Removing Wood Kitchen Shelves and Replacing with Glass Shelves

glass shelf with wine glasses
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Stud finder
Utility knife
Glass shelves

You can change the look of your kitchen by replacing your kitchen shelves. Getting rid of the wood shelves and replacing them with glass shelves can open the room up and make it seem lighter. It’s not a complicated job, and one that can be easily accomplished, even by those with no real DIY experience.

Step 1 - Measuring

The first thing you need to establish is the size of glass kitchen shelves you’ll need. This is most easily done while the old wood shelves are still in place. Measure the length of the shelves and the depth of the shelves.

When shopping for glass shelves be certain to buy glass shelves that are thick enough and made to hold the weight you need. If you’re not certain exactly what you need, talk to someone at the glass store for advice. You’ll also need to select brackets for the shelves. Make sure they’re deep enough for the kitchen shelves and capable of holding the weight. Choose a style that fits in with your kitchen décor.

Step 2 - Removing Old Shelves

The wood shelves will be held on by screws, rather than brackets, although it might also be attached to dowels under the shelf. If the latter you need to remove the shelf from the dowels.

It will be glued in place. Use a utility knife for break the adhesive bond, running it along the joint slowly and then easing off the shelf. You might have to force it in some sections, depending on how tightly glued in place it is. Once you’ve removed it you’ll need to remove the dowel. This will be screwed to the wall at the back of the shelf and to the cabinets on either side. Remove these screws and take off the dowel. Clean off the wall and the cabinet sides after removing the wooden wall shelves. Fill any screw holes with plastic wood and allow to dry.

glass shelf

Step 3 - Brackets

In most instances you’ll want to fit the glass shelves where the wooden shelves had been. To do this you need to establish the line for the top of the brackets. Using your level as a guide, mark the lines lightly on the wall.

To give proper support to the glass shelves the brackets need to be evenly spaced along the shelf. For two brackets, measure along, dividing the length into three. Check the wall beneath the marks to see if they’re over studs. Put the bracket in place and mark the holes. Drill through. If there’s no stud you’ll need to tap anchors into the wall. Screw the brackets in place, checking as you go to be certain they’re level.

Step 4 - Shelves

Very carefully lay the glass shelves on the brackets, positioning them carefully. There might be small suction cups on the brackets to keep the glass shelves in place.