Beautiful friends, welcome back! Today, I’m sharing how to easily update a shelf with a stencil! Not that you need a how-to for that necessarily, but more to show how a stencil can really update a boring shelf!
I just shared a shelf, but I decided to pull this one from my archives to share today since we are moving Jack back into his apartment at UVA this weekend, and I’m trying to enjoy some summer moments before we have to say good bye!
This shelf was a $6.98 thrift store find:
It took me a long time to get around to tackling this piece. I loved that it was solid and that it appeared to be handmade, but the weirdness of how close together the support brackets were kept throwing me off.
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.
How do you get motivated??
Just start painting!! After giving it a good cleaning, I finally decided to do what I often do when I’m feeling unmotivated about a piece…I just started painting! Works every time!
I decided on this gorgeous blue/gray by Dixie Belle called Savannah Mist:
It is one of my absolute favorites! And, it has excellent coverage, but I gave this shelf two coats.
Adding a stencil
Then I decided to add part of a stencil I had in my stash 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.
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:
The curves and the blue along with the stencil give it a cottage vibe don’t you think?
The stencil really adds such a unique and fun detail…
And I don’t think the shelf support brackets look too close together anymore since they sit just inside where the stencil ends…
I love this pretty blue against all the white!
Most shelves don’t have a piece on the top like this one does, but most do have a piece on the bottom where you could add your stencil!
If you are hesitant to use stencils, Silkscreen stencils like the one I shared on my half moon table HERE are SO much easier to use with great results!
Dixie Belle had not come out with their line of silkscreen stencils when this post was originally shared, but I have a bunch in my shop:
You can see them all HERE.
And, they can be cut apart to use any way you like!
I was so happy to see this piece turn out so cute since someone had put a lot of care into building it!
I’ll be back with another repost, this beautiful hutch that belongs to my sweet mama:
See ya then!
UPDATE: No need to wait, see the after of this pretty piece HERE now!
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