I found that acetone would remove the white printing but it may also remove the black finish on the pipe.

UGH!

So instead I just gave all the iron pipe pieces a good cleaning with a rag and some good ‘ole Dawn dish soap to remove the grease from the pipe.

Unfortunately, even though I didn’t use anything strong to clean them some of the black finish still came off.

can of spray paint on ground in front of plumbing pipe parts with taped ends outside in driveway

So I decided to paint all the iron pipe parts with spray paint in a flat black finish.

But I didn’t want to paint over the threaded ends so I covered the ends of each piece of pipe with frog tape

hand shown holding spray paint can painting plumbing pipe parts on cardboard outside in driveway

Then I painted all the pieces on my DIY holders that my husband made me just for this project out of leftover wood pieces.

Isn’t he creative?

After painting the 4′ pipe for the hanging clothes rod I used a spray topcoat to seal & protect that piece since it would be getting lots of use with hangers sliding across it.

Preparing the Wood Boards to Build Shelves

woman using table chop saw to cut wood

Next, I measured and cut all the pieces of pine boards with my miter saw to the exact sizes I wanted to build my wood and industrial pipe shelves.

Every room will be different depending on the size of your space and the layout of your shelves.

You may also adjust the width you want to make your shelves.

I used 2 – 2″ x 8″ boards to create a shelf width of 16″ for the top shelf.

The lower shelf is 1 – 2″ x 10″. We cut this shelf to size from the other half of the 2″x 12″x 12′ board.

And both of the shelves over the washer and dryer are 61 1/2″ long.

The shelf on the far wall with the hanging clothes rod is a 2″ x 12″ board cut to 52″ long.

hand using palm sander to sand wood board

After I cut all the pine boards to the length and width I needed to build the rustic wood shelves I used my palm sander to sand the boards.

Sanding will make the wood smooth but also is important to help the wood absorb the stain properly.

hand staining wood with clear glove covering hand

I used two different stain colors to get the exact color for my laundry room shelves.

First I stained the boards with one coat of Minwax Weathered Oak.

Then the second coat I used Minwax Provincial.

You can read all about how I choose (or create…lol!) the perfect stain color here.

And if you need some tips and tricks on how I stain wood check this post out.

can of general finishes sealer on top of stained piece of wood with paint brush laying next to it

After the boards were stained I sealed them with my favorite General Finishes topcoat in a flat finish.

I applied 2 coats of the sealer with a paintbrush on all sides of the wood shelf.

How to Install Shelf with Hanging Clothes Rod

man using drill to attach plumbing pipes to shiplap walls

I enlisted my husband Chris to help me build the laundry room shelves once all the parts were dry from painting and staining.

We built the bracket for the hanging clothes rod and wood shelf by attaching a floor flange to the wall then a 4″ nipple fitting followed by a tee fitting in the middle and a 3″ nipple fitting on the other side of the tee then an elbow fitting.

Phew…if that sound complicated, don’t worry…just look at the pictures below to see the order of how we assembled the pieces.

On the opposite side of the wall, we installed the same bracket sequence.

And between the two elbows, we secured the 4′ long black iron pipe.

hand attaching plumbing pipes to wood shelf

To attach the wood shelf to the hanging clothes rod we used a 2″ nipple fitting on the top of the tee fitting followed by another flange that we screwed into the bottom of the wood.

close up of industrial pipe fittings attached to wood to create shelf with hanging rod below wood shelf

Here’s a close-up of how we built the bracket for the 12″ deep shelf and 4′ wide hanging clothes rod.

You can also see how covering the threaded parts of the pipe allows everything to look a bit more rough and unfinished.

If I had painted all the parts you wouldn’t see the contrast of the plumbing parts as clearly.

How to Build a Wide Corner Shelf

two wood and pipe shelves meeting in corner of room with dryer below

Since the top shelves that are meeting in the corner of the room were two different widths I decided not to cut them at an angle.

I also liked the look of the boards just butting up next to each other.

two pieces of wood on pipe bracket to create one shelf on wall

I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t able to buy the boards from my local home improvement store wider than 12″ and I wanted my top shelf to be wider than that.

So I decided to use 2 – 8″ wide boards to create the shelf width I wanted.

And it works perfectly since we weren’t building a hanging rod on this shelf.

close up of pipe bracket with wood shelf on top

I designed the top shelf with a simple bracket made of industrial black pipe that matched the hanging rod bracket.

