Easy to Build Open Chunky Shelving

Inexpensive Open Shelving

When we converted the spare bedroom into a kitchen after the tree fell on the house, we reused the old lower cabinets and countertop, but didn’t want to use the upper cabinets in fear that they would overpower that tiny room and make it look smaller. We decided that plain and simple open shelving would be an inexpensive option that would fit our needs perfectly. The easy to build open chunky shelving is a quick project that turned into fabulous storage without breaking the bank, plus it is the perfect project for any skill level!

easy to build open chunky shelving_completed

The shelving can be built as a straight line or in an L shape, like I did. The L shape has mitered corners that are reinforced with flat metal braces on the underside. Always make sure the brackets used for this and any other shelving is screwed into a wall stud!


  • 2-1/2” pocket hole screws (<– affiliate link!)
  • 2-1/2” screws
  • 1-1/4” screws
  • 8×8 metal corner brackets (the number will depend on the span of the shelving across the wall studs – one bracket per wall stud) (<– affiliate link!)
  • 4×4 metal flat braces (two per shelf for the underside if using a mitered corner) (<– affiliate link!)
  • Sandpaper
  • Finishing supplies


  • 2 – 2x10x8

Cut List:

  • Cut pieces according to size desired… My shelves measure 53” x 36” in an L shape with a mitered corner

Notes About the Project:

Plan accordingly, making sure the shelving will span the appropriate number of wall studs for the desired length.

Step One

Cut the shelving as desired. I cut a miter across each board at 36” for the shorter leg of my shelving, then cut the remaining piece to the desired length leaving me with shorter pieces for shelving on the other side of the sink.

Stain and finish or paint the shelving. After sanding, I used a stain called Briarsmoke and a matte finish.

easy to build open chunky shelving_stain

Step Two

Spray paint the brackets, if desired. Use a metal primer first, then the regular paint. I used a color called Flat Soft Iron. Don’t forget to paint the screw heads the same color!

easy to build open chunky shelving_brackets

Step Three

Mark the position of the shelves and brackets on the wall. I wanted the bottom of the shelves to be 18” above the countertop. I made a mark on the wall at each wall stud at 19-1/2” for the top face of the shelf and at 18” to mark the bottom of the shelf. (A laser level is extremely helpful!) I used 2-1/2” screws to secure the brackets to the wall before adding the shelves.

The upper shelf is located 12” above the lower shelf.

easy to build open chunky shelving_layout

Step Four

If using a mitered corner, drill pocket holes in each end of the miter, then assemble the shelves using 2-1/2” pocket hole screws. Install the flat braces to the underside of the miter positioning them so they won’t interfere with the wall brackets.

Secure the shelves to the wall brackets using 1-1/4” screws.

easy to build open chunky shelving_miters

The easy to build open chunky shelving is perfect for our space! It adds much needed storage without making it look smaller, and since the ceiling is low, it adds a little bit of height to the room! Have any questions about the open chunky shelving? Leave a comment below!

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