How to Build a Sturdy Wine Rack for 30 Bottles

We built an 8ft. sturdy wine rack that can hold up to 30 bottles and I’m obsessed with it! If this is a DIY project you’d consider trying, then keep on reading to learn more about how we accomplished this beautiful creation.

Wine rack on wall

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Our Why for a New Wine Rack

Two years ago, we added a Simple Wine Rack to our DIY Walk-In Pantry, and at the time it was perfect for our needs. However, we’re a family that enjoys wine, a good sale, and purchasing in bulk. Eventually, we had more wine than space in our small wine rack and so we knew it was time for a better solution.

White and brown wine rack in pantry
White and wood wine rack in pantry with wine bottles.

Wine Rack Space and Inspiration

We had an awkward nook in our mudroom which I decided to make more functional by adding an 8-foot sturdy wine rack. We were inspired by another DIY wine rack we found on Pinterest, but of course, I needed to customize it to make it more my own and fit our aesthetics.

White wall in mudroom for wine rack project

Where to Start With This Wine Rack Build?

Before starting this project, the first thing you need to determine is how many available studs are in your wall space. This is very important, as it will determine the size (width) of your wine rack. Bernard found 2 studs in our designated wall, spaced 24 inches a part. Therefore, we decided to make the wine rack 25 in. wide x 8 ft. tall. For the backing, we used 3/4 in. plywood to provide maximum structural support. The wine shelves were going to be screwed into the plywood backing and the backing was going to be screwed into the wall and through the studs.

Holding plywood for wine rack build
Markings on the back of plywood for wine rack build.

Additional Wine Rack Measurements

Overall, we wanted a sleek, seamless build, so Bernard made all his markings on the back of the plywood. That included exactly where each shelf would be secured as well as the spacing between each shelf. Below you’ll find all the plywood backing measurements we used for this sturdy wine rack build:

  • Plywood Backing – 25 in. x 8 ft.
  • Short Shelf (12) – 9.5 in. x 4 in.
  • Long Shelf (7) – 16 in. x 4 in.
  • Spacing between each shelf – 4 in.
  • Spacing between the 1st shelf (bottom) and the bottom of the backing – 5.25 in.
  • Spacing between the last shelf (top) and the top of the backing – 5.25 in.

Bernard also drilled all the pilot holes for the screws needed to secure the wine shelves.

Priming and Painting

It’s always a good idea to prime your wood projects before painting. Bernard used Kilz 2 All Purpose Primer which can be found at your local home improvement store. You’ll also want to lightly sand the primed area after it dries. This will allow for a smoother paint job. You can use 220-grit sandpaper and your favorite sander.

In keeping with the color scheme of our mudroom, I used Sealskin from HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams, which can be purchased from your local Lowe’s. I love a matte finish and while it’s not practical for everyone’s home or recommended for certain areas, I think it was the right choice for our project and space.

Building the Wine Shelves

I typically like pine for our woodworking projects, especially if there’s a possibility of staining. But, when I saw the birch wood in the store, it just felt like the right material for this wine rack build. We recommend sanding the full length of the wood first because it’s easier than sanding the smaller pieces after they’ve been cut.

Bernard used his miter saw to cut the birch down into the 2 different shelf lengths we were using. We needed 7 pieces that were 16 inches long and 12 pieces that were 9.5 inches long. Next, he used his table saw to rip down the wine shelves to a 4-inch width.

The design plan for the wine shelves was to have the shorter ones with groves for the wine bottles to have a fixed spot to lay in. The longer ones were going to have hardware in the front to serve as guard rails. To create the perfect size groove, Bernard used his router and a 1-1/2 in. round nose bit. He then sanded the center to a smooth finish as well as the rest of the shelves.

To Stain or Not to Stain

I was so sure I wanted to stain these wine shelves, but after seeing how beautiful they looked sanded, I knew I couldn’t ruin the natural color. Instead, I went a much simpler route and applied 2 coats of polyurethane to each shelf to protect them.

This particular polyurethane is water-based with a matte finish. It goes on milky but don’t be alarmed because it will dry clear. I also lightly sanded the shelves in between coats.

Applying polyurethane to birch wine shelves

Hardware for Longer Wine Shelves

I couldn’t find guard rails in the specific size of the longer wine shelves, so I decided to use the same 16-inch black and gold hardware that was on our mudroom cabinets. Bernard built his own jig to help him create consistent pilot holes in the right spot on each of the longer shelves.

Black and gold cabinet pull on wine shelf

How We Covered the Plywood Edges

There are several options for hiding the not-so-pretty sides of plywood. We typically edge band but I wanted more of a frame on this wine rack project. We opted for 1-inch pine boards instead, but only on 3 sides of the wine rack. You can screw or brad nail these into place. Bernard then filled and sanded the holes, followed by painting the trim in the same color as the plywood backing.

Pre-Drilling for the Final Install

Before painting the trim and installing the wine shelves, we wanted to be 100% certain of the location of the wall studs and the placement of the wine rack. So we screwed the backing into the wall, in the exact spot we wanted it. Each screw hitting a stud was sweet music to my ears! Confident in the installation process, it was time to move on to the fun stuff!

How We Installed the Wine Shelves

Installing the wine shelves was the most exciting but nerve-racking part of this entire project! But I should have known that with Bernard, there was no need for concern. He built this cool jig that he clamped in place on the plywood backing.

Then we slid each shelf through the jig and into place. Bernard then used 1-3/4 inch screws to secure each wine shelf to the plywood backing.

Pole Wrap Detail

Our mudroom project was the first time we worked with pole wrap and I really love the dimension and warmth it brought to the space. Using pole wrap was another way we upped the wow factor on this 8-foot wine rack. To install it, we added wood glue behind the pole wrap, then I held it in place while Bernard added a few pin nails. If you’re considering including pole wrap in any upcoming projects, be advised it is pricy and usually out of stock quite often.

Pole wrap for wine rack wall

Final Steps

With the pole wrap secured, Bernard only needed to attach the hardware to the longer shelves and then the entire wine rack would be ready for installation. Since we’d already predrilled, it took less than 5 minutes to hang this 8-foot sturdy wine rack in its new home!

DIY 8 Foot Wine Rack Reveal

Without a doubt, this wine rack is my new favorite woodworking piece we’ve designed and built! There’s so much visual interest and I love how well this project stands on its own. From the paint color to the pole wrap to the hardware and wood selection, this truly is a unique piece that we’re so proud to have in our home.

Sturdy 8 foot wine rack in mudroom
Short and long wooden wine shelves
Gray mudroom door with brown cabinets and wooden wine rack shelves
Close up of wine rack shelves
Birch wine rack shelves with black and gold cabinet pulls

DIY Wine Rack Stock-Up

Moscato is pretty much the only wine I drink so I don’t consider myself a “true” wine drinker. Bernard ventures out more than I do and since his wine selections are more aesthetically pleasing, I used his choices for the wine styling.

Bernard and I are all about the little details that can easily be overlooked. We took a small nook space and transformed it into a functional piece of art! Thank you so much for following along and we’re happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Just leave us a comment. Until next time!

Aminah Chung


4 Replies to “How to Build a Sturdy Wine Rack for 30 Bottles”

  1. Becky @ Flipping the Flip

    Looks outstanding and what a great use of space! Well done!

  2. Beautiful DIY Aminah and Bernard!

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