How to Decorate a Shelf for Kitchen Pots

Display your most attractive kitchen pots and pans on shelves and pot racks to serve, not only as decorative accents, but also to provide extra space in your cabinets for storage.
Display your best cookware on a pot shelf.Display your best cookware on a pot shelf.
Any high, flat surface in the kitchen can be converted into pot shelves, and the tops of kitchen cabinets are often used for this purpose. Decorate DIY wall shelves before installing them for a one-of-a-kind look. Add interest with small vinyl or natural plants, greenery, oil- and herb-filled bottles, colorful pottery, baskets, cookbooks, empty wine bottles, decorative canisters or any other kitchen-related decor you want to display.

Step 1

Cover the shelf board with contact paper. Wrap the contact paper completely around the width of the board and mark the nearest cutting line on the backing paper. Measure the length of the shelf and the width of the contact paper to determine how many pieces you need to cover the entire shelf; add an inch or two to account for the overlap at each seam. Measure the thickness of the shelf and add an inch for the end pieces.

Step 2

Cut the contact paper to size, according to your measurements. Include two small pieces to cover each end of the shelf, and attach the end pieces first. Peel the backing paper ½ inch away and press the contact paper down to the top of the shelf firmly with your fingers, smoothing out any wrinkles or air bubbles. Wrap the piece around the edge of the shelf, slowly pulling off the backing paper as you go and smoothing the paper until you get to the underside of the shelf and the end of the paper, which should overlap the bottom by ½ inch. Repeat on the other end.

Step 3

Peel the backing paper away from a corner of one of your cut sheets. Starting in the top corner of the shelf, carefully line up the edges. Press the paper down firmly, smoothing as you go. Slowly peel the backing paper away at a diagonal angle, smoothing and pressing the contact paper onto the shelf. Use a ruler to help smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles. Continue over the front of the shelf.

Step 4

Carefully turn the shelf over and continue to apply the contact paper on the underneath side until you reach the back of the shelf. Repeat for each sheet of contact paper until the entire shelf is covered, overlapping the previous sheet slightly, matching the pattern as closely as you can. Trim excess paper with the utility knife.

Step 5

Sand each bracket with fine-grit sandpaper to roughen the surface. Apply two or three coats of paint in contrasting or complementary colors to the contact paper with a 2-inch paintbrush or small foam roller, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Allow the brackets to dry overnight before installing the shelf.

Step 6

Install the wall shelf using the enclosed mounting hardware and following the kit instructions. Display a few pieces of your favorite cookware with a few smaller kitchen-related items to add interest. Place larger objects behind smaller objects for a layered look.

Things You Will Need

  • Wood wall shelf kit with brackets and mounting hardware
  • Contact paper
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • High gloss paint
  • Small paintbrush or foam roller
  • Best cookware
  • Kitchen-related decor

Tips

  • Choose a style of contact paper that complements the style of your kitchen, such as vintage, country, contemporary or modern, in colors that match or contrast with your kitchen’s color scheme.
  • If you have trouble wrapping the paper all the way around the shelf, use one sheet for the top and front and cut another sheet for the underside.
  • Stencil a design that matches the theme of the contact paper on the painted brackets.
  • Hang kitchen utensils from wall hooks installed underneath the shelf and between each bracket.

Warnings

  • Use an AC detector to check for electrical wires behind the wall before installing the shelf to avoid electrical shock or fire.
  • Secure the shelf with wall anchors if they are not included in the kit to keep it from falling under the weight of the pots.

About the Author

Michelle Radcliff owned a retail home furnishings business for eight years. Radcliff offers decorating advice on her blog, Home Decorating News, is a regular contributor on interior design at LoveToKnow.com and earned certification as an interior decorator from Penn Foster College in 2013.