Home Hardware

Canister and Spice Rack

Canister and Spice Rack

Add character and warmth to your kitchen with this handmade canister and spice rack that replicates the look and feel of an antique. Complement your cooking with this charming and practical kitchen accessory.

A country drive on a sunny weekend afternoon was the inspiration for this project. We discovered the original handmade piece, likely made by a local handyman in the early 20th century, in an antique store in Simcoe, Ontario. We were planning a new kitchen and wanted to add a few character pieces for warmth. The larger shelf was in excellent condition and included old glass candy jars and lids, perfect for canisters, but the smaller upper rack was missing containers. On another outing, we found small stainless steel spice jars that completed the double rack and the finished piece fit into our kitchen perfectly. The plan replicates the original. In this version, we used small mason jars for the spice rack and 1 litre glass canisters with snap lids for the lower shelf. It is easy to modify the plan to fit your kitchen.

Step By Step

  1. Cut all pieces to size, referring to the schematic diagrams. Use the supplied patterns to transpose the end profiles onto the wood, and cut out with a fine-toothed jigsaw. Use the patterns to determine the screw locations, and drill the 1/8" holes for tilting the racks.
  2. Fasten the front and back slats to the end pieces, using glue and a brad nailer (or pre-drill for 1" finishing nails). Leave a space between each end and side piece to accommodate a flat washer. Use carpenter's glue to assemble this project.
  3. Insert the bottom shelf pieces into the assembled frames, and install the screw pivots, with outer cup washers, and inner flat washers.
  4. Fasten the centre pieces between the front and back slats using glue and a brad nailer (or pre-drill for 1" finishing nails).
  5. On the end pieces, attach the 1/4" stops, which hold the racks in a tilted position.
  6. Install the two metal wall brackets to the bottom of the canister rack.


  1. 1 1/2" x 1/4" x 30" oak (2 pcs.)
  2. 1/4 x 4 3/4" x 30" oak (1 pc.)
  3. 1" x 6" x 5" oak (1 pc.)
  4. 1" finishing nails 2134-416 and/or brad finishing nails 1283-990
  5. 1 1/2" flat head wood screw - brass (2) 2180-437
  6. Num 8 cup washers - brass (2) 2190-630
  7. Num 10 flat washers (2) 2190-275
  8. wood glue 2020-150
  9. fine sandpaper (220 grit) 1231-795
  10. Minwax® wood putty 1627-136
  11. 1L snap top Hermetico preserve jars (6) 4448-761
  12. 250 mL Bernardin® jelly jars 4448-306
  13. metal wall brackets (2) 2551-955


  1. mitre saw (optional) 1347-145
  2. jigsaw 1268-667
  3. palm sander 1262-093
  4. brad nailer with compressor (optional) 1282-918
  5. measuring tape 1048-716
  6. hammer 1030-558
  7. screwdriver 1058-722
  8. drill 1239-414
  9. drill bit (5/16") 1242-925
  10. nail set 1039-389
  11. hand saw 1063-823

To Finish

There are a number of ways this project can be finished. We used Minwax® water base stain in Winter Moss green to show the beauty of the oak wood. To ensure the desired colour and finish, test your complete finish technique on a sample scrap piece of wood from the project. Apply the finish to the wood either before or after final assembly of the pieces. We finished it after assembly, and filled the nail holes with stainable wood filler to hide the fasteners. Once the holes were filled and sanded, we applied Minwax water base wood conditioner, let it penetrate for a few minutes, and wiped it off. We let the conditioner dry for about 30 minutes, sanded off the grain raising and removed the dust. We then applied one coat of water base stain and wiped off the excess after a few minutes. After it had dried for a couple hours, we applied a second coat to increase the colour volume. In just two hours the project was ready for protective finish coats: to maintain the colour, two coats of Minwax semi gloss Polycrylic.

Remember to give a light sanding between coats using a 220 grit sand paper. Do not use steel wool or tack cloths: they can leave residue behind that can affect water base products.

And That's The Finish!

Ralph Swan is a wood care expert for Minwax and a frequent contributor to Home at Home magazine.

  • Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler 1627-396 1627-378/387
  • Minwax® Pre-Stain water base wood conditioner 1874-733/742
  • Minwax® Wood Stain water base, clear tint 1872-922
  • Minwax® Polycrylic protective finish semi 1878-962 satin 1878-935, gloss 1878-908