When I was planning my kitchen renovation, I didn’t want to miss my chance to add some dream elements to our new space. For me, kitchen dreaming is more about providing function, not just beauty, but sometimes those two qualities can collide. One of my dream elements was pretty simple— a utensil rail. A few of the kitchens I saved on my Pinterest kitchen inspiration board have rails or hooks for convenient utensil storage, and I loved the quirky look and functionality the display seemed to add to each space.
When I first considered how to implement visible utensil storage in my own kitchen, I thought I would mount a rail on the wall below the upper shelf and use S-hooks to hang regularly used utensils. But I had such a large, open space on the backsplash that was begging to be filled, so I decided to fashion a wire rack instead— one that could hold skillets and strainers as well as utensils. I love the industrial/country quality it adds to the space, and also the versatility of the rack. I can hang as many or as few things on it depending on how clean or cluttered I want this wall to be.
Check out how simple and inexpensive it is to make your own wall-mounted wire utensil rack!
-wire mesh rebar— $7 (found in concrete section of hardware stores)
-ceiling hooks— $8 for a 10 pack
-variety of S-hooks— $5-$10
-bare metal primer (rust preventing)— $4
-appliance epoxy— $4
-rust removing cleaner (I used CLR)- $5
Total Cost at Most: $38
My Cost* (not including CLR): $28
*I had plenty of primer, paint, and mesh left over from other projects.
-industrial wire cutters or metal grinder (like I used)
-gloves (chemical safe + fabric protective gloves) (not shown)
-cleaning brush or metal scratchy pad
-power drill (not shown)
-pencil (not shown)
Step One: Measure the space where you want to hang the wire rack. Then decide how big you want the wire mesh to be and cut it to size. You will have to round down to the nearest square. Each square measures 6″. I cut mine to 24″ x 24″.
Step Two: Cut the wire mesh to size. If you are using a grinder instead of industrial wire cutters, you should probably wear long sleeves and protective fabric gloves because sparks will fly. Lesson learned on that one. Definitely wear safety glasses, as you always should when doing any kind of cutting or grinding.
Step Four: Prime the wire mesh and metal hooks with bare metal primer. I used rust-preventing primer because the wire mesh is made of raw steel, which rusts easily. The S-hooks and ceiling hooks are already coated, so you don’t necessarily need rust-preventing primer on those, but I used it anyway.
After priming, paint with epoxy paint in the color of your choice.
Step Five: Hold the dried wire screen up to the wall where you will be hanging it. If you don’t have horizontal lines to use as a guide, as I did (thanks to my paneling), you may need someone to hold up a level to make sure it is straight. Mark the corners where your support hooks will go. I used 6 support hooks for a 4 x 4 grid (24″ x 24″).
Step Six: Drill pilot holes for the ceiling hooks. If you are not drilling into studs or wood (as I was), you will need to use drywall anchors to keep the hooks from pulling out of the drywall. They can be painted to match your wall color.
Step Seven: Screw in the hooks. Then hang the rack! You may be able to see here, but I only painted the ends of my hooks to match the wire rack. The neck of the hooks I painted white to match the wall. This is just a matter of personal preference.
I used various sizes of S-hooks to hang my utensils. I also plan on hanging skillets here, maybe, but I’m pretty sure the steel mesh wouldn’t hold up to something really heavy, such as cast iron. You can hang somewhat heavier items at the joints of the wire mesh where it’s least likely to bend. As far as the load capacity goes, that depends on the drywall anchors you use and the strength of the wire mesh, which can only be determined by testing it. If the wire bends against the weight of a skillet, I’d suggest storing it somewhere else.
I still store the bulk of my utensils in a drawer so they don’t get dusty or create too much clutter. But I sure am loving having my regularly used spoons and strainers hanging out within arm’s reach. How about you? Are you someone who likes to hide your utensils or put them out in caddies or on rails? –Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection.