Upcycled Chippy Wall Shelf for the Bathroom

I don't think it will come as a surprise when I say I like a good bargain.

Even better when it's free...or almost free.

One of my favorite places to shop for good bargains is a Church Tag Sale.

Mr. Diy and I stopped at one a few weeks ago. We weren't looking for anything in particular, just looking.

I spotted a wall shelf  in a rather forlorn state almost immediately. The price said $4.00. I could do that. We found a few more goodies...but the best part happened when we went to pay and realized it was Half Price Day!! A lot of weekend yard sales will slash prices on the last day. They're trying to get rid of stuff, so it's a great time to hit one of these types of sales.

I brought my reduced-to-$2.00 shelf home. I had plans to upcycle this wall shelf!  I knew immediately where I wanted to use it. There was a bare spot above the toilet in our kid's bathroom. I measured and the shelf fit perfectly. Woo hoo, time to make it pretty.

I chose a farmhouse green, my homemade chalk paint recipe in a custom mix. The cabinet was a dingy white, you know the kind...seen better days and starting to peel. It wasn't a nice, cool, chippy peel like a vintage piece. It was "I'm peeling because I got a bad paint job" kinda peel.

I thought a good sanding would resolve the issue, but it only made the peeling worse. I'm no expert, but I think when the previous owners repainted the shelf, they painted over a highly glossy surface with no prep. So the paint didn't adhere properly, actually turned it kind of gummy, and led to peeling.

I picked paint off with my fingernails, I tried sanding again. I was making a real mess in our garage! After smoothing most of it as best as I could, I decided to just paint it with chalk paint and see what happened.

I am telling you, if you haven't tried chalk paint, you NEED to! It goes on so easy, and sticks to everything!!

Two coats and I was done. I was hesitant to sand it but when you use homemade chalk paint, you get little tiny grits in your paint and sanding is a must. It smooths the surface so it feels like butter! Buttah!

I use a sanding sponge because it can be used wet or dry, and it is flexible so it gets into corners and awkward spaces. I sanded gently at first, and then got daring and decided to just reveal some of that chipping paint in certain sections, like where it would naturally wear - the edges, and especially the corners. I LOVE how it turned out. It looks like a real vintage piece now with the chippy white paint showing through underneath.

What's a piece without a little something custom though, right?  I added my children's birth dates using foam stamps and black craft paint and then waxed the whole piece for protection.

It's got a whole new lease on life :)

It's so weird how pieces you paint take on personality! I don't know if it's because you spend so much time with them, nurturing them, coaxing them to become the very BEST they can be.  But it just feels to me like this little shelf is happy now. It's bright and cheerful, with a little hint of the past peeking through to remind it where it came from. And it's functioning again,  like it was meant to when it was created (hmm, sounds like a spiritual lesson in there!).

Have you brought the best out in anything recently? Restored it to its original glory or just given it a much-needed refreshing that allowed it to function again?

I'd love to hear about it!

Sharing at:
The Scoop
Get Your DIY On
That DIY Party
Monday Funday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Be Inspired
Work it Wednesday
Sweet Haute Share
Thrifty Thursday
Feathered Nest Friday
Tickled Pink Times Two
Furniture & Paint Party
Furniture Feature Friday
Friday's Five Features
Link Party Palooza @ I Heart Naptime

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  1. LUV what you did with this little beauty, Cindy, & am looking forward to more. I especially love the textile quality of your header design with the coloured eggs in the basket -- how wonderfully unique! Found you at Elizabeth & Co. Be Inspired. ;-)

    1. Vanessa, you just made my day! Thank you for your encouraging comments not only about my project but about my header design :)

  2. Lovely project...love the shade of blue/green :)

    1. Thanks so much :) The bathroom has a bit of a beachy/cottage thing going on so the color seemed perfect!

  3. Love the color and this is a great idea!!! Thanks for linking up this week!

    Christina at
    Thursday SWEET HAUTE Share Link Up Party

    1. Thanks Christina, it's one of my favorite colors...so cheerful :)

  4. Cindy, this shelf is adorable!! I can't believe you got it for $2.00!! I wanted to let you know I am featuring it at my blog today. Thank you so much for linking up to Get Your DIY On this past week. I hope you'll join us today at 4:00 to link up any spray painting projects you might have!

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog

  5. Such a pretty project! Thanks for linking up to our "Get Your DIY On" link up party! :)

  6. I love the numbers and distressing!! Thank you for linking up to my Furniture and Paint Party!! Hope to see you again!



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