Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit

This project came totally out of necessity.  I just added all the new MMS milk paint colors to my booth a couple weeks ago and they wouldn’t all fit in my current display.  And then the piece that had the extra paint on it sold that same day.  So I had to do something.  And fast!  On my way home that night I wracked my brain for ideas on how my husband and I could build something that would fit all the colors and while also fitting my style.  I’ve never been quite happy with my booth, so I’m slowly trying to shape it into something I’m really proud of.  Anyway, my husband and I have really been into the industrial look over the past couple years, so I thought that would be a good direction to go.

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Over the next few days, we brainstormed together and picked up all the supplies we needed.  I love that my husband loves to build things!  I was watching him work one night (because, really there wasn’t much for me to do) and I just thought to myself “I love that we have such common interests.  I love that our marriage has grown over the last (almost) 10 years into something that’s even better now than when it started.  It makes me happy that we can build and work together and that we both love to do it!”  I never would have imagined even 3 short years ago when we moved here that we’d be renovating our home and building furniture together.  It makes me so grateful that God put the two of us together.  I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to share my life with!

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

As you may have noticed by now, this doesn’t look like much of a paint display at this point!  Well, I only had two bags of paint at home (I pour my paint into mason jars when I open the bag because they’re easier to close) plus it’s super hard to take pictures of my booth with two kids running around, so I decided to just style the display at home as a bookshelf for the pictures. Which made me like the piece even more!  I really would keep this piece in a heartbeat if it weren’t so huge!  We have a small house and there’s no way this piece would fit long term.  It’s massive!  Oh, and heavy!  It was a beast trying to get this thing up from the basement!

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

Industrial Pipe Shelving Unit -

We’re thinking about the possibility of taking custom orders for shelving units like this, but they’d have to be local.  Can you imagine the shipping cost on one of these bad boys?!  Oy!

Oh, and although I didn’t take any “professional” pictures of my booth, I wanted to share this quick cell phone shot I shared on instagram the other day.  I’m so happy with the final look of the display.  I really think it showcases the milk paint products well and let’s them stand out a bit more than they did before!  Hopefully this will get people even more excited about the paint!  

The Golden Sycamore - Industrial Shelving Milk Paint Display

PS – I’m not doing a tutorial on this piece at this time.  Mostly because my husband worked on it after I went to bed most nights, so I didn’t take pictures along the way.  If we decide to build a similar piece (we are thinking about it for our basement), I’ll be sure to give you guys a step by step guide!

*Linking to Lil’ Luna

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  1. says

    That shelf is incredible! It looks like it’s out of a catalog. You should definitely sell them! I am always struggling with how to fit all of the milk paint and accessories in my display and the new colors threw me a curve ball too. It’s always evolving.

  2. says

    Love it :) I know you’re not doing a tutorial, but could you tell me what the back cross bars are? I can figure all the piping and shelves out from the pics, but I can’t’ tell if those are decorative flat metal pieces or more cylindrical pipe! Thanks

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Thanks, Anna! They are flat steel (an inch or inch and a quarter), but they are not decorative. The piece swayed really bad until we put them on. They keep it nice and tight now! :)

  3. Nana says

    What an awesome idea! It is perfect and I love that you built it together … building furniture and building your life together, how great is that! Great job and applause to two people I love!

  4. Marlene Stephenson says

    Your shelf is just great,it certainly would be good for little kids since they like to climb on them. I’m a grandmother so i think of things that are safe for kids.Can’t wait for you to show us how, i need a shelf.

  5. Anne Anderson says

    It’s perfect for your paint! You and Travis do such beautiful work together—I mean, just look at those 2 little girls! :)

  6. Ana says

    I love this shelf! Y’all did an awesome job. This is exactly what I was looking for to put in my son’s room to hold all of his toy crates. Could you tell me how you attached the wood shelves to the pipes? It looks like there are some type of screws but I wasn’t sure how they would screw into the pipe. Thanks!

  7. says

    I absolutely love the industrial look we are in the midst of adding these touches to our home. Love the look of this industrial shelf it would be perfect in my preteens room!! Thanks for the great post!

  8. says

    I was trolling around on the internet looking for something, and you know how one click leads you to another, to another, and pretty soon I ended up here admiring your shelving display. It looks great!

  9. Cassie says

    Hi Alison,

    I am very interested in talking to you about this type of shelving unit. are you still making these and what is the cost for something like this?

    Thank you in advance

  10. Amber says

    Hi! I just love your piece !! Is there any way you could tell me what you used on the wood to achieve that color? I’m am building this as we speak for my sons room and just love that color wood!

  11. Jessica says

    This came out great! I built something similar for a clothing display. I would love to know how you attached the cross bars?

  12. Kristin says

    How in the world did your husband assemble the pipes? I started to get everything ready for assembly only to realize everything is threaded the same way and as you tighten one side, the opposite side loosens. Help!

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      You have to make it piece by piece. It’s kind of trial and error. Not having it in front of us, he can’t really remember how he did it! 😉 Sorry I’m not much help!

  13. Rita says

    It’s a nice rack and I am doing a rack by myself. Now I have a big problem, how do you tight and stable every part? When I am about to getting all the stuff together. The last part of rack can’t be adjusted tightly, because there are 2 pieces of tee that i have to put them together with 1 nipple. I can’t adjust tightly beacause they are opsite directions. How do you deal with it?

  14. Devan says

    I love your shelving! Do you mind me asking how much room you left between your shelves? And how tall did it end up being?

    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Unfortunately, this piece is now a display piece and is no longer in my home. I didn’t take any measurements, so I really can’t answer your questions. So sorry!

  15. Cindy says

    Oh my gosh Allison that shelf is awesome! I’m planning to do a pipe project also and I like the color of pipe you used but can’t tell exactly what it is….at the hardware store they had galvanized and black. I don’t want black but also don’t want the very silver/shiny galvanized either…what did you use?

  16. Jessica says

    Amazing work! I LOVE you and your blog. What type of wood and treatment did you use on it? I’m assuming a stain. Thanks!

  17. Julia says

    Love this shelf! My husband and I are building it for our daughter’s first apartment. When you get started it’s not that easy to get all parts doing what you want them to do. Any tips on how to get all the parts lined up and tightened properly?
    Working from the bottom up, we can get some pieces together, then stuck when trying to go higher and get all parts fitted together.

    HELP! ANYONE?!! :)

  18. Jared says

    Similar question to several previous posts about how all of the pieces were constructed given many would need to be tightened at the same time. I have built several of the type that are attached to the wall or ceiling, but never a free standing one like this. Can you advise how you were able to accomplish this? Thanks.


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