How to build a Cast Iron Wall Rack
In this article, I am sharing how we custom-built our cast iron wall rack so that I can easily store and display all my cast iron pans and Dutch ovens.
Even though I am not quite ready to show you our new kitchen after a long total kitchen renovation, I am super happy to show you how we built a wall rack for all my cast iron. Please do stay tuned for the kitchen reveal which will be coming soon! UPDATE: here is our fully renovated kitchen.
Why cast iron cookware?
I love my collection of cast iron cookware. In fact, I love it so much that I use it about 95% of the time. I cook, sear, sauté, bake, roast, and even roast nuts in them. The more you use cast iron, the better it gets. It also is literally indestructible as I can move it from the stove to the oven – and right on the table. There, we love its heat retention.
Also, I use my cast iron Dutch ovens all the time for baking bread.
I find clean-up a breeze: I wash it with hot water and a scrub brush. Sometimes, I need to loosen some caked-on food with a specific scraper. Then I simply put it back on the stove over medium heat until it is very dry. With just a little bit of oil wiped all over it gets a mini re-seasoning every time I use it.
How to store cast iron?
Cast iron is susceptible to rust. Therefore, you want to store it in a dry spot with airflow. In my old kitchen, I had it spread all over which wasn’t the best strategy. That also meant that I had to dig around to find that one pan I was looking for. At times, I would have a stack sit right on my stovetop (this is how I clean the cast iron grate of our gas stove). Again, not ideal since I had to move it around quite often.
So, you get the idea: if you want to use cast iron often, it has to be accessible. And what better way to display my collection than on a kitchen wall.
How we built the rack – the materials:
This couldn’t be simpler!
We bought a 7 foot 1 x 8 piece of inexpensive pine board. The cost may have been around $7 at the lumber yard.
To stain the wood board so it would match the other existing wood pieces in our kitchen we used some penetrating stain that we had sitting around. It would be similar to this one and we really didn’t need a lot.
To attach it to the wall studs, we purchased 3 black lag screws for about $0.52 each with black washers. We also used 6 regular sheet rock anchors and screws.
The most expensive item was the black cast iron hooks. They came in a set of 12. We didn’t need all of them but they were cheaper in the set and we weren’t sure how many exactly we’d use. So now we have a few leftover to use somewhere else.
This isn’t a material or anything you need but gabled home husband decided to add some millwork to our boards. He cut them (2 pieces at 30″ and 1 at 24″ long) and with his router added some nice detail to the edges. Again, not necessary but a cute touch!
How to attach it to the wall:
We knew which wall we wanted to attach the cast iron rack to. Since my husband did the total kitchen renovation, he not only knew where the studs were but he had also marked them. Hanging something as heavy as 3 or so cast iron pans from the wall, you definitely want to make sure the rack is securely attached. If you don’t know where the studs are, you can use a stud finder.
In our layout, we could only attach the boards to one stud. And the way it worked out, the screws wouldn’t even be right in the center of the boards. Fortunately, you can’t really see that!
We also realized that there was a bit of a chicken and egg thing going on. The decision of how to arrange the cookware would drive how exactly we would place the boards on the wall.
Here’s what we did: we placed the three boards on the kitchen floor and laid all my cast iron pans on top of them how they would be arranged on the wall. Once we were happy, we took a photo of it so we could come back to it.
Now, we attached the top board to the stud with the lag screw. Over on either side, we used sheet rock anchors and screws.
We wanted the handles of the top row of cast iron cookware to rest on the board beneath it which drove how far apart we attached them. That way they wouldn’t mar up the walls.
Once we had all the boards securely attached to the wall, we drilled the holes for the cast iron hooks and screwed them in.
Little fun tidbits:
I thought it would be fun to hang my only copper pot right in the middle of my cast iron. I love how it breaks up the black monotony.
When everything was done, we noticed a pretty big space between the top two racks. This is where my cherished little black enamel pan was attached. I received this as a 5-year-old and it has moved with me 9+ times, one of those from Germany to the US. And I still have it! I think it deserves the center spot!
What we wish we had known before:
There really isn’t much, except for one detail. When we had put the middle rack up on the wall, we realized that the screw for the left cast iron hook would have to be drilled right into a knot. Now, you can’t really do that because it’s really hard and brittle. We could have avoided that had we paid attention to it earlier. Ultimately, my husband was able to drill a hole close enough to the knot for it to not look weird or random. Hence that bigger space in the middle (where my childhood enamel pan is now).
We might have also liked to use real hand-forged cast iron hooks. However, we started and finished this project during the corona virus situation and shipping would have taken much longer. And those would have been much more expensive.
This is awesome! My in-laws just gave us all their cast iron pans. This is just the post I needed!
