$7 Thrift Store Shelf Makeover

Beautiful friends, can you believe I’m almost done with this huge haul?? I can’t tell ya’ll how good it feels to work through these pieces I’ve been hanging onto for forever! Let’s get to today’s makeover, shall we?

I’m always drawn to things that serve a purpose when I visit thrift stores. One such item I see all the time are shelves. I always hate to leave them behind, but they don’t exactly make for the most interesting blog content.

I caved and bought this one because even though it was a bit pricey at $6.98, it had an interesting shape, and it appeared to be handmade. That’s a bonus in my book:

However, I never could come up with a plan for it so there it sat…mostly because the brackets that supported the shelf seemed like they were too close together, and it just bugged me. I couldn’t move the brackets because they had been secured to the back of the shelf with hand carved notches, so I had to work with it the way it was. I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.

It’s one of the last items from this haul that I chose to redo because I was putting it off as long as possible.

I finally decided to do what I often do when I am feeling unmotivated about a piece…I just started painting!

I wanted to try this gorgeous blue/gray by Dixie Belle called Savannah Mist:

Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle

It is such a pretty color! It has excellent coverage, but I gave it two coats.

Then I decided to add part of a stencil I had to the back of the shelf:

I used spray adhesive to hold the stencil in place and then used a small brush and white acrylic craft paint to color in the stencil, trying not to brush against the edges as much as possible. It took three coats. You can see in the photo above that I just covered the parts of the stencil that I didn’t want to use with FrogTape.

I removed the stencil as soon as I applied the third coat. Once the paint was dry, I sanded across the stencil to smooth it out and all over the rest of the shelf as well with 220 grit sandpaper. Then I sealed it with Clear Coat in satin using DB’s blue sponge applicator. (You can see a video of how easy that is to do in this post.)

I added D-ring hardware to the top of either side of the back of the shelf to hang it.

And now I have a sweet new shelf:

Sweet cottage-inspired shelf painted in Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle.

The curves and the blue along with the stencil give it a cottage vibe don’t you think?

Sweet cottage-inspired shelf painted in Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle.

The stencil really adds a fun detail…

Sweet cottage-inspired shelf painted in Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle.

And I don’t think the shelf support brackets look too close together anymore since they sit just inside where the stencil ends…

Stenciled thrift store shelf from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I love this pretty blue against all the white!

Sweet cottage-inspired shelf painted in Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle.

Now I’m looking around to see what else I can paint with this color!

Sweet cottage-inspired shelf painted in Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle.


Sweet cottage-inspired shelf painted in Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle.


Sweet cottage-inspired shelf painted in Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle.


Sweet cottage-inspired shelf painted in Savannah Mist by Dixie Belle.

I was so hesitant to start on this shelf, but now I love it! If you are stuck on something and don’t know how to get started…just start painting and hopefully ideas will come!

Another piece done!!

You can revisit any of these makeovers at the links below:

Grandma’s Side Table

Sewing Machine Table Makeover

$6 Thrift Store Bench Makeover

$6 Rooster Lamp Redo

$10 Yard Sale Chair Makeover

Drop Leaf Table Makeover & How to Apply Sealer with a Sponge

Child’s Wicker Rocker Redo

$2 Thrift Store Box Makeover

$5 Estate Sale Stool Redo

Thrift Store Step Stool Makeover ( & How to Whitewash!)

Thrifty Basket Makeovers

$5 Thrift Store Tray Makeover

Antique Headboard turned Bench

$3 Thrift Store Tray Repurposed

The final piece is this small silver tray I picked up the last time Nancy and I went thrifting:

I forgot all about this one until I looked at the photo to see what was left. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing with it yet…guess I should just start painting!

UPDATE: See what I did with this little silver tray HERE now!

Have a great weekend! 🙂



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    I can’t believe that shelf turned out so cute, and so simple! I love that color you used, and the stencil, both are perfect on your shelf!! I am looking forward to you doing the silver tray as I have one very similar and I do not know what to do with it, I will wait for the expert to lead the way.

    • Thank you, Mary!! I can’t believe it took me so long to get to this one after how sweet it turned out! Still haven’t started on the tray lol, but I do have an idea! Enjoy your weekend! XOXO

  2. Love this color! Gorgeous result and great tutorial as always. I’m a huge fan and plan to try several of your methods and products. Thank you for sharing your magic!

  3. Genius! You’re right, the brackets looked awkward and now they don’t. Very, very pretty. Your booth customers must be so confused with all these new colors lol. Thanks for another fun makeover to wake up to 🙂

    • Thank you, Joni! Yes isn’t that funny about the brackets? I don’t know about my customers, but I am loving trying some new colors…although I haven’t strayed too far lol! XOXO

  4. This turned out really well! I love the color, Savannah Mist, as it reminds me of one of my favorite paint colors.

  5. Christina in SW FL says

    Great job with the shelf! It looks like an antique 🙂 Wonderful detail with the stencil. Way to go Christy!

  6. Janice Holt says

    That is an odd shaped shelf but it is now pretty. Love the paint color and stencil.

  7. Hi Christy,
    Love getting your emails, brightens my day to see your transformations.
    Just occasionally could you give some idea of time involved ? Due to poor health I’ve stopped trying projects but would really love to try something on a small scale. Having an idea of the time involved could really help me.
    Thanks and have a great weekend.

    • Thank you so much, Holly! This did not take long at all. It’s hard to give an exact time frame since I usually work on a few projects at a time, moving to another while paint dries, etc. With dry time, this project could easily be completed in a few hours. XO

  8. Thank you for your wonderful website. You are so talented and have provided me with so much inspiration. I always check your website first thing with my morning coffee before I run off to a busy day.

