Pallet Wood Over-the-Sink Window Shelf (Kitchen Update 5)

Looking to create more space in my rather small kitchen, I have been longing for one of those nifty over-the-sink window shelves.  As my kitchen update is coming along bit by bit, I finally have one!

How to create more space in a small kitchen with an over-the-sink-shelf

This photo shows just how little kitchen area counter space I have to work with.

This window shelf happens to be made from none other than a salvaged wood pallet.  You might be thinking, why would you put an old pallet anywhere near food preparation, but fear not, by the time this shelf got any where near the sink, it had been stripped of any and all layers of it’s not so clean past.   This project calls for moderate woodworking skills, which is not my strong point.  Thus enter Ken, my hubby, to assist.

Pallet wood over the sink shelf- StowandTellUHow to make an over the sink window shelf from pallet or skid wood:

This post will show you the woodworking steps needed on how to make an over-the-sink window shelf from pallet wood.  The shelf, shown here with dark stain has been fully completed, except for the final coats of stain that I will be adding to make this piece look COMPLETELY different when all is said and done (click here to see the FINISHED product.)  In the mean time, this will  show you how to create more space in your kitchen by making a pallet wood, over-the-sink window shelf.


2 lengths of pallet wood at approximately 48” (for the shelf lengths)

4 lengths of pallet wood at approximately 11” (for the shelf legs)

2 EXTRA pieces of pallet wood cut to about 8” long (for the liquid nailing process)

Power wood sander

120 – 150 grit sand paper for prep sanding

220 grit sand paper for finish sanding

Liquid nails

8 wood screws approximately 2-1/2”

Drill and drill bit sized to the screw

Wood clamp

Several sheets wax paper

Angle square

NOTE: We used the 2×4 wood pieces from the pallet wood.  Yes, it was a very large pallet;)

Step 1 – Measuring the sink area.   Before looking for a skid, do these two things:

  • Measure the width across the sink area from outside the outside of the sink edges.  We made ours a little bigger at 48”
  • Measure the height of your faucet while the faucet is turned on full blast, and then add several inches.  Ours measured at about 11”.


Step 2 – Find a pallet of the right size and dismantle the pallet by pulling out all nails and or screws to prepare for cutting.  Cut wood pieces to size and give all pieces a light sanding with 120 – 150 grit paper.

Mark for legs of shelf

Step 3: Dry fit the shelf legs to the length of the shelf and make pencil marks along the side of the shelf pieces, and then make a four pencil marks on the top of the shelf length in the center of the other two marks.  This is where the drill holes will go through to attach the shelf legs.

screw to piece of wood when gluing

Step 4: Lay out the two extra pieces of wood that will be used for the liquid nails step.  Place one piece at each end of the shelf length underneath the “length” pieces.  Pre-drill four holes into the wood where marked.  You should be able to drill clear through into the “extra” wood pieces.


liquid nails- over the sink shelf

Step 5: Attaching the wood with liquid nails.

Have the wax paper sheets ready.

Run a bead of liquid nails along the inner side of one of the pieces of the pallet shelf length and bring both pieces of the shelf length together.  Clamp off.


clamp and wax paper

clamp and wax paper-screw2

Lay the sheet of wax paper on top of the extra wood piece and run screws through predrilled holes and into the extra wood piece.  Do this step on both sides and let dry overnight or per liquid nail directions.

Run a bead of liquid nails along the side of one of the pieces of wood for the shelf legs, attach to the second piece, and then clamp off and let dry.


Step 6: Unscrew wood from the extra pieces and remove the wax paper.


liquid nails

Level and square angle

Step 7: Attach leg parts to shelf part with wood screws.

Run a bead of liquid nails along the top part of the leg piece, and then using an angle square, line up the shelf legs under the markings on the shelf length and attached with screws, be sure to screw down below the surface of the wood.


predrill holes for over the sink window shelf - stownadtellu

Step 8:  Power sand all grimy layers off the wood starting with 120 – 150 grit sand paper and ending with 220 grit paper until you reach the fresh wood layers.


Step 9:  Stand up the shelf in the sink area and check for stability.  If the shelf wobbles or has unevenness, sand down the longer areas on the bottom of the shelf legs.  Continue to sand and test until the shelf leg bottoms are even and the shelf no longer wobbles.  (Ken used a belt sander, but a power sander will do the trick as well.)


Step 10: The final step is applying wood stain and then a water proof clear coat of your choice.


Pallet wood over-the-sink window shelf - StowandTellU

Skid wood over the sink window shelf StowandTellU

Note:  Skid sizes and parts vary, so you may have to make size adjustments to accommodate the pieces of wood you are able to salvage from your pallet.

As I had mentioned, I haven’t finished staining this piece, but when I do, I’ll betcha that you won’t recognize it!   Stay posted…the over-the-sink window shelf “big reveal”coming soon!! —>

See the updates below:

Small kitchens and counter space can be a challenge. Here is a tutorial on how to make and over the kitchen sink shelf with pallet wood or 2x4s

You can see how I finished this shelf with a coastal inspired, sun-bleached technique, here.

Keep a small kitchen counter de-cluttered with a diy over the kitchen sink shelf that is large enough to hold dish bins until you have time to wash the dishes from Stow and Tell U

Then, to keep the kitchen de-cluttered and to create even more space, I placed copper-looking dish bins on top of the over-the-sink shelf, and I must say, these dish pans have really helped keep the sink and counter space clean.

For more kitchen update posts: check them out, here

Linking up to:

Tickled Pink Times Two

Junkers United

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19 Responses to Pallet Wood Over-the-Sink Window Shelf (Kitchen Update 5)

  1. Anne August 22, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    That will be handy! Nice job!!

    • Amy August 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

      Thanks, Anne 🙂

  2. Danni@SiloHillFarm August 22, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    That is just beautiful! (Not to mention functional!) What is it about pallet projects that I find so appealing? I am now eyeballing my sink and window…but I think my window is too high. Great project girl!

    • Amy August 22, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      Maybe it’s the “free wood” that’s the draw, or just the “free” part 🙂 Thanks, Danni

  3. Shanna Gilbert August 22, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I love it! I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished and I can’t wait to see what you put on it!

    • Amy August 22, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

      So far, it has been those blue jars with the herbs, I can’t get enough of the fact I have a useful, sunny window ledge!!

  4. Mel August 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Wow it is already looking very nice Amy, I can’t wait to see it when it’s done. It will be nice and handy to have a little more storage in the kitchen

    • Amy August 22, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

      Yes, Mel, this kitchen is like a miniature, so any extra storage is golden!

  5. Heather F August 23, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    What a great solution!! I really love it and think you repurposed beautifully!!!

    • Amy August 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

      Thank you, Heather! I hope it will give me more storage space rather than a space to store more junk 🙂


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