Nice! Happy cast iron cooking ~ Anja
I just started using cast iron and I love it! I’ll need a rack soon. Thanks for sharing 😉
Cast iron is the best!! I am so glad you like this wall rack ~ Anja
Great idea! I too, displayed my car iron on the wall. However due to some unfortunate events in my life, previous to this relationship, I lost a number of items that were beloved to me, including many items of cast iron. Nevertheless, I’m always on the prowl and recently found a 6 in pan at a thrift shop and more recently an 8 in pan in the trash area of my storage unit. It looked awful but I figured I’d scrape all the junk off sand it down and reseason it. Well much to my happy surprise, once I got the pan under running water it was perfect! All I did was add some oil and season in oven at low temp! So back to the wall. This is where it off course got complicated(nothing is EVER easy around here lol). The walls in my apartment are cement and studs seem to be evasive. So I tried to put a hook in the wall. That was a disaster and I ended up with a hike in the wall about the size of a pencil. So, never to be discouraged, I dug through my craft supplies and got the perfect idea. I stuck an equal size dowel into the hole along with a bunch of glue to hold it. Then I cut it off to a supportive length that would hold the pan and voila, there I had my cart iron pan holder! I added another in the same way to accommodate the other pan. I also hung 2 cutting boards behind each pan just for some visual interest. We live in A TINY beach side apartment so storage is minimal. We’ve taken to hanging up my many kitchen utensils and items. My fiance made a pot rack to hang my many pots and pans from the ceiling. And I painted and stenciled 3 boards and then equipped that with c hooks and hung all my kitchen utensils that had a hole in then where I could string a wire loop. So next we’re trying to accommodate my wine and beer glass area as there’s no room for that!! Wish us luck?!
That is great! Good luck on your progress and happy cast iron-ing ~ Anja
Has anyone ever had a problem with cast iron pans leaving oil/grease marks on the wall? We use our pans regularly and they are well-seasoned. The surface has become like non-stick pans without the flaky chemical coating, but the oil does occassionally transfer to the wall. I think I need an oil-proof wall covering of some sort behind the wooden rack.
Good question! We use our cast iron skillets and pans almost daily and apply a thin layer of oil after every use. While we are careful not to bang them into the wall when hanging them back on the rack, we have no marks on the wall whatsoever. You might look into a high-gloss paint, too. We used Farrow & Ball paint for kitchens and bathrooms. Hope this helps ~ Anja
Great idea for storing cast iron skillets ~ we have a bunch (all inherited )that I have in 2 stacks in a deep drawer. I appreciate your detailed instructions. Thank you for sharing at Tuesday Turn About.
Yeah! I am so glad you like our cast iron wall rack 🙂
What a great tutorial for your cast iron wall rack, and I love the tips that you shared for the care of cast iron, as well. I just shared the post with my son-in-love as he has found a new love for cast iron! Congrats on your feature at Embracing Home! We would love to have you link-up at Tuesday Turn About! We close tonight at midnight CST, but open again on Tuesday at 5pm CST. Hope to see you there!
Thank you so much, Julie! I am really glad you like our cast iron wall display. And thank you so much for inviting me to your link party!
So glad to have you at the party! I’ll be featuring you this week at Tuesday Turn About! Pinned!
This is such a beautiful project, Anja! I love my cast irons and would love to display them as you have. So pretty!
I will be featuring this post this week on our Embracing Home and Family link-up party. Be sure to join us again on Friday with some more awesome blog posts. 🙂
Thank you so much! We still love looking at our cast iron collection 😊. And thank you for featuring this post!! I’ll definitely come back this Friday!
What a great way to display them!
Thank you, I am glad you like this!
I love this post. I hope to get mine up this year, crossing my fingers. What a lovely cast iron collection you have!
Yeah – I am sure it will turn out beautifully!
You are a genius! I absolutely love this idea! It’s beautiful and practical which is my favorite type of decor!
Right? So glad you like this!!
Love the look of this! Great DIY!
So glad you like it!!
Look at all that beautiful cast iron! Lovely presentation, Anja. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Amy! Luckily with cast iron it’s easy to collect them because they are so affordable!
Hi, I love this. I am trying to figure out how I want to store my cast iron pots. I want to hang mine somehow because I think they are kind of beautiful but I haven’t found the perfect spot yet. I’d like to know where you purchased the cast iron hooks from. Thanks
Hi Missy, yes, we love our cast iron wall display. Here’s the link for the hooks: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011T0SBZA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B011T0SBZA&linkCode=as2&tag=ourgabledhome-20&linkId=1c96b5fa1729cab6057126543eb1d1d0 Keep me posted if you do build your wall rack!