Wire Shelving Makeover

Montross Made
by Montross Made
3 Materials
2 Hours

Moving into a builder grade home, we had these ugly wire shelves in every closet. After a year of living with them, I decided it was time for a little face lift. I didn't want to spend very much money on this so I had to get creative.

I've seen this done a few different ways. I saw a few examples using foam board and contact paper but I wanted something more sturdy. A few others I've seen used wood and a wood router, but we don't have one of those. That lead me to this method! I wound up going with underlayment because it was sturdy, lightweight, and cheap. It also can be easily painted or stained. If I were to do the project again, I would make a few small changes which I've outlined below, but overall it was definitely a success.

The whole makeover only cost $40. I also "shopped my home" for some organizational items to make the space a little better to look at (i.e. baskets, turntables, etc.).

What you'll need:

1/4 in. underlayment (I would use 1/2 in. if I were to do this again)

1/2 in. x 2 in pine moulding (1x2s would be a cheaper option)

1 inch corner brackets

1/2 in. screws

Paint (optional)

Step 1: Measure and plan

First I cleared out my pantry closet and measured my shelves. I had four shelves- each one was 16 in. x 38 in. and I decided I wanted my overhang in the front to be 2 in.

Unfortunately, I couldn't completely do away with the wire supports but I did remove the middle bracket for a cleaner look. If you do this, make sure that your shelves are sturdy enough with just the two supports.

Step 2: Cut materials to size

I used a circular saw to cut the underlayment for the shelf base (four pieces, each 16 in. x 38 in.) and I used a miter saw to cut the moulding for the overhang (four pieces, each 2 in. x 38 in.).

Step 3: Connect shelves

I used the corner brackets to connect the moulding to the underlayment and I pre-drilled all of the holes so I didn't split my wood.

I also had to use scrap pieces and double up the underlayment so that my screws didn’t go all the way through (remember, 1/4 in underlayment and 1/2 in screws). If I were to redo this project I would have gone with 1/2 in underlayment so I could skip this step.

Step 4: Sand and caulk

Because I pre-drilled, I went fully through the underlayment in some places, so I lightly sanded the holes down and filled them in. I also caulked the gap between the underlayment and moulding to create a seamless look.

Step 5: Paint

Once the caulk dried, I painted the shelves

Step 6: Assemble

Next, I just slid the shelves over the wire shelving and restyled/organized!

For only $40 I couldn't be happier with this project. It was an easy, cheap fix for the ugly wire shelving we had before. I liked it so much that I may be doing it again for our linen closet upstairs!

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Marlene Marlene on Aug 20, 2020

    Where did you purchase the bins for the shelves?

  • Hari Hari on Aug 21, 2020

    Didn't using scape wood to attach molding impact the level of the shelf?

  • Tony Mariella Tony Mariella on Sep 29, 2020

    Did you have to put some scrap pieces on the back of the shelves too ?

    Seems like it wouldn't be level if you didn't

Join the conversation
2 of 43 comments
  • MommaBritt MommaBritt on Jan 26, 2022

    I did this project, but used old faux wood blind slats to hide the wire shelving. Cost me nothing! And I'm pretty happy with it.

    comment photo
  • Harri Floyd Harri Floyd on Aug 20, 2022

    Great job! I too hate those wire shelves.