DIY Stained Open Shelving {and a Giveaway}

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Tutorial for easy DIY open shelving | 11 Magnolia Lane
Christy came to visit me a few weeks ago and in true weekend warrior fashion, we knocked out a fun DIY project together–these DIY Stained Shelves! Aren’t they great? The whole “How-We-Did-It” is in our first combined video featuring both of us, check that out below!

By now everyone knows that our new house is just FULL of projects–sometimes I don’t know which one to tackle next. We started our Kitchen Makeover slowly but surely and while Christy was here I asked her to help me build shelves in that little niche with the blank wall, you can see it below.  It was shallow for a piece of furniture, so it was wasted space:



We decided that adding a wall of open shelving would be the perfect solution since it would add to our storage (always a plus in the kitchen) and create visual interest on an otherwise boring wall.

For this project we went with a dark stain for these shelves, because eventually the cabinets are going to be painted white, and I figured the dark wood would be a nice contrast to light cabinets. Keep reading, we actually created a video about the entire project, you’ll see it later in the post.

This was such an easy project with huge impact! I gathered our supplies ahead of time since our time together was limited.  And since, we’re HomeRight Ambassadors and their products make DIY’ing so much easier, we used our HomeRight Paint Sprayer which cut the shelf preparation time down to next to nothing.


Tutorial for easy DIY open shelving | 11 Magnolia Lane

Supplies (for four shelves):

We used a walnut-toned stain and simply sprayed it on the wood. If we were painting a similar piece of unfinished pine, we would need to sand, prime, sand, paint (possibly 2-3 coats depending on the color), and so on–and don’t forget the drying time in between all of those layers–so spraying stain on instead of paint made this go so much faster. Then we just sealed with a top coat of polyurethane.

Using the stain in a sprayer was so easy!  Stain by nature is thinner than paint, so you can skip the usual step of thinning it with water before you put in in the sprayer. The FinishMax gave it a nice even coat of stain, just do several coats until you get the desired amount of coverage. I just set up a little spray area on my deck and we gave the wood two coats of stain, it dries super quick which was important since this was a weekend project!


stained shelves before

sprayed shelves after

After the shelves were stained, given a clear coat for protection, and enough time to dry, we moved on to the next step–actually hanging them on the wall.

Here is the “How-To” video of the project–it’s rare Christy and I are even in the same state much less creating a project together so we decided to create a video! Take a look, but don’t forget to keep reading to the end of the post because there is a giveaway for a HomeRight FinishMax Pro Sprayer.


With tape measure and level in hand, we did some advanced math (not really) and decided on the placement and spacing of our shelves. We wanted them about 12″ apart, although we probably could have gone as far as 15″ apart and they still would have looked good. If you know that you have a taller item that you want to store on your shelves, just plan their height accordingly.


Tutorial for easy DIY open shelving | 11 Magnolia Lane

Two sets of hands were so helpful as we installed the brackets and checked (over and over again) to be sure we had the shelves level! Since we didn’t have wall studs located where we wanted our brackets, we used 50lb. drywall anchors to be sure that our shelves would be able to hold quite a bit of weight.


Tutorial for easy DIY open shelving | 11 Magnolia Lane

Before we knew it, it was time for the best part of every DIY project–decorating the results! We operate in a similar manner when we’re staging a space–place an item, step back and stare at it, move it an inch to the right, step back and stare at it, move it to another shelf, step back and stare at it…you get the idea. It’s not very scientific, but I love what we came up with:


Tutorial for easy DIY open shelving | 11 Magnolia Lane

The little bench might get replaced by a covered basket one day, but for now it’s the perfect place for my daughter to sit and pull her shoes on and off.


Tutorial for easy DIY open shelving | 11 Magnolia Lane

Tutorial for easy DIY open shelving | 11 Magnolia Lane

Tutorial for easy DIY open shelving | 11 Magnolia Lane

Projects are so much easier and much more fun with a friend. Next up we’ll have to tackle something in Christy’s new house, since I am the lucky one that gets to enjoy these every day.


11 Magnolia Lane | Amy & Christy

OK, now here is the fun part. We’re giving away a HomeRight Finish Max Pro! We’ve shown you so many times how easy it is to use a Home Right Sprayer with paint projects, using it with stain was so easy. It opens a whole new world of projects that you can use a sprayer for!

Enter to win using the widget below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thanks Christy, for making the trek to do this project with me. And thanks to HomeRight for sponsoring this post 🙂

Did you like our video? We need to make some more “how-to” videos, in fact I think Christy and I need to plan another DIY weekend again soon.  Good luck with the giveaway everyone!

{The fine print: We are proud to work with HomeRight as a brand ambassador and they sponsored this post, however our opinions are always our own. Affiliate links are used in this post}.

Sources: Shelves/Wood/Brackets–Home Depot, “World Print” Dear Lillie, Shelf Decor: Anthropologie and HomeGoods.


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  1. Your shelves turned out beautiful and I loved the video!!! xo Megan

  2. The shelves turned out beautiful and I love the video!! This Max Pro Sprayer would be perfect for so many projects!! Great giveaway! xo Megan

  3. carollynn says

    The shelves are great. OMG! What I could do with a sprayer like that! Walls, doors, furniture would all become new again using that magic tool!

  4. Love the shelves – I’m going to be doing some myself in a few weeks. I will be painting them rather than staining though. I’m sure the sprayer would be a real asset!! (For more than just that project!

  5. lots of furniture projects this summer! Can’t wait to get started!

