Raised in California and transplanted to Utah. Married my college sweetheart from Montana, and we are raising 4 nuggets together. I love all things DIY projects and doing them on a budget. I don’t mind messing up and am ok with the 90/10 rule - nothing is perfect over here and it’s fine by me! Encouraging all ‘wanna-be’ DIYers to just get out there and try it! You will be so glad you did.”
I love plumbers pipe shelving but they aren’t a very inexpensive project – the piping cost quite a bit. I was thinking the other day I could create the same look with PVC pipe, so I tried it out and it worked! They are not as strong as metal pipe, so I wouldn’t recommend using the shelving for super heavy items. But it is still pretty sturdy.
Click here to watch my 60 second DIY Tutorial, then read on for all the details!
Here we go! Save this image to PINTEREST so you can view this tutorial later on as well!
You will head to Home Depot and go to their plumbing department. Here you will grab your PVC pipe and end caps. For two shelves you will need 4 of each piece – Riser (pipe), End Cap, and Flange. Grab your anchors and screws as well.
You can buy your flanges here as well but they are cheaper on Amazon here. Next you will pick up your wood boards. Grab a 1×10 six foot board and the stain you like. You can have them cut the pieces for you! If you do not feel confident using the Cutting Center at Home Depot, read my post here to help you feel better – it’s so easy.
Finally, pick up your spray paint. You can use any color but I love the Rustoleum Metallic because it resembles the plumber pipe look very closely. Optional purchase is brackets for safety. You can paint these to match your piping.
You will sand down the edges of your wood and stain them. Add a polyurethane topcoat if you would like to help with cleaning and dusting later.
The great thing about the plastic pipe is that you do not have to clean the grease off them like plumbers pipe! Just wipe them down and put the pieces together = Flange + Pipe + End Cap.
You can use a paint shelter if you need to spray inside or its windy. I love my HomeRight one from Amazon here. It’s a good size and inexpensive. It helps contain the mess and is an easy clean up.
If the weather is good and you do not have wind, set them up on a cardboard box and spray. Apply a few coats, following the directions on dry times.
You can see the difference in color here:
First you will look for your studs. If you find one where your mark is, use it. If you can’t find a stud then make sure you use anchors. Unscrew your pipes off of your flanges. Use your flange to mark your wholes, then drill in the anchors. Then add back the flange and screw it into the anchors.
Make sure that you use your level to measure and even out your next flange, you want them to be EVEN. This way your shelves will level. This part is super important. Once all your flanges are in place you can screw back on the pipe fittings.
You can just place your shelf on the pipes and you are ready to go. If you are worried about the being knocked off I would recommend securing them with a bracket underneath. You can grab these at Home Depot and spray paint them the same color.
You are all done! Yah! Super cute plumbers pipe shelf for half the cost. Comment down below with questions and save this for later on Pinterest.
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Thank you for your super helpful tutorial. I’m wondering if you could do the pvc method (cost is my main concern and yes you’re right, the “real” plumber’s pipe is pricey) with the wall shelf design you made for the friend (pictured in your insta highlight). That design is what I’m really wanting to do, but it is pricey for sure. Thank you!!!
I think you totally could if you used a strong glue to mount the pipe to the flange or the elbow pipe piece? I just dont think it will be super strong, so I would be careful on hanging heavy things. The shelves I made with PVC pipe have held up well but are really for decor purpose only. Furniture Pipeline is coming out with decor pipes for cheaper, check our their website!! So grateful to have you here!