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How To Replace Wire Shelving With DIY Wood Shelves | Thrifty Decor Chick

How to replace wire linen closet shelving with sturdy wood shelves. 

This messy linen closet has been a thorn in my side for YEARS! I finally
removed the wire shelves and replaced them with wood in this closet

Our upstairs linen closet is where we keep most of our linens for the house,
since we use our downstairs linen closet for extras like paper towels,
kitchen towels, toilet paper, etc. 

Yes, we are so lucky to have tons of storage in our house! It just doesn’t
always function how we would like! 🙂 

So let’s finally fix that. I loathe wire shelves…but we went as
inexpensive as possible in these closets when we built. I knew I could
replace the shelving for cheaper. 

I just thought I would get it done sooner than almost seven years later. 😂

Here’s the mess we were dealing with: 

messy linen closet

Most of the time I kept it somewhat under control, but over the past six
months or so we kind of gave up and just started stuffing things in there
and shoving the door shut.

Stuffing the pillows in between the door and shelves just right is a
special talent. 

First, I removed all of the linens and pillows, then got to work removing
the wire shelves: 

linen closet wire shelving

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Colby helped, as usual. 

The metal shelving lifts out easily, and then you’re left with the brackets
that are anchored into the walls. They are plastic brackets the shelves sit
on, and to remove them you have to remove the metal pin first: 

If you try to remove these brackets without taking the pin out first, you’ll
create BIG holes to fill. The holes from these anchors are bad enough, but
that would create even more damage. 

blue floral wallpaper laundry

I’m extra and thought it would be a pretty accent, so I covered the back
wall of the closet:

Candice Olsen floral wallpaper

Is this part necessary? No. Will I see most of it when the closet is full?
Nope. Is it pretty and will it make me happy when I put our sheets and
blankets away? YES. 🙂

Next up, I needed to install the supports for the wood shelves. I like using
this small window and door trim because it doesn’t make each shelf too thick
in the end: 

window door trim shelf supports

They are small, but have held up well on all of my bookcase and shelf

One thing to consider though — you need to take some care during install or
the screws will split the wood. 

I first install the supports with a nail gun to get them where I want them,
then use a small drill bit to drill through the wood at the studs: 

stud finder with wood

Pre-drilling prevents the wood from splitting when you the screw into the

skinny wood shelf supports

You’re not even supposed to have to pre-drill with these screws, but I still

When looking for studs, you can always find them at the corners, so I always
add a couple screws there: 

installing built in wood shelf supports

I placed the new shelves at the same spots as the old ones, so I didn’t have
to fill many of the holes from the wire shelving anchors with the new
supports and shelving.

Make sure to check for level as you’re installing all of your shelf

leveling wood shelves

Here’s what I ended up with when the supports were all installed:  

new wood shelves closet

Looking back, this would be the best time to fill the screw/nail holes and
paint these supports. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time. 😉
Don’t be like me and install your wood shelves on top first. 

One issue I always noticed when we would put our blankets and linens on the
wire shelves was that they were always a bit too short. Everything was
always hanging off the front. 

So I extended the depth of the shelves just a bit, from around 16 inches to
22 (including the trim I added to the front):

wood shelves linen closet

I didn’t fill and paint underneath ALL of the shelves — only the ones you
could easily see:

deep wood shelves linen closet

If someone gets down on the ground and sees the unpainted parts under the
lower shelves…well that’s their problem. Ha!

I had my wood shelves cut down at Lowe’s and painted them before installing.
I placed them on top of the wood supports and nailed in (with my nail gun)
through the top to secure them. 

Because they weren’t absolutely perfect, I had a lot of caulking to do along
the sides (I didn’t fill along the back of the shelves). 

Keep in mind your shelves will be filled with bulky linens that will hide
a lot of sins. 

After it all dried I was able to fill the shelves again. Here’s a look at
this pretty linen closet with the new shelving and details!: 

DIY wood shelves in linen closet

I added that very top shelf — that one wasn’t there before. I always look
up at that empty space in our closets and think it’s such wasted

I know that isn’t the easiest spot to get to, but I like to take advantage
of any space I can. So I installed a 12 inch (deep) board along the

That shelf stores holiday sheets that I’ll only need to access a couple
times a year (to get out and to put away). I stored those in these
canvas bins with handles
pretty linen closet redo

The deeper shelves allow for more room because I can store the bedding
running front to back, which gives me way more usable space. 

I decluttered the throw pillows, and stored the rest in our guest room
closet. But otherwise the comforters, blankets and sheets are all still

I used these lidded storage bins (from HomeGoods) for our euro and throw
pillow covers: 

lidded storage pillow covers
magnetic motion sensor lights

They work great! Now we can see the pretty new closet at night: 

easy motion lights for closet

Now I can’t wait to tackle our other linen closet and give it the same

I can’t TELL you how much a project like this soothes my soul. I kept
opening the closet for no reason after I finished it up, just to look at it.

The spaces we live in really do affect our mood and well being! 

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