Metal Wine Storage Shelves
Metal Wine Storage Shelves
DEAR TIM: I just put a deposit on unique metal wine storage shelves at an architectural salvage business. This metal monstrosity used to hold auto parts. It just so happens it would be perfect to hold my wine bottles on top of an open bar area in my new home.
Without wine in it, it weighs well over 200 pounds. How do I make sure this will not come crashing down in the middle of the night causing untold damage and the loss of some fairly expensive wine?
Do I have options with respect to hanging it on the wall? How would you do this if you were building my home? How would you suggest painting it? Dot B., Carmel, IN
Hunt Architectural Salvage Stores
DEAR DOT: You’re so lucky to have an architectural salvage business near you. I had a similar business near me when I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. My wife and I purchased a gorgeous solid walnut fireplace surround and mantle we used in our new home. I get great pleasure from seeing old items recycled so they get a second or third life rather than end up in a landfill.
Without seeing your new metal wine storage shelves, I’m guessing you have several options to secure it to the wall. My favorite method is to use a french cleat.
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French Cleats are Strong
A french cleat will have to be fabricated by a local welder. Two pieces of metal make up a french cleat. One piece is a strip that’s nearly as wide as your new shelves. It get welded to the top rear edge of the shelves.
It’s important to realize the second piece of metal is bolted to the wall and it has a slight outward bend towards the top of the strip. It only needs to slant out about 1/4 inch. The metal strip on the back of the shelves slides down behind the slanted piece of metal on the wall. The two interlock and it’s impossible for the shelves to slide down from the wall or tip out so long as the metal strip on the wall is securely bolted to the wall studs.
French Cleat Video
In my opinion the best way to bolt this metal strip to the wall is to use through bolts. The easy way out is to use lag bolts that are just giant screws.
The issue with lag bolts is they can lose considerable holding power if the pilot hole is too large and/or if the bolt is overtightened by an aggressive installer.
Through Bolts Work Well
Through bolts are more work but they hold so much better. These bolts have nuts and washers on the end of the bolt that passes into the finished wall behind the metal wine storage shelves. In the event you were to use this method, the bolts would typically pass through solid blocking that’s been securely installed between the wall studs.
The only issue is you have to have access to the back of the wall to tighten the nuts onto the bolts. This requires lots of planning as the drywall on the other side of the room can’t be finished until the wine rack is installed.
Use Metal Rack Frame
If you can’t to a french cleat, then you might be able to bolt the shelves to the wall through strong metal that’s part of the outer frame of the shelving unit. It’s hard for me to give you expert advice here because I can’t see your shelves.
You’ll have to decide what type of bolt you’re going to use with this method. Lag bolts can work, they just have to be installed with great care and you need to make sure the bolt is passing directly through the center of a wall stud.
Metal Wine Storage on Mt. Desert Island
Recently, I visited a new home where the wife did exactly what you plan to do. The salvaged metal shelving she purchased was a brilliant fire-engine red. She wanted it black.
Her husband got out a few cans of gloss black spray paint and did the front and sides and all he could easily cover. The inside vertical divider walls of the shelves still had some places where you could see some red.
The wife loved this two-tone look and I have to agree it was tastefully done. I mention this only because you may want to experiment with different colors.
Clean Off Oil & Grease Before Painting
Be sure you clean your metal shelving well before painting. I suggest you use mineral spirits to remove any and all oil that could be coating the metal. Be sure to do this outdoors as you never want to work with combustible liquids indoors for any reason.
Don’t throw away any oil-soaked rags or paper towels. I suggest you burn them safely as they can spontaneously combust if you just throw them in the trash.
Pay close attention to all the instructions on the paint can label to get the best results. Multiple thin coats of paint are usually better than a thick coat where you’re trying to save time.