Installing Open Kitchen Shelves

exposed shelves

Open kitchen shelves are a good addition to your kitchen. You can use them to improve your kitchen décor, or make a fashion statement. Or you may want to replace some of your old cabinets with these open types. These types of cabinets are ideal for small kitchen areas because they seem to expand the available space due to their open nature.

Another advantage to open kitchen shelves is that they are easier to install. You don’t need to really be a professional handyman to be able to install them. But if you want the open kitchen shelving to look like they have been installed by a professional, you still have to follow certain rules of the trade. It also means that you can save money by doing it yourself. Here are some important tips on how you can install your own open kitchen shelves

Before starting this project, please keep in mind the following things:

  1. The design of the open kitchen shelves should harmonize with the overall style of your kitchen and it should also be simple so that they won’t be competing with the items that you will put on them.
  2. Use these open kitchen shelves to display items that are attractive. Boxes of foods shouldn’t be displayed in them unless they are placed in decorative baskets or containers.

Materials That You Will Need

Prepare these materials before starting the project.

  • 10 inches deep boards – these are usually available in 8-feet lengths. Get as many as you need based on your open kitchen shelving design.
  • 8 inches deep brackets
  • Screws, at least 2 to 2.5 inches in length. This will be used to screw the brackets to the kitchen wall.
  • Screws, short, this will be used to screw the wooden shelves to the brackets.
  • Basic handy man tools such as measuring tape, pen, masking tape and carpenter’s level
  • Wood saw or power saw
  • Screw driver
  • Power drill
  • 5/16 inch diamond-tipped drill bit, for standard size 8 or size 9 screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Power sander
  • Butcher block oil
  • Drywall anchors – if you can’t find the studs to anchor the brackets

Steps In Installing Open Kitchen Shelves

Step 1: Use a wood saw or power saw to cut the 10-inch deep wooden boards to the desired lengths. Sand the edges using the power sander with sandpaper to get them smooth and even on all sides.

Step 2: Coat the wooden shelves with butcher block oil. If you want the natural color of the wooden board, just coating it with this oil will be enough. But if you want to emphasize the grains of the wood, you can color it with a wood stain. Be sure that the color will not clash with the kitchen wall where you will install the open shelves. The oil will keep the wood from drying and it will make cleaning the shelves easier.

Step 3: Choose the spots where the brackets should be positioned. It is best to locate the brackets where the studs are because these are the points where there will be the strongest support for the shelves. Once you’ve located the studs, cover it with masking tape and mark them with “Xs.” Do all you can to locate these studs on the kitchen wall. But if you really can’t, use dry wall anchors as support to your open kitchen shelves.

Step 4: The best bracket support that can be provided to open kitchen shelves are at least two to three brackets per shelf depending on the length of the shelf. Drill the holes where you will anchor the brackets. To safely drill the hole without cracking the tile on the wall, start drilling at a slight angle until an indentation is made by the drill bit. Then straighten out the drilling and start drilling right through the tile.

It is recommended that the first hole to drill is the hole at the top of the bracket.

Step 5: Fit the wooden shelf on three brackets. Place a wooden shelf on each bracket. Then place another bracket under the other side of the wooden shelf. Use a carpenter’s level to check the position of the other brackets. You need to take some time to be sure that the shelf is really on a horizontal level.

Step 6: Drill the two top holes for the other two brackets.

Step 7: Locate position of the bottom bracket holes. Put a wooden shelf on top of the three brackets. Then put the carpenter’s level on top of the wooden shelf and also on every bracket and ensure that they are all lined up and leveled correctly. Cover the position of the brackets’ bottom holes with masking tape and put an “X” on the location of each hole.

Step 8: Drill the bottom holes of the three brackets.

Step 9: Mark the bracket holes on the wooden shelf. Make sure that these brackets holes will put the shelf on the right horizontal level.

Step 10: Drill pilot holes into the marks on the wooden shelf. Use the power drill to drill pilot holes into the wood about ¼ inch deep.

Step 11: Screw in the small wooden screws to finally anchor the wooden shelf in its place.

Step 12: Repeat all the previous steps in installing additional open kitchen shelves.


About the Author of this article:

bio pic

Hello, My name is Justin Curtis, and I am the creator of Mr. Garbage Disposal.

While I am not a professional plumber, I am quite the handyman. I work as an accountant, but outside of work, I like to work with my hands and live frugally.

2 years ago, the garbage disposal in my house broke because of a faulty part. After buying the new part and looking at installation fees, I realized that it was way outside of my budget. To solve my problem, I took it upon myself to learn everything I could about garbage disposals. I learned the best affordable parts, where to get them, and how to install them. Through this experience, I discovered my passion for working with my hands.

Considering most people don’t know much about garbage disposals, I want to share my experience and knowledge with you, which is why I created Mr. Garbage Disposal.

My goal for Mr. Garbage Disposal is for it to be the go-to place for people to learn about garbage disposals and how to fix them, while not breaking the bank along the way.


I hope you all enjoyed this DIY post.

This post is part of Fiesta Friday link up party.

Until next time …

Thanks for visiting!

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