This pipe shelving project has a glamorous look, but is super practical with its attached lighting.
Jenn Woodhouse, of The House of Wood, built shelving unit using black iron pipe, 1 x 10 boards, spray paint and LED light bulbs. Follow along with her tutorial to build your own glam pipe shelves.
DIY Pipe Shelving with Lighting
With just a few supplies from the plumbing and lighting department, you can make this beautiful and functional DIY lighted pipe shelving. LDR Industries has released a trendy new line of black pipe materials and Pipe Décor kits. Black iron pipe would have looked a bit heavy and masculine in my space, so I customized it by spray-painting the pipe pieces a pretty metallic gold. Cree’s new LED light bulbs enhance the color of the room with its soft white glow, providing high-quality, affordable lighting.
- (2) ½ in. x 24 in. Pipe Décor Connectors
- (2) ½ in. x 18 in. Pipe Décor Connectors
- (2) ½ in. x 12 in. Pipe Décor Connectors
- (6) ½ in. x 10 in. Pipe Décor Connectors
- (4) ½ in. x 4 in. Pipe Décor Connectors
- (6) ½ in. x 2 in. Pipe Décor Connectors
- (7) ½ in. Pipe Décor Tees
- (6) ½ in. Pipe Décor 90-Degree Elbows
- (2) ½ in. Black Iron Couplings
- (6) ½ in. Pipe Décor Pipe Flanges
- (2) ½ in. x 1¼ in. Pipe Décor Reducer Couplings
- Brake Cleaner
- (2) Cree 60W Soft White LED Bulbs
- (2) Light Sockets
- (2) 8 ft. Cord Sets
- (4) Standard Wire Connectors
- (2) Metal Lamp Guards
- (2) 1 x 10 x 8 ft. Boards
- Rust-Oleum Metallic Gold Spray Paint
- White Semi-Gloss Latex Interior Paint
Step 1: Clean and Spray Paint the Pipe Parts
I used brake cleaner to clean the black pipe, then I spray-painted them with Rust-Oleum’s Metallic Gold Spray Paint. While the pipe parts were drying, I cut my 1 x 10 ft. boards to length with a circular saw. You may want to cut your shelves to fit your space; mine are 44 in. long. I sanded all the rough edges with 150-grit sandpaper, then followed with 220-grit. I removed the dust and debris and painted the shelves with a white semi-gloss latex interior paint.
Step 2: Assemble the Pipe Parts and Thread the Lamp Cord
I recommend running the lamp cord through the pipe parts as you assemble them. Don’t screw the parts on tightly in case you need to make adjustments later. Once you’ve run the lamp cord all the way through to the reducer couplings, it’s time to connect the wire to the light socket.
Step 3: Connect the Lamp Wires
*Disclaimer: if you don’t feel comfortable completing the electrical portion of this project, I recommend that you hire a licensed electrician to perform the following steps.
Make sure the cord is unplugged while you’re working. The lamp cord and socket will each have two wires. Connect the black wire to the hot wire and the white wire to the neutral wire by twisting the wires together. Screw on a wire connector, ensuring that there are no exposed wires.
Feed the wires and connectors into the pipe parts. I found that they fit best in the 90-degree elbow pieces.
This is what one side of the shelf should look like when you’re done. Tighten all connections and prepare to hang on the wall.
Step 4: Hang the Shelf on the Wall
Using a stud finder, locate the studs in the wall or use heavy duty drywall anchors to hang the shelf up. Slide the shelves into place. You may choose to attach the shelf to the pipe with ½ in. pipe straps.
I attached a power strip under the bottom shelf, screwed in the light bulbs and plugged the lamps in, hiding the wires along the underside of the bottom shelf.
The Completed DIY Lighted Pipe Shelf