Create a Wooden Shelf With Flair

Turn a plain wooden shelf into a beautiful shelf with a coat or two of chalk paint.

| Fall 2015

  • Take a plain wooden shelf from blah to beautiful with a coat of chalk paint.
    Photo by Linda Smith

I found this little shelf at a yard sale, and although the stain on it was very light, I knew I could do something with it. I almost stained it a darker shade. Now I’m glad I decided to paint it instead.


Use a clean rag and glass cleaner to wipe down the shelf. Let it dry for a few minutes. You want to make sure the wood is good and dry before you start painting.

Paint the shelf using a good-quality craft paint brush. Let it dry for at least two hours. If needed or desired, give the shelf a second coat of paint, and allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

If you want, you can coat the shelf with a thin layer of wax to seal and protect the paint. If you use wax, let it dry overnight, and then use a soft, lint-free cloth to buff the shelf, which will polish and seal the surface. The more you buff, the more polished your project will look.

I didn’t want a smooth, polished look — I was going for something a bit more rustic — so I didn’t use wax on my shelf.



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