Doable DIYs: Nail polish shelf

We love nail polish, but we’ve been storing our collection in old shoeboxes.  So when we saw that beauty/fashion blogger DulceCandy posted about a DIY polish rack, we ran to our local home improvement megastore to try it out.

Below is a picture of our starting supplies… but we quickly realized that the hot glue gun wasn’t going to work since the wood was not completely straight.

The materials. Can you see how the wood is slightly warped?

The biggest difference between our nail rack and Dulce’s were size differences — we wanted to customize our dimensions to the number of nail polishes we had while Dulce just went with off-the-rack sizing.

Your weapons:

  • 2.5″ x 2′ wooden boards – these will serve as the shelves; we picked 8, but Dulce did 10.
  • 24.5″x 36″ board – this will serve as the backboard; since we only had 8 shelves, we had to cut this down to size at the store.
  • One can of spray paint primer
  • Two cans of white matte spray paint
  • Sandpaper – to sand down wood and primer
  • One bottle of Titebond wood glue
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Small nails, hammer, and jigsaw…

Yep, we had to use a jigsaw. Why? The pieces of wood we bought at Home Depot were not only off by an inch to a half-inch, but they were also slightly warped.

A close-up.

We had to recruit someone more familiar with woodwork to saw down the wood to more precise dimensions, then flattened out the backboard overnight by placing a heavy box on top of it.

That’s also why we decided to use nails instead of hot glue, since at certain areas the wood did not even meet. Then we reinforced the edges with wood glue.

Now we can finally display all our pretty polishes!

Here are our MUST-do tips:

  • Check the dimensions and quality of your wood carefully and make sure they will fit together precisely. No fudging on the measurements!
  • Use matte white spray paint. We loved the look of the shiny polishes popping against the matte white.
  • When nailing the pieces together, be careful to avoid splitting the wood. If you feel confident about your wood, you can use super-strong glue instead.

The finished product. Isn’t it lovely!

Unfortunately, as you can see in Dulce Candy’s video, your shelves will stick out about a half-inch if you don’t cut them down to size. That’s why we wanted to customize our sizes, as well as narrow down the backboard, which caused all those problems.  (We also decided to use one shelf to store our Labbit collection!)

Ultimately, the materials needed cost over $50, and at that price we could find many nail racks that would have caused less headache.

We recommend doing this DIY only if you want a customized nail polish rack and have a weekend to set aside.

Bottom line, if you’re going for this DIY, make sure you’ve got someone handy by your side.


  1. Mimi

    This is amazing handy work! Also love the labbits! Btw you could totally run a nail salon with that nail polish collection! How much time did this end up taking you and can this be done with one person?

    • beautybagg

      I would say it’s a weekend project – gathering supplies, measuring, hammering, painting, and waiting for primer and paint to dry.. it could definitely be done by one VERY handy person if you were to customize the size like we did. If you just went with off the shelf sizing, then it would be much more doable.

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