Fresh Build: Industrial Shelving Cart

Meet the latest resident of my kichen, an Industrial shelving cart on wheels built of wood and galvanized plumbing pipes.


I fell in love with one I had seen on pinterest and could not get it out of my mind. The top shelf would be the perfect storage for the oversized and extremely-ugly-microwave-that won’t-die, and it’s cousin the toaster oven.
The lower shelves would be perfect to hold produce in little baskets.
I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need one more piece of furniture, that I could just repurpose something else. A few weeks of living with ‘something else’ proved that I would indeed be building this cart.

This is the kind of project that I love: quick and easy!
It is made of:

3 – 2×12  (4ft lengths) pine boards
8 – 1/2” x 12” Galvanized pipe nipples
16 – 1/2” galvanized pipe flanges
4 – casters
about a million screws
Total Cost without the casters (already had on hand): $80


Four of these these things are not like the other… Why? because they came from a previous project.
Aaaand I was
a)too cheap to buy new ones (have you priced out metal lately? Gawd!)
b)too lazy to strip off the old paint. But wuteva.

I think we’ve established that I’m lazy, impatient, and prone to shortcuts,  especially when it comes to things like, say, waiting for paint to dry.
I wanted to age the wood because plain new wood= yawn…

I didn’t have the patience to make my special aging mix…that takes days.
I certainly didn’t want to paint this piece. I wanted an aged look to the wood. Lately I find myself in lust with aged wood.
(I have real aged wood in one of my upcoming projects, so stay tuned.)

So, like I was saying I wanted an aged wood look to this piece, so I came up with something pretty simple using my favorite wax and stain combo.


I went to work mixing a good amount of both together. Now, I don’t have a scientific formula for this, just eyeball measurements. I mixed a certain amount of wax, with a certain amount of stain, till I got what you see in the jar on the right. Experiment till you find a saturation of color you like.

I then applied one coat of the wax/stain combo to the wood, using an old trouser sock (yeah I hate those, but they’re handy for staining wood) I made sure to really rub the stain into the wood so it would sink into the nooks and crannies instead of just glossing over them. That’s what makes the wood look more aged.


Seethe difference? The best part of this? I could go right into my favorite part, the build. No waiting for the stain to dry, no waiting to apply the wax.  Mission accomplished in one easy step.


After staining/waxing all 3 boards, then came the fun part: Assembly.

1. Work from the bottom up, start with the casters.


2. Flip over the board, so the casters are on the bottom, then attach he first set of flanges and pipes.


The threads can be a little tricky on the pipes, so check for square.

3. Layer on the shelves, lather, rinse, repeat…

et voila!


When I planned this shelf, I thought 2 shelves would be plenty. I very quickly discovered that I need at least one more, so the plan is to add add 4 foot pipe sections to make an extra tall shelf to have enough clearance for the microwave and a shelf basket I plan to put under the top shelf.

And there ya have it folks, an easy peasy shelf that can be built in one afternoon.


15 thoughts on “Fresh Build: Industrial Shelving Cart

  1. Heather McCune Bruhn says:

    Yetunde, this is GORGEOUS. We’re renovating this year and I will finally get an art studio all to my self… Your projects are really inspiring my plans for the studio. Thank you.

    • afromartha says:

      Thank you so much for visiting! It always warms my heart when someone finds my projects to be useful and helpful. Lucky you having your own studio space, that is wonderful! Let me know if there are any project ideas/dilemmas you’d like me to help solve.

  2. Libby says:

    For you, one afternoon, but for me…a lifetime! This is such a gorgeous piece. I love the stain mix you created. And I had to laugh to myself about how you used a trouser sock, but whatever works, right? Gorgeous!

  3. April michelle alford says:

    This is lovely, and I plan to do this project soon. I plan to use it in my second bedroom. I will link a post when I get it together. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Yetunde Rodriguez says:

      Hello April!
      Thanks for stopping by. So happy you like the project. It was a fairly simple build really. I love it in my kitchen where it holds my microwaver, toaster oven, coffee maker, speakers and other things. Let me know if you need any help.

  4. nikki says:

    Absolutely stunning!!! I’ll be building something very similar for my son’s room. Were going for that industrial vintage look. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Yetunde Rodriguez says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by!
      I’m so happy you love my Industrial shelf. It was a fun and easy build, and I think it will make a fine addition to your Son’s room. I’d love to see it when you complete it.

  5. Teresa says:

    Love this spin on the industrial shelf… been searching for an easy way to maximize:organize my workspace and your diy project has been the one I keep goin back to! So… now, since it looks so easy to tackle, I’ve decided to expand my desk project to a full wall space with desk +2 side-by-side shelves. So! I have questionssss! How sturdy are the screws you used? What length/size etc. did you use? I’ve seen a few peeps use bolts vs. screws; what are your thoughts on that option?? I’m buying my lumber and staining today and still bargain shopping for the massive hardware purchase! (50 nips, 100!! flanges) had wax and stain on hand and totally agree! It is a must have!! I’ve never seen your stain+wax concoction so, totally stoked about that!! Looking forward to hearing from ya! Thanks so much for your blog and for taking the time to share!

    • Yetunde Rodriguez says:

      Thank you so much for checking out my blog and project! I’m so happy to hear that it has inspired your project! I used plain old 1″ wood-screws for mine. It was very very sturdy, as I found out. I have since taken down the shelves and turned them to wall shelves in my kitchen, using the nipples as shelf supports and the flanges as end caps. I think bolts would be overkill, but nothing wrong with using them. I loooove my wax/stain concoction, and it has held up well over time. Good luck with the project, and I’d love to see your finished product when you’re done.

    • Yetunde Rodriguez says:

      Thank you so much for visiting, and for your kind words! I’m happy to hear that you love the cart. I have gotten lots of great use from it, and the finish is holding up very nicely. Thanks again for visiting!

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