We attached a floor flange to the wall then secured a 15″ black iron pipe followed by a cap fitting.

wire pipe brackets on wall with wood shelf laying on bracket

The two 8″ stained wood boards just lay across the two DIY plumping pipe brackets.

You could secure the two pieces of wood together if you will be using your shelf often.

But we didn’t find it necessary to attach our wood together since we weren’t using the items on this shelf on a daily basis.

Creating a Low Utility Shelf

hand attaching metal wall bracket with power drill

I wanted a low shelf right above the washer and dryer to store all the items we use every time we do laundry.

You know the detergent, stain spray, dryer sheets, etc.

But the same wood and industrial pipe shelf that we built for the top shelf on this wall wouldn’t work well for the low shelf.

The plumping pipe would come out a bit too far for the top-loading washing machine.

Plus, I don’t think it would look very pretty sitting so close to the top of the appliances.

I found these awesome farmhouse floating shelf brackets on Amazon that worked great.

close up of wood shelf on rustic metal bracket

The arm of the bracket attaches to the wall and goes down behind the shelf.

And the sleek design of the bracket doesn’t take up too much space.

wood shelf hanging on wall with washer dryer pulled out from wall

I wanted to build this shelf as low to the top of the washer and dryer as I could but also have easy access to our daily laundry supplies.

Placing the shelf this low would also hide the electrical outlet and water lines on that wall.

So it was a win-win!

two wood and pipe shelves hanging on shiplap wall over washer and dryer

Even though the DIY plumbing pipe shelf brackets on the top shelf and the store-bought farmhouse brackets on the bottom shelf don’t match exactly they coordinate well.

And look…you can’t even see the water supply lines behind the washer!

Completed Wood and Industrial Pipe Laundry Room Shelves

laundry room with wood and pipe shelving on left side of room over washer and dryer. another wood shelf with industrial pipe hanging rod on far wall

I’m really happy with our DIY wood and industrial pipe shelves.

Originally, I thought I wanted something totally different than what I had before.

But this layout really worked for us in the old laundry room and so I knew it would work again in the new space.

It’s now fresh, updated, and looks completely different than that old wire shelving and hanging rod.

laundry room with wood shelves on two walls washer and dryer on left side next to lockers hanging clothes on rod in back of room door open

And the color of the wood and industrial pipe shelves coordinates beautifully with my new custom wood laundry room door.

All Laundry Room DIY Projects in this Room Makeover

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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Rebecca

Thursday 23rd of June 2022

Do you feel like you *have* to move your washer and dryer out to accommodate for the lower shelf? Or would the shelf be in the way of the washer lid?

We have a drain pan that won't allow me to move the washer away from the wall, so I'm trying to figure out if I should see if I can get a longer drain hose and move the pan at that point.

This is exactly what I've imagined up for my laundry room, I'm just frustrated with that dang drain pan, lol.

AnnMarie

Friday 24th of June 2022

Thanks for reading the blog. I do not need to move my washer and dryer out to accommodate for the lower shelf. I used different hardware to hold the wood shelf and built the shelf to be narrow enough that the lid of the washer does not touch the wood shelf at all even when the lid is fully opened. I'm happy to take a pic or quick video to show you if you'd like.

Cole Byrne

Sunday 6th of February 2022

Thanks for sharing this! All the best!

AnnMarie

Sunday 6th of February 2022

Thanks for taking time to read our blog! Have a great day.

Rachel Harper

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

This was such a great project!

AnnMarie

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

Thanks so much Rachel! So much better than the wire shelving. LOL

Ashley Brandt-hunter

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

How much weight can the hanging shelf hold?

AnnMarie

Thursday 11th of November 2021

Hi Ashley - are you asking about the hanging rod for drying clothes? I'm not sure of the exact weight it can hold but I do hang dry a lot of my clothes and have had several pairs of wet jeans along with many tops hanging from the rod at the same time. It's super sturdy since it's screwed into the studs behind the shiplap wall.

Dorothy S

Sunday 31st of October 2021

Where did you find your overhead light?

AnnMarie

Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

Hi Dorothy! Thanks for reading our blog. I got the light from Amazon. Here is the link: https://rstyle.me/+gJlR6xdna_wqsfLDCyR-yg Have a great week.