If you’ve seen my bathroom remodel plans, you’re familiar with how our tiny guest bathroom previously looked. Lots of white with a giant green tub and a sad attempt at matching accent tiles. It wasn’t awful by any means, but it was just very boring. The first step was to paint, which involved ripping the white cabinet which hung above the toilet off the wall. I knew I didn’t want to hang this back up when I was finished. So, in between coats of paint I decided I wanted to make the infamous Industrial Farmhouse Shelves for myself.
For reference, this is what the area looked like just before taking the cabinet down. Builder-grade boooring. It had to go!
The first step was to figure out how big I wanted these shelves to be. Initially, I made the mistake of thinking 10″ pipe brackets would be the right width. But because these would be hanging right above the toilet and the bathroom is so small, I realized they would stick out wayyy too far from the wall. I would definitely be hitting my head every time I sat down to pee. Not okay!
I measured the width of the previous cabinet and it was about 7″, so the best option was the 6″ pipe from Home Depot. This was perfect because with the added width of the flanges and the cap ends, it was almost the exact same width as before.
Once I got the correct size hardware, the first real step was to secure the mounts to the wall. Thankfully, my parents were visiting and my dad who used to be a contractor was able to help me get them just perfect. I knew these shelves were going to end up pretty heavy, so we used anchors with every screw. It would have been ideal to get at least one side through a stud, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible.
We did that four times, making sure to measure about 50 times where each flange would go. I wasn’t going to risk any uneven shelves! And then I could start screwing in the pipes to make the brackets. Or, my dad could, I should say. These pipes are coated with grease to keep them lubed up, and I didn’t really want to touch them. So, thanks dad!
While he was being kind enough to do that for me, I could cut my board down to two 24″ pieces and sand off the edges. I purposely picked a piece that had a lot of knots and scratches for a little more character. These imperfections showed even better once I stained it with a layer of Minwax Espresso wood stain.
But before staining, I wanted to make sure that the boards looked how I imagined on the brackets. I know the bottom shelf looks incredibly uneven, but I promise it’s not! It’s just the terrible lighting and angle that’s making it look so bad.
I was so happy with the lengths of the board and how perfectly they seemed to fit in the area, it was now time to get to staining. (Who needs gloves, anyways?) After those dried, I also put a quick coat of Minwax Polycrylic to make them a little more durable to the humidity of bathrooms.
Now’s the fun part. Placing the final shelves on the pipe brackets and seeing the hard work pay off! All I did is set them right on top of the pipes… no screws or connectors needed! If you’re worried your kids might get a little curious and start climbing, you could always add some conduit straps to secure the boards to the pipes.
I must have forgotten to take a picture of the finished, bare shelves before I started decorating them, but hey, you get the point. And here they are!
Oh, my gosh, I am so in love! I think they turned out better than I ever imagined. After these were finished, I kept finding any excuse to walk past the bathroom and admire my work.
One of my biggest concerns with these open shelves was losing the ability to keep cleaning supplies, extra soaps or other bathroom necessities hidden away. And while this is partially true, I’m much more happy this way. I don’t like clutter. And by having these shelves, there’s no longer any place to keep it! I could now go through and purge those weird things that gather inside bathroom cabinets like old nail polish, hair color remover and every bobby pin I’ve ever lost.
Now, I’m able to keep functional items in prettier storage options. Like cotton rounds and q-tips in these jars from Target or buy products with prettier packaging like the Garrison+Home hand soap. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on any storage since the kitchen is just around the corner and that’s where I keep most of my cleaning supplies anyways.
Our bathroom makeover is so close to being completed! The only tasks left are painting faux mosaic tiles, painting the accent wall tiles white and then painting the bathtub white. I can’t wait to show you all the finished product!