80’s Shelf gets an Update

Hello amazing Friends! Remember the 80’s? Remember 80’s décor? Why did hearts cut into every home décor accessory and furniture piece seem to make so much sense back then?

Thrift stores are filled with these unfortunate pieces and there are very few ways to update them, but every once in a while I get lucky.

I found this shelf complete with heart cut-out for $4.98:

By get lucky, I mean that the piece with the heart can be whacked off…

Instant update!

That is usually not the case, but this time I got lucky. 🙂 I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.

I filled in a few holes with wood filler and sanded the whole piece smooth before painting.

Sunken Pool by Behr made into DIY chalk paint (Find recipe HERE.) freshened this tired shelf right up!

80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

As you can see I added a piece of beadboard to the back as well. I cut it with my Ryobi circular saw (Find it HERE.):

This is a nice petite size so it’s not too intimidating. This is perfect for cutting the hardboard I use for chalkboards as well. I just propped my piece of beadboard up on two containers I had and cut right down the middle.

80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I painted the shelf and bead board separately then waxed them both, and attached the bead board to the back with small nails.

80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I decided not to distress this shelf like I normally would because I love to see white coming through this pretty blue instead of dark wood. To give it that effect, I used a very dry brush with just a tiny amount of white paint.

80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I was sure to  hit up all the edges and then ran the brush across the sides and back panel.

It gives it a pretty, coastal feel.

80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

This would be perfect in a bathroom for a little extra storage. This color is the same color I used in our guest bath, and I just love it. (See that makeover HERE if you missed it.)

80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

You can see a little of the dry brushing on the shelf here too…

80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


80's Shelf gets an update by confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Next time you come across one of these unfortunate victims of the 80’s, be sure to see if the heart can be removed before passing on it!

This little shelf is totally updated now.

I’ll be back on Thursday with my Furniture Fixer Upper Crew and this bed set:

Now go check all your old 80’s pieces to see if those hearts can be whacked off! 😀

UPDATE: See how I turned this bed into a sweet bench step-by-step HERE!




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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!! How crazy simple, but OHHHH so adorable! Gotta go—back to my thrift store!! Thanks again for the inspiration!!

  2. Christina in SW FL says

    Christy, I adore the dry brushed white on this shelf. The bead board is perfect. Another winner. Is it going in your shop or did I miss that you are keeping this one?
    I really like Ryobi’s products and have a few. Thanks always for the inspiration.
    Have a great week!

    • Thanks, Christina! This will be heading to the shop. Wish I had a spot for it though! And yes, love my Ryobi products too! XOXO

  3. I love it! Thx for this informative post! I always bypass those heart pieces (which I lived through and owned!). I will take a second look now. Great job!!

    • Thanks, Michelle! There are a lot of those pieces that aren’t as easy a fix as this one was, but yes be sure to check just in case! XOXO

  4. Wanda Rose says

    If the heart piece can’t be removed, maybe a wooden embellishment piece could be attached to cover it up instead. I’ve seen some pretty embellishments at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. You have used them in the past on other things.

  5. So very cute! I have a shelf that’s almost identical to yours – guess I will be whacking the heart off! Great idea for use of the bead board too. Love it!!

  6. That looks so much better! Even in the 80’s I couldn’t understand wanting a heart cut out of everything! But maybe some of the cringe worthy items do have a second, and better, life.

    • Thanks, Barb! I know…although I was guilty of owning a few of those pieces myself. I can’t imagine hearts will ever make a comeback ha ha! XO

  7. Can you give me information about the bead board you used? I want to put something thin like what you used on the end of my kitchen island.

    • Hi Brenda! I purchased the bead board at Home Depot in a 4′ X 8′ sheet. I used it for another project and this was a scrap left over. They also sell it in 4′ tall pieces which would be perfect for your island! 🙂

  8. Such a great idea! I’ve got a small bench that’s been with me since the 80’s with that same heart cut-out. I now hide the bench, but it’s still used. I am going to whack off that panel and paint to give it a new life and bring it out of hiding! Thanks!

  9. What an easy fix, Christy! My good friend had heart everything in the early 90’s. I always think of her when I see a wood piece with a heart on it.

    • This really was an easy update. I had a few of those pieces myself, although I blame my Mom since I furnished my house with her hand-me-downs ha ha! XOXO

  10. Linda Petersen says

    Very,very cute! I like the dry brushing too????.

  11. Robyn Wright says

    I must still be living in the 80’s. I think the heart is cute; BUT! LOVE the transformation. I’ve passed different types of shelves not thinking about adding the beadboard. Thank goodness I found you. LOL!

    • Actually the heart on this one wasn’t too bad, but removing it did give it a fresh new look. Thanks, Robyn!! XOXO

  12. Marcie Lovett says

    Coastal, breezy, very 21st century. The beadboard brings it all together and the dry brushing is a wonderful touch.

    I may have had a heart or six in my house, and thought they were fabulous. Now I cringe when I see them in thrift shops (and wonder if I’m walking past something that was mine once).

    • Thanks, Marcie! Yes, much better! I had them too lol…although I blame my Mom since I started out with a bunch of her hand-me-downs ha ha! XOXO

  13. Super cute makeover Christy! It looks like a shelf I just saw a HomeSense!

  14. Love it!! I have one of these that my husband made and it has been in the closet just waiting for the right brilliant idea to come along! You literally cut the heart out, but gave it a new one! Thanks!

  15. Christy, I had a smaller shelf that didn’t have the heart cutout and the bead board like yours. Painted it almost the same color and it sold on Etsy right away. It must be great to be able to use your creativeness and then sell the items. Otherwise I’m sure you wouldn’t know where to put everything. I can sell smaller things on Etsy, because they are easy to ship, but the larger things I have to pass up unless I want to keep for myself. Thanks for showing the dry brush technic. I may use that on some of my things.

    • I do love having a place to sell my pieces. There are no limits to what I can play with! My poor house would be overflowing if I had to keep everything! XOXO

  16. Tina Matteson says

    I.Love.It. Another wonderful transformation!

  17. Norma Rolader says

    Absolutely amazing

  18. Love the heart gone and beadboard added! And the color is stupendous!!! Another great success!

  19. Too funny… ‘whacked off’. LOL! It’s lovely, as always, Christy!

  20. Good morning Christy. I really enjoyed this makeover. In the dark of the morning here before all the activity kicks in I chuckled out loud at your remark “the piece with the heart just got wacked off”. Something about the hammer lying there and the simplicity of the effort it took tickled my funny bone! And I chuckled again when in the photo you showed how you just laid the piece of beadboard on the containers and cut down the middle. It is inevitably what I would do without paying attention to whether the lines are straight on any piece to be cut. I tend to get excited and impulsively plunge in. Your 80’s shelf is beautiful and I thank you for sharing it with us. Your work is so beautiful!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Joanne! Wasn’t that a super simple fix? And yes I impulsively plunge in as well lol! Thank you so much! XOXO

  21. That is so pretty, Christy and I love how you accessorized it! No one would ever think it used to be an 80’s shelving unit.

    • Thank you, Marie! I was so excited when I saw that piece with the heart could be removed! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  22. What a fantastic idea! The end results: A beautiful shelf resulting better usage.