Senior editor Morgan Michener creates a tidy wall-mounted rack that corrals platters and plates.
A plate rack is an easy way to boost charm and functionality in a kitchen or dining room, and can be customized to any size or color. My clean-lined version will help declutter counters, free up cabinet storage and fill an unused wall with display. And staging favorite dishes like this means they’re always there to admire — and easy to grab when needed!
This simple rack is made with easy-to-find, inexpensive lumber. I used 1″ x 5″ clear pine for the sides, 1″ x 4″ clear pine for the shelves and solid pine trim molding for the rails.
You’ll need a measuring tape, bar clamps, wood glue, power drill, screws, D-rings, sanding blocks (coarse and fine), hacksaw, level, paintbrush, pine lumber (in two sizes), and decorative pine trim molding.
Determine how large you’d like your rack, then calculate how much wood you’ll need. The side “walls” should be deeper than the shelves. I used 28″ lengths of 1″ x 4″ pine for each shelf and 46″ of 1″ x 5″ pine for each wall. Have the wood cut to size at a big-box or hardware store, or lumberyard.
Once lumber has been cut, sand all the edges and surfaces thoroughly. Use a coarse-grit sanding block to remove splinters in the wood, then repeat with a fine-grit sanding block for a smooth finish.
Thin molding will act as a barrier on the top of each shelf to keep plates from slipping out. Measure molding (mine were 28″ l.) as long as shelf and cut with a fine blade. Sand well. Glue in place 1⁄2″ from front of each shelf. Let dry 1 hour.
Glue the three upper shelves to the walls. (Vary the spaces between the shelves depending on the size of the pieces you’ll display; mine are located 8″, 20″ and 30″ up from the bottom of the rack.) Use large bar clamps to clamp the rack together. Let glue dry overnight.
The bottom shelf is attached to the bottom of the side walls, so it will be about 1 1⁄2″ wider than the other shelves. Run glue along each end of bottom shelf and attach to the walls. Attach bar clamps to hold the shelf in place, and let glue dry at least 1 hour.
To ensure plates won’t topple off the rack, add rails made of trim molding at the front of each shelf area. Measure and cut trim to width of rack, and fasten in place with glue. Let dry 1 hour. To further secure the shelves to the rack, turn it on its side, drill pilot holes through walls and into center of each shelf, and fill holes with screws.
Finish your rack with a coat of paint. I painted mine in a light grey and chose a satin finish so it’s easy to wipe down; avoid matte-finished paint because it can scratch. Attach D-rings to the top back corners of the rack, hang it on your wall and enjoy!
Author: Morgan Michener
House & Home February 2017