Giving New Life To A Antique Shelf
Today I'm sharing the cutest shelf renovation ever. I'm going to show you how to give new life to an old and slightly wonky Antique Shelf. Shelfies have been a bit of a fad for the past few years that have exploded into a serious trend of making sure that you have a shelf in your house to style. If you just thought what the heck is a shelfie then let me explain. A shelfie is an aesthetically pleasing photograph of a well-styled wall, book or any type of shelf. It's a play on words of a selfie. You take pictures of your shelf instead of yourself. It is truly a thing. Especially on Instagram and Pinterest. Trust me just google it. If you want to learn more about shelfies then check this article out by Nate Berkus. Anyway back to the project at hand. I picked this Antique Shelf up off a local buy swap and sell site on Facebook and the owner was selling it for something like $20. I really liked the quirkiness of the piece as it had been pulled out of a really really old house. It was apparently situated in the kitchen area somewhere
I think the family was selling the home as their late mother had passed and were clearing out what they could. This little shelf unit spoke to me - yeah that might sound weird but when I look at a piece of furniture I have to see some kind of vision of what it could be to want to buy it. See it's potential and possibilities. Not all furniture does it but this little shelf was screaming my name and I couldn't wait to see what I could transform it into. When I got the piece (they kindly delivered it - such good country folk) I gave it a once-over. It was wonky in the way that it needed some stabilisation because it had been affixed to a wall and didn't need anything like that. If I was going to sell it I needed to make sure it was sturdy. The back of the shelves had been notched out in sections obviously to fit around something on the wall when it was attached. That was a bit of a pain but I knew I could easily fix that. Overall it was in good condition if not just a little rickety.
- Wood Glue
- MDF Board
- 1.4mm Zinc Wallboard Nails
- Wood Putty
- Kwik Grips
- Foam Roller
- Stainblock Undercoat
- Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – Duck Egg Blue
The first step was to dismantle the doors off the unit and set them aside. I packed the hinges and screws in Ziploc bags so that I wouldn't lose them. The best advice I can give you right there. Use little Ziploc bags and write on them where the fixtures came from and store them in a safe place.
After dismantling it I gave the whole pieces a light sand and wipe over with a damp cloth to remove any excess dirt and dust. The whole piece was painted in a stain blocker undercoat. This was important as the piece was stained in a very dark stain and had the potential to seep through the undercoat into the topcoat if the correct undercoat wasn't used. Once that had dried I went to repairing the notches in the back of the shelf.
Small pieces of wood the same thickness of the shelf was cut out to help fix the small notches that had been done to the shelf in previous years. We fitted them into place and fixed them with wood glue and held them into place with kwik grips. We let it dry overnight so that it was completely secure. Once it had dried wood putty was applied over any gaps that were left from the patch and left to dry for an hour before it was sanded back with 120 grit sandpaper for a smooth finish. I then painted these additions with the stain blocker undercoat.
I had a piece of MDF cut to the size of the back of the shelf to help stabilise it and create a backing in which the shelf could be hung up on. I painted it with the stain blocker paint and then using small wallboard nails to nail the board to the back of the shelf.
I used a foam roller to apply the top coat of paint making sure to leave an hour between each coat to dry. I used Annie Sloan Chalk paint on this piece in Duck Egg Blue and it's suck a great colour. It brightened this old shelf up from drab to fab in no time. I think I did a total of two coats on the whole piece.
Once the top coat has dried I used 120 grit sandpaper on the orbital sander to sand parts of the shelf to create a rustic effect. I concentrated on areas that would normally receive a bit of wear such as corners and edges and along any areas that you want to emphasise. I wanted to emphasize the bevelled edge on the door fronts, so I made sure I spent a little bit of time giving this area a good sand to emphasise the doors.
I then gave the entire piece a good wipe over to remove the excess sanding dust. A coat of clear furniture wax was then applied to help protect the shelf and buffed with a soft cloth to a nice sheen.
She turned out pretty spectacular don't you think? I was going to change the little knobs on the doors in the pic above but 1. I couldn't get the knobs off as they were glued on and 2. I'm glad I couldn't get them off as they give this little shelf so much character. I was so close to keeping this shelf and hanging it in our bedroom and filling it with indoor plants. Because every shelfie has to have a plant in there somewhere but in the end, we decided it wasn't in the style of our bedroom and I sold it. I hope whoever has it gives it some serious shelfie love! Ha.
Tell me are you a fan of the shelfie?