• Danielle Berger

Diy Industrial Pipe Shelf


Start with your two 4ft planks of lumber. Using a palm sander and an 80 grit sandpaper, you want sand down all sides, making your board nice and smooth. Quick tip: Always try to sand in the direction of the wood grain. I also like to sand down the edges to make them nice and rounded. This is a preference thing, feel free to leave yours squared or as round as you like.


The next step is going to require a well ventilated area. Once your boards are sanded to your liking, prep your board surface with a wood conditioner aka a Pre-Stain. This helps prevent streaks and blotches by evening out the absorption of your stain. You can apply this using a brush or cloth. Allow the pre-stain to penetrate for 5 to 15 minutes, then remove any excess with a clean, dry cloth. You want to make sure you apply your stain within two hours of application.


I picked a nice walnut brown colour for my boards, but this is totally optional for you and there are TONS of colours to choose from. You could even get crazy and pick a pink, blue or green! Really depends on your taste and estique.

To apply, you want to make sure your stain is mixed thoroughly. Then with a cotton rag, you are going to apply the stain evenly to your board. Again, like the sanding, you want to make sure you stain in the direction of the grain. After you have applied one coat, you will need to wait about 4 hours for it to dry.

NOTE: The stain will always dry a bit darker so you can adjust the amount of layers you want as you go. I like to put about two layers on my boards to give it that nice dark, walnut colour but again, this is optional.

Step 4: FINISH

Once the wood surfaces is prepped and stained, a finish is applied. Finishing is the final step that gives your wood surface those desirable characteristics and resistance to moisture and other day-to-day damage. There are lots of different kinds of finishes out there but I’m using a polyurethane. It’s really the most common and will work great on this kind of project.

Finish can be applied with a rag or brush.

You want to give your boards about 2-3 coats and sand with a 220 sandpaper in-between coat 2 and 3.


OK! So our boards are prepared, stained and finished! Go us.

Now it’s time for the fun part, attaching our black iron pipes! You can find black iron pipes at your local hardware store. There are many options out there (cheap or expensive) and depending on your level of DIY experience, you could purchase the black iron or buy the galvanized steel and spray paint them black. When you buy your piping, you may find they don't have the threading you need to screw them onto your flanges, but your hardware store will normally do this for you or you can ask a friend or family who may know how to do this for you.

If you choose to use the black iron pipes like I did, you will notice that they tend to make your hands a little black. This is the carbon in the metal. To avoid this issue, I sprayed them with a sealant spray. I gave them about two coats. If you guys find a better solution to this, please comment below, I would love to know how to avoid this better in the future!

Starting with your bottom board, you’re going to attach 8 flanges in total (4 on each side). Simply, mark where you want your flanges to go and drill using wood screws. Once you have one side finished, flip the board and attached the next four. Keep in mind that you have screws inside your board now, so you will need to pivot your flange to ensure the screws don’t hit each other.

Once all flanges are attached, pick which side you want to be your top and begin to screw in your nipple fittings. The feet of your board will be used with your 1” nipples and cap fittings.

At this stage, you’ll want to screw in the top shelf flanges to your nipples as well.

Flip the entire thing upside down and screw in your top board to the flanges.

Voila! You’re all finished!

Creating this DIY Industrial Shelving Unit was a simple project once all the materials were collected. It took a few days of labour but the final product was worth the wait. It felt so good to say I created such a nice piece in my home. I only built mine two tiers high but you could add as many shelves as you want depending on where you want to put the piece.

Hope you enjoyed this breakdown!

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