  6. We have several projects planned and what a time saver this would be…

  7. I love how you styled the shelves! It makes such a beautiful impact!

  8. adriana esparta says

    great work girls!!!
    another beautiful project on my to do list…

  9. I love all the projects you do with your sprayer–I definitely need one!

  10. I think I will add this to my list of future projects! The sprayer would be great for my dining room table top!

  11. Oh the projects I could do! What a great giveaway!

  12. I live this whole look but wouldn’t covering the air return cause problems? I know they are ugly, I’d love to cover all mine too!

  13. Love the shelves and the video!

  14. beverly e says

    I’m putting a new top on an old table. I was going to paint it, but now I’m thinking about the dark walnut stain!

  15. We are redoing the top of our kitchen table. Hopefully it turns out well!

  16. Judy Helser says

    I’m refinishing the molding in my house and adding some wood accents to our ceilings. Thanks for the great ideas!!

  17. Anita Skelton says

    Love the shelves! And I loved you had a special friend to help you with this project!

  18. Stacy Green says

    Looks great! I have several projects in the works and this would be perfect for them. Shelves in my son’s room and a library in my dining room.

  19. Stacy D. says

    I would like to stain my kitchen chairs! They are looking a little rough.

  20. Tobi Schaap says

    Moving to a new house in the Boston area…needing this sprayer to refinish some kitchen cabinets!!!

  21. I just picked up a three-legged table on the side of the road and I’m debating on paint or stain.

  22. Sharlene Piscitelli says

    I have a dresser that I am redoing for storage in the living room.

  23. Tara Singer says

    NIC WORK on the video!!! Love, love, love it. 🙂

  24. Chelsea G says

    I need to stain my deck!

  25. Yes, I have an outdoor wooden table and chair set that is just dying for a new stain job. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  26. Patricia C says

    I’m planning on putting some shelves on some fences with lattice for plant window boxes. I want to plant morning glories for a privacy screen

  27. What a wonderful giveaway!! Thanks for the chance!

  28. Mrs. Waller says

    Thanks for the opportunity, ladies! Your site is amazing!

  29. This would be such a godsend ! We’re just about to move into a 1957 house with a 1980’skitchen and I would love to paint the cabinets !

  30. Angelia W. says

    The shelves look fantastic! We are about to start painting our kitchen cabinets, so the sprayer would come in quite useful. Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  31. We are rebuilding a bench with new boards….they have all been sanded. waiting to be stained. HomeRight Finish
    Pro Sprayer would be wonderful to finish this job!
    Love your blog and enjoyed the video.

  32. Ashleigh Hall says

    I am actually in the middle of 2 big staining projects!! We are restaining our exterior wooden stairs and I am restaining a huge table I just finished stripping and sanding!

  33. I’m a new follower, but already I’m becoming addicted to your posts and videos. You’re ideas are inspirational and achievable. Thanks for bringing all of this wonderful information.

  34. Abby Barge says

    Yes actually! We’re renovating my house and we want to tear apart a bunch of skids so we can stain them and nail them to the wall. Such perfect timing for this giveaway!

  35. I have a bedroom dresser that I’d love to restain.

  36. So many projects would be made easier by this wonderful tool. Painting walls – I change my mind regularly on what color they should be, furniture and doors could easily get painted with this magical tool. Not to mention the time it would save.

  37. I need to stain my deck this spring.

  38. I have a kitchen table and a desk for my son that desperately need repainting.

  39. Love the shelves! I would love to have a paint sprayer. Currently, I have 2 projects (and more in my head) where this would be invaluable to save time.

  40. Angela Cash says

    I would love to strip the paint from an old desk that I have and stain it. It is a blah gray color but I bet the wood underneath all that paint is gorgeous.

  41. How cute are you two??? I’m sure this was a fun day! The shelves look fabulous and finish the space so well – love the decorating accents atop the dark stained wood … looks perfect! xx, b

  42. Beautiful!!! im trying this in my kitchen

  43. As another military wife, I love love your blog (saw it first on a Spouses board online!), especially ways to liven up our rental. (And to spruce up our “forever home” which is currently rented!) That sprayer would help! ; )

  44. I would love to try this on shelves for my family room.

  45. I would love to try this on some bookcases in our living room.

  46. Always love y’all’s posts!

  47. I really need to do some of those open shelves! Love them!

  48. MARTHAIA says

    The decks need updated this would certainly do it..

  49. I love what you did!! and the brackets…WOW!! Could you tell me where you got the brackets?

  50. I love it but can you please tell me where you got the sign about “Wonderful thing”

  51. I love the shelves, and especially how you have them styled! Great tutorial…you make it look so easy! Will definitely pin this for future use!

  52. Great tutorial! I love this idea. I will have to put some shelving in my kitchen now.

  53. Love this – doing something very similar in my kitchen! One question – did you attach the shelves to the brackets in some way?

  54. Love this – accomplishing something fundamentally the same as in my kitchen! One inquiry – did you connect the racks to the sections somehow?

  55. So functional! I am sharing this on Pinterest.

  56. Where did you find the little milk bottle holder? I love it!

    • That came from a small store in my town, but I have seen similar ones at HomeGoods and online at Antique Farmhouse! Good luck 🙂 Amy

  57. What size pine did you use? I don’t see the depth listed. Thanks!

  58. how wide were your planks, are they 10 or 12 inch?

    • Hi Emily–sorry for the delay. I had to measure! Mine are actually 9″, because I had a niche that was the depth I had to work with. I hope that helps!

  59. Kim Shirley says

    We are about to start a kitchen remodel & ive gone back & forth about painting the garage existing cabinets. You have inspired me to do it! Great tips.

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