  9. How I feel you! 🤣 You’ve rocked the haul. Love this shelf. You should see my thrifty fun today. Totally 80s! 😳🤣

    • Thanks, Larissa! This haul has taken me all Summer, but I am so thrilled it’s almost done!! Coming to see yours now! 🙂

    • Cecilia from Georgia says

      Wow! You have such vision. I got on a kick of picking up old wooden magazine boxes until I realized I have collected 8 of the things!! I painted one and put it in my booth but no takers😭! So-I have pledged to paint them or send them BACK to Goodwill 😜. Love the Savannah Mist! I’m sure we will see this color many more times in the future! XOXO

      • Thank you, Cecilia! I see magazine holders everywhere also! They are cute for using in a child’s room to hold favorite books and they can carry them from room to room. I love this color too…can’t wait to try it on something else!! XOXO

  10. Patricia Wilson says

    Oh my gosh, your little shelf is breathtaking. You inspired me to make a wine bottle lamp for a raffle item. Thank you.

    • I’m so glad you like it, Patricia, thank you!! I bet your lamp turned out wonderful and what a fun raffle item! XOXO

  11. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Christy!! You are right. The brackets do not look so close together now. What a cute stencil. I wish you would have put the link in for the stencil. Well you saved a shelf from death. So cute.

    • Right? The brackets actually work with the stencil! The one I used is part of a larger stencil packet and I searched online for about an hour trying to find it so I could link to it. It’s either an Artminds one or a Martha Stewart one from Michaels but it must be old because I couldn’t find it anywhere. Sorry about that. Thanks, Cheryl! XOXO

  12. Christy you’re pretty amazing. In fact I’d call you a magician because everything you touch magically turns from meh to ah meh zing !! I love it !! Keep inspiring us girl !

  13. Amelie Deschenes says

    What an amazing transformation yet again! I am wondering, was the stencil easy to take off even with the spray adhesive?

    • Thank you, Amelie! Yep, no problems removing the stencil at all. To make the spray adhesive more permanent, you need to spray both surfaces and then wait about a minute before bonding them together. I only sprayed the back of the stencil so it just made it tacky. XOXO

  14. It’s lovely! And like you said, it looks amazing against those white walls!

  15. the new shelf with color and stenciling looks great! i say this all the time, but i really need to get over not wanting to paint wood!

  16. This is a really beautiful piece, and I am in love with that blue/gray color. I would slap it all over everything at my house! The stenciling just stole the show. Such an awesome renovation!

  17. Jacki Gherardi says

    OMGoodness! As I looked at the before pic I couldn’t like it, EVER!
    I even had doubts that the great goddess of re-love could make this piece work.
    Then BAM 💥! Christy for the win! Unbelievably cute. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Ha ha honestly, as it was sitting in my stash, I wondered what I saw in it too! Paint and stenciling made magic out of this one! Thanks, Jacki!! XOXO

  18. Mary Loveland says

    Job well done, it looks wonderful! Also a good lesson on what to do when you’re stumped or just plain “haven’t got a clue”. Thank You

  19. What a sweet shelf. Great job!

  20. This is lovely! I look forward to seeing your emails and your projects. You have great ideas plus you provide the background of each piece and all of the steps in your “before and after” photos. I’ve learned a lot and I have a few pieces that need a little TLC, so I think I can make them look great with your inspiration!

  21. Beautiful! Man, you just KNOW how to “save” stuff. I am always amazed. I have top expectations of you every time, and you still manage to exceed them every time! I WANNA BE LIKE CHRISTY SOMEDAY! Haha!

  22. Doesn’t even look like the same shelf. Which is a good thing. The stencil totally changed it. The color Savannah Mist is beautiful. The transformation changed the little shelf from a scrub girl to a Cinderella. Great job.

  23. M. Constance Colvin says

    Hey Christy! You always bat a thousand! Without Fail! ;-D

  24. I LOVE the shelf and now want to try stenciling. The color is great.

  25. Christy, You are so talented! The ideas you come with are simply genius. I love this color, too, and the stencil really gives the shelf a nice touch. So pretty.

  26. Anne L Barnard says

    Dear Christie–
    The shelf is so cool!! I didn’t like the placement of the brackets either–thought to myself that I would have passed this up because of them. But with the softer color and the placement of the end of the stencil–it’s perfect! Way to go woman!

    • Thanks, Anne! The brackets are what had me stumped for so long. That stencil worked a little magic for sure! XOXO

  27. SIMPLY LOVELY!!! Best color choice. Thank you.

  28. EVelyn Perry says

    Hi Christy
    I wanted to ask you how you price custom painting for customers?
    I have a small shop located in Tennessee . I have painted for 5 years before I built my barn last year. Mostly I have bought and painted for my self but recently have had request to do custom pieces. However I am struggling to determine a pricing scale. Amy helpful info will be gratefully received.
    Thanks Evelyn @ NANAS RUSTIC BARN.

    • Hi Evelyn! I don’t do custom painting. I have found that painting other people’s pieces takes the joy out of creating for me. I’m so sorry I’m no help! Best of luck to you! XO

  29. Kathy Walsh says

    Wow – I love all your projects, but this one really has me looking a little closer at the wood decor items ag Goodwill!

  30. Fabulous work! Doesn’t look so awkward now – colour is perfect and that stencil is wow on it!

  31. Robyn D Wright says


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