An Ugly Shelving Unit Becomes Cute Mudroom Shoe Storage

8 Materials
2 Days

Before this house, I’d never lived anywhere that had a real mudroom. And although our mudroom is small, I just love it - especially since we've recently revamped it.

The first issue we tackled was shoe storage (which, let's face it, you can never have enough of).

We started with an ugly little shelving unit that came with our house. Apparently, the old owners didn't want to take it.

And actually it fits perfectly between the back door and the mudroom's north wall.

Who hasn't owned one of these basic little plywood storage units at one time or another? They are easy to find at thrift stores or garage sales.

The first thing we did was to carefully remove the shelves and reposition them at about a 30-degree angle. We used screws to secure them. We slanted the shelves because then the shoes would fit better and not interfere with the door swing.

The shoes would be nicely contained, and easy to access, on the newly-angled shelves.

But the unit was still very ugly.

A reclaimed wood top would elevate the look. I checked the nearest salvage shop and found all kinds of beautiful wood – all of it too shallow in depth.

The next salvage shop was way across town, and I started to wonder if I was on another one of my fool’s errands.

While deciding whether it was worth the drive, I stopped at my local Goodwill. There I found a piece of fir in the right depth – with a nicely finished edge. It had probably been a shelf in a former life. Anyway, it was just 99 cents! I could not believe my luck.

I just attached the new "top" with a little glue.

Since the mudroom is next to the kitchen, I felt that the exposed side of the shelving unit should be attractively paneled to match the style of our kitchen cabinets.

I tease my husband for keeping all kinds of scrap wood pieces, but it came in handy for this project since he had just the right scraps on hand to create the panels. (They measured about 1/3 inch deep and 2 1/2 inches wide.)

He used pin nails and glue to secure them.

Then I spackled and painted the bench with the same paint I used for our kitchen moldings – a color custom-blended to match our kitchen cabinets.

And here is how it turned out.

And it's so convenient having the shoes we use most often right next to the back door.

This was a fun little weekend project. For more about this project, check out the link to my website below.

To read about our entire mudroom revamp, check out this post.

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


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Val
    on Oct 24, 2018

    This is so nice! I’m just wondering why you slanted the shelves. Why not leave them flat?

    • D
      on Jan 1, 2020

      How about you slant the shelf forward with a lip on the shelf so the shoes will fit and not slide out also you could clean the shelves easier. Just a thought. It looks very nice.

  • M. M..
    M. M..
    on Oct 26, 2018

    Is it sturdy enough to sit on?

    • Donna Lee Scott Thomas
      Donna Lee Scott Thomas
      on Nov 24, 2018

      No! Don’t sit on it! One of my junior high students sat on the new bookshelf I bought for my classroom. 🙄😫😡 $40 wasted. SMH

Join the conversation

2 of 38 comments
  • Cheryl
    on Sep 8, 2020

    Love this! I need a place like this for shoes and beach towels! Any ideas for a top job for rolled up towels?

  • Lisa West
    Lisa West
    on Sep 8, 2020

    Looks great. Easy to clean pleasant to look at when passing. You did a great job. Also it doesn't go to a land fill.

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