Built-in Kitchen Wall Shelves!

Bryan's Workshop
by Bryan's Workshop
7 Materials
3 Days

I spent my winter vacation building these shelves into the wall of my little kitchen. It's a fun project if you're looking to upgrade your kitchen and have a couple days to burn.

DIY Built-In Kitchen Wall Shelves

Best stud finder!

Add more storage with a recessed niche using this bestseller stud finder that Amazon reviewers swear by!

Tools and Materials

  • Stud finder (Mine decided it was on vacation for this particular project)
  • Jigsaw
  • Mini craft saw
  • Cedar wood
  • Stain
  • Sandpaper
  • Plywood
  • Wax
  • Nail gun
  • Nails
Find Studs

Jigsaw a Hole to Find Studs

This is my lovely non-load-bearing "interior" kitchen wall. I jigsawed out a peephole to check where in the world my studs are hiding. My stud finder was acting bonkers on me.

Be extra cautious of wires in the wall!

Cut Along Studs

Cut Along Studs

Found you guys! The opposite side of this wall is your everyday drywall. The side you see is plywood. I used a jigsaw, a mini craft saw and all my patience to cut along the studs.

Add Molding

Add Molding

I cut a "molding" type pattern in the wall and used the scrap wood from the wall to cut more pieces. The trim is cedar wood I bought for the shelving.



I went with one coat of a black and brown mixture and then lightly sanded it for a distressed look.

Add Backing

Add Backing

I stained some thin grainy plywood for the back of the shelves and then waxed the whole thing with teak.

Add Shelves

Add Shelves

My wife had an idea of what she wanted on each shelf, so I measured accordingly.

DIY Kitchen Shelves

Fill with Whatever You Desire

Now its time to fill this bad boy up!

Affordable Home Upgrades

For more stunning and budget-friendly home update projects, check out our article on Home Improvements That Look Like They Cost Thousands.

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 19 questions
  • Bundy Bundy on Apr 02, 2020

    Are the shelves fixed or adjustable?

  • Mina Mina on Apr 02, 2020

    No wires behind the drywall?... You were lucky.

  • Darleen Darleen on Jun 07, 2020

    Do you think this can be done with lath and plaster walls? My house is over 100 years old.

Join the conversation
2 of 577 comments
  • Maude  LaFountain Maude LaFountain on Dec 14, 2022

    What a great idea …. If the walls were wide enough you could make that a really nice bookcase for all your cookbooks!!! That’s what I need one for is my great collection of cookbooks

  • Carol Williams Carol Williams on Mar 31, 2023

    Looks so awesome!! Thanks for sharing!!