How to Make Custom DIY Wood and Industrial Pipe Shelves

3 Materials
2 Hours

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

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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 décor 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

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 had 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 in the room.

Supplies Needed to Build Wood and Industrial Pipe Shelves

  • 1 – 2″x 8″ x 12′ top choice southern yellow pine lumber (cut in half in-store)
  • 1 – 2″x 12″x 12′ top choice southern yellow pine lumber (cut in half in-store)
  • 1 – 4′ x 3/4″ black iron pipe
  • 1 – 3′ x 3/4″ black iron pipe (cut & rethreaded in-store to 2 -15″)
  • 6 – 3/4″ floor flange
  • 2 – 3/4″ black iron cap fitting
  • 2 – 4″ length 3/4″ diameter black iron nipple
  • 2 – 3″ length 3/4″ diameter black iron nipple
  • 2 – 2″ length 3/4″ diameter black iron nipple
  • 2 – 3/4″ black iron tee fitting
  • 2 – 3/4″ 90-degree black iron elbow
  • Rustoleum black spray paint
  • Miniwax Polycrylic spray topcoat
  • Minwax Weathered Oak stain
  • Miniwax Provincial stain
  • General Finishes topcoat

How to Prepare Black Iron Pipe Fittings

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.


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.

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

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

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.

After I cut all the pine boards to the length and width I needed to build my 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.

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.

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

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.

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

Here’s a close up of how we build 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 allowes 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

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

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

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.

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.

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

I wanted a low shelf right above the washer and dryer to store all the items we use everytime 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.

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

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.

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

But also placing the shelf so low hids the electrical outlet and water lines on that wall.

So it was a win- win!

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 perfectly.

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

Completed Wood and Industrial Pipe Laundry Room Shelves

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 I knew it would work again in the new space.

It’s just totally updated and looks completely different than that old wire shelving and hanging rod.

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

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

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