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DIY Wood Covers for Wire Shelving

If you hate the wire shelves in your pantry or closet, and you are looking to update them, keep reading. Here is how to DIY wood covers to hide that ugly wire shelving.

In the half bath, we have a roomy and useful closet with sliding doors. In this closet, I mostly store seasonal home decor, paper towels, board games, and other knick-knacks. I like to corral and categorize things in baskets, but no matter how hard I try, it always looks cluttered and ugly.

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This bathroom has been begging for some TLC for quite some time. The Tuscan yellow is an eyesore. I painted the walls with leftover paint from when I painted the laundry room.

Much better, right?

Updated for 2021: Powder Room Makeover

But a coat of paint did not solve the conundrum inside the closet. So I thought I could hide the wire shelving by covering them with wood overlays.

diy covers for wire shelves

Look at it now. The wood covers completely hide the wire shelving, and it looks so good! Needless to say, I had a major decluttering session.

So, let me show you how I transformed this closet and covered the ugly wire shelving with these do-it-yourself wood covers.

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How to Make Wood Covers for Wire Shelving

Tool and Materials You Will Need

  • Plywood sheathing – 1/4 inch x  4 ft x 8 ft. The number of sheets needed will depend on the number of shelves you will be making and their depth.
  • Select Pine board – 1-inch x 4-inch x 6 ft.  (Actual size: 3/4 inch x  3 1/2 inch) – These are for the facing of the shelves. Again, the amount needed will depend on the number of shelves and their width.
  • Wood glue
  • Staple gun and staplesWe used crown staples 1-inch long x 1/4 inch wide
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Wood putty and palm sander – Optional: to cover staples and sand off the surface.
  • One-step varnish and urethane – Color of choice.
  • Brush & gloves – to apply varnish

Cuts On The Table Saw for Wire Shelf Covers

Plywood Sheet

Follow these steps to rip the plywood to make the top of the shelf. My shelves are 16 3/4 inches deep.

Step 1.

Adjust measurements on the table saw, and place the plywood sheet in position to cut it to the necessary depth. This is the same dimension as your current wire shelves.

diy wood covers for shelves
Step 2.

Run the plywood sheet on the table saw and cut the entire length at the depth needed. You will end with two plywood pieces. One will become the top wood cover for the wire shelf, and you can set the other remaining piece aside. Save it for another project!

diy covers for wire shelves

Pine Board

We purchased Select Pine board labeled as 1 x 4 x 6 ft select pine board, at Home Depot.

Note: Actual measurements of the select pine board are 3/4inch thick by 3 1/2 inches wide by 6 feet long.

Step 1.

Adjust the table saw blade, cut a 1/2 inch deep notch on the 3/4 inch side of the pine board.

how to hide wire shelving
Step 2.

Adjust the table saw blade, cut a 1/4 inch deep on the 3 1/2 inch side of the pine board.

how to hide wire shelving

Cuts on The Miter Saw For Wire Shelf Covers

Plywood Sheet

Cut the plywood sheathing to the length needed. When finally cut to the right depth and length, each plywood sheet is the top part of the shelf. This is the actual cover that goes over the wire shelves.

diy wood covers for closet shelves

Pine Board

Cut the pine board to the length size needed. This is the facing piece that goes perpendicular to the plywood sheet. It will be the front piece (lip) of the wood cover.

wood covers

How to Assemble The Wood Covers

Step 1.

Apply glue along the lengths of the cut made on the pine board (facing board).

Step 2.

Run your index finger over the glue to smear it on the wood.

Step 3.

Place the sheet of plywood (shelf) over the notch smeared with glue.

Step 4.

Reinforce by stapling the plywood boards on the pine board. Place staples about 8 inches apart.

Here’s a look at the assembled shelves.

Stain the Wood Covers

Place the shelves over a working surface. I like to use a folding table to work on my projects. Stain the shelves and let them dry completely before sliding over the wire shelving.

June 2016

Here’s a side view of the covers.

how to hide wire shelving
September 2021

This project was completed and published in June of 2016. Here’s an updated picture from September of 2021. The wood covers are still in perfect condition. They are not heavy, and the wire shelves have not collapsed from the weight of the wood covers and the items placed on them.

diy wood covers for wire shelves
Updated Picture – September 2021

Closet Makeover With New Shelves

The closet looks beautiful with the custom-made wood covers. The wood covers easily slide in and out over the old wire shelving.

how to hide wire shelving
Updated picture – September of 2021

Everything is concealed in pretty decorative baskets. Nothing like it to complete the tidy look. Bath tissue at your fingertips without having to look at that ugly closet mess. The tall baskets hold all random seasonal home decor. Candles and candle holders are easy to hide inside the baskets, but also easy to pull out when I need them.

how to hide wire shelving

The bath tissue, found a new home in a deep basket, on the second shelf from the bottom up.

Paper towels are easy to store and easy to reach in this deep and long basket. Everything is concealed!

how to hide wire shelving

Take one last look at the amazing transformation. The wire shelves are completely covered with these custom wood shelves.

how to hide wire shelving

Update: Take a look at this same closet organization in 2021.

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12 Comments

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  2. Super cute way to cover up that old wire shelving! Love how this turned out and how organized your closet looks now. Such a wonderful transformation!

      1. Not to throw a wet blanket but if I had a table saw and those kind of skills i would have built wooden shelves in the first place. The wire shelves are for the unskilled non-DIY’ers like me (we need something simpler). Looks great, though.

        1. Hi MacDuude! Wire shelves are not necessarily for the unskilled; they install them in homes with “builder grade” finishes. This is what we found in this house when we moved in. I try to keep my projects on the lower end of the budget so others can recreate them without spending a fortune. Regardless of budget though, I like to aim for classy and functional projects, and this is one for the books. Thanks for stopping by!

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