How To Finish Kitchen Shelving

3 Materials
30 Minutes

Don't cut corners like I did when you install open shelves in your kitchen. Finish them using this tutorial... it's so much easier than you think!
The tile in our kitchen took us forever and then we had hiccups with our open shelves. So, by the time I got to the shelf installation... I was chomping at the bit to get them up to see what they would look like.

I told myself that I didn't need to poly them because they weren't going to have sticky plates, or liquids on top.

BUT, that was a mistake. If you look closely above then you will see two light coffee mug stains.

The coffee cups must have come out of the dishwasher a bit damp and I set them on the shelf like usual.

With just the current rings, it didn't bother me but I knew if the shelves got more stains then I'd be mad.

So, I decided to go ahead and protect the shelves the right way.

Here's what I did:

1. I grabbed my go-to tools. I grabbed Minwax Polycrylic in Matte finish. I picked up a new brush specifically meant for applying stain and finishes.

2. First things first, I wiped down my shelves using a microfiber cloth.

3. I could have sanded the shelves to get the stain out and then worked on the stain but I choose to leave the stain because, it's really not that bad as is (I just didn't want it to get worse).
3. Following the directions on the can, I lightly brushed on the coating (on all sides of the wood except the side of the wood that is butted directly up to the wall). I let this dry.
4. Using a fine grit sandpaper, I lightly sanded.

5. Then, I applied another coat of the poly.

I let it dry for 48 hours before putting everything back on the shelves.

I'm pointing to the stains in the above picture. It's even less noticeable with poly on than before.
In this case, I'd say this project was better done late than never.

Oh, and in case you are wondering how we like our open shelves, we LOVE them! Seriously, this was the best choice that we've ever made.

See my tutorial for Installing Heavy-Duty Floating Shelves if you are interested.
And, if you haven't stopped by to see our Kitchen Reveal, then you are missing out! It was done on a major budget and was almost all DIY.

Suggested materials:

  • Minwax  (Lowes)
  • Stain Brush  (Lowes)
  • Microfiber Rag  (Walmart)

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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2 of 30 comments
  • Nikki
    on May 31, 2017

    They look wonderful!!! How did you hang them on the tile? I'd love to have some in my kitchen but I never knew how to hang things on ceramic tile :)
  • If you go up in the post just a bit, there's a link to How to Install Heavy Duty Shelving. It will take you to the whole post on it. For lightweight pictures and wreaths, I use command strips.
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