Shelves: Saved & Distressed

Remember these shelves I got back in mid-December while thrifting?
The only word I can think of when I look at these is grimy, but with potential! I liked how they looked very stable and put together & the details on the edges I thought made them unique. I didn't like how they're a type of plastic and they looked like it! I also didn't like the weird yellow color.

So! Finally after almost a month I got started on giving these guys a makeover!
First, I painted multiple coats of white acrylic paint to each. This proved much more difficult than spray paint, but considering my circumstances, I stuck with the ol' brush.
Then, I used my handy sandpaper sponge (as seen in my picture frame turned tray post) and distressed the edges, corners, and along the details.
This is what the shelf looked like after new paint and some sandpapering:

Wasn't quite right! Because of the light yellow color underneath, the sandpaper distressing method wasn't enough to bring out the details and really make these shelves look like I wanted them to.
So, I got brave and used my Distress Ink (in Walnut Stain) for the first time!
This stuff is great and you can find it at Michael's for about $5 in the scrapbooking section.
I applied the ink pad directly to the shelf, being careful to stay on the outer edges and raised details.

After that I used a rag to smooth the ink out and take off any excess that lingered around.

And here's the end result!
Much better right? Now my bare dining room walls are gaining some ground!
Don't stress, distress! (Yea, I thought of that one on my own.)

I'm linking this up with WhisperWood Cottage's 1st Project of the Year Party!!
And Remodelaholic!


  1. I love to find items with "potential". Great job! Thanks for sharing over at Whisperwood Cottege! I look forward see what else you do 2011!

  2. The look beautiful! I love the detail around the edges too. Great thrift store find!

  3. Hi Allison, The shelves turned out great! I love the vignettes you created on them.

  4. Another great makeover!! Love thrifted pieces!!

  5. They turned out amazing. Great project. Everything looks beautiful.


  6. Looks great Al, did you make the eat and be drunk with love sign? if so, great job!

  7. I love how they turned out! So much better!

  8. Cool! I love the distressed look. Your little knick knacks on top are pretty awesome as well!