One Room Challenge Week 6: Custom Pot Rail Shelf DIY

This week we rolled up our sleeves, and began tackling a really ugly wall in our kitchen that has been begging for some updates. So let’s get into it!

Welcome to week 6 of the One Room Challenge! To those of you who are new here, I’m currently part of a design challenge that consists of designing and renovating one space in my home in just 8 weeks! The space I’ve decided to complete is the Holly House Kitchen! Each Wednesday I log on to document my progress and share the fun projects we’ve been up to around here!

Check out my other ORC Posts Here:

The Range Hood Question:

The back wall of our kitchen area has been a looming question mark for some time. This is where the stove was positioned upon us moving in and truly the only place where it can go in our cozy kitchen.

One unique thing about this positioning is that there is no vent hood and truly no room for one on the wall. We considered demo-ing the pantry to the right and then sliding the stove down and creating a range hood over it, but this would still be a bit cramped since the ceiling of the pantry is slanted (under the stairs). Plus, we’d lose the only tiny pantry space we have in the kitchen.

I love a statement range hood so I was a little bummed about this, but I decided to start doing some research about the pros/cons of having a range hood which led me to the following question:

Do you HAVE to have a range hood for your kitchen to be safe?

The answer is, technically, no. As long as you have some sort of vent system to the outside of your kitchen to remove cooking fumes and smoke. In our kitchen this is a small fan on the back wall above the stove that vents outside the house.

My issue with that is that it’s not pretty. I wanted to devise a way I could cover the fan when I’m not cooking and create a fun accent wall + storage for my prettier kitchen items.

DIY Pot Rail Shelf

The idea I came up with is a shelf + pot rail combo. I’ve always loved THIS pot rail from Rejuvenation, but it’s incredibly pricey and too long for my space. I also was having trouble finding unlacquered brass pot rails which I really wanted over polished brass.

In our last house, I made a mini pot rail from some piping I bought from a lamp store called Grand Brass.

(The total project was $20!!) It came out super cute, but I wanted this pot rail to be thicker and closer in circumference to the Rejuvenation rail which is 1″. I also wanted to insert the pot rail into a shelf of some sort so I could store pretty dishes on top. I think we came up with a pretty good design!

DIY Pot Rail Shelf: Step by Step

To start, I picked up these 2 simple corbels from Home Depot. They aren’t anything fancy but add a nice element. Plus, they were thick enough and had enough space towards the top of the corbel that we could drill a pocket hole to fit the pot rail in.

I decided to use a poplar board to top the shelf. It’s a little nicer quality than pine and is a harder wood. I had them cut the board to the size I needed. I also looked for brass pipe at Home Depot but unfortunately, they didn’t carry any at my local store.

I ordered the pot rail through Grand Brass again and went with the thickest circumference size they offered: UNFINISHED BRASS PIPE WITH 3/8 IPS FEMALE THREADS (5/8in Deep Thread)

Of note, they do their sizing by IPS (Internal pipe size) while Rejuvenation measures from the outer circumference. The 3/8 IPS is close to 1/2 inch IPS and the outer circumference was just under an inch, so it was pretty close to the Rejuvenation style!

Prime, Sand, and Paint Wood Elements:

The next step was to sand + prime the corbels and the shelf. The corbels are pretty well sanded but the shelf took a few good runs with a fine grit sand paper.

Then I used Kiltz spray primer and topped it off with paint to match my lovely cabinets, BM Natural Cream in a satin finish!

Drilling Pocket Holes for the Pot Rail:

I’m not sure if pocket holes are the right term, but basically, I wanted the pot rail to run between the 2 corbels but not pop out on the other side. That way the corbels have a nice finished look and the pot rail is more secure.

Nate created the holes in the corbel using this 7/8 inch power drill bit. He drilled halfway through each corbel and then stopped so we could have the nice finished look.

Attaching the Corbels + Adding the Rail + Shelf

From here it was basically attaching everything to the wall. Nate pre-drilled the holes for the corbel, fit the pipe between each side and then slid the corbel into the screws on the wall.

After that was attached, we used liquid nails and our Ryobi nail gun to attach the 1×4 board to the top.

Finishing Touches

Always the most important part! We made sure to carefully caulk the seams between the top shelf and the corbels to make it look like one seamless piece. We used paintable caulk so we could touch everything up afterward.

And of course, the most fun part was hanging my lovely copper pot collection which served two purposes:

  • Storage and Beauty
  • Covering the ugly vent fan when I’m not using it. When I need to turn the vent on, I can easily slide the pots down the rail!

Lastly, I got to style the top shelf with some pretty vintage bowls I purchased on FB marketplace.

That’s it! What do you think of this pot rail shelf idea to act as a disguise for an ugly vent? I’m loving it so far!

What’s On The Schedule For The Next 2 Weeks?!

I can’t believe it’s already week 6 and I’m realizing as always that my plans were VERY ambitious for a SAHM mom of 3 who works as an RN on the weekends… LOL. However, here are a few things I’d be SO happy to get accomplished by the end of this challenge:

  • Refrigerator cabinet
  • Curtains
  • Kitchen Island

Is that too much? Maybe… But stay tuned to find out! Also, don’t forget to check out the other amazing ORC contributors!

As always, be sure to check out all the other fantastic contributors to the ORC Spring 2024 here!

Also be sure to check out Apartment Therapy for some of best featured projects!

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