I wasn’t sure what to call this piece, but I’m going with a framed cubby shelf! Amazing friends, do you remember the frame I turned into a shelf this past spring? (This one HERE.)
I’m not gonna lie, that one was a lot of work, but it sold pretty quickly, so when I spied this one at the thrift store already turned into a shelf for 50% off the marked price of $12, I had to grab it:
I figured not having to do the actual building of the shelf would make this makeover so much easier!
But can I make it pretty?? Let’s see!
I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.
Of course, I started with a good cleaning with White Lightning by mixing one TBSP into a half gallon of warm water and giving it a good wipe down.
These applicator pads are actually sponges covered in terry cloth and are perfect for this step. I then swapped out my water for clean water and wiped it down once more to remove any remaining residue.
Prep for Silk Paint
I liked the idea of using the Silk paint which has a built-in top coat, so I wouldn’t have to seal all those cubbies.
Silk paint does require prepping by sanding the surfaces to give the paint something to grip onto.
I did that all over with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around an old sanding sponge…
Then I vacuumed away any dust with my shop vac and followed up by wiping away any remaining dust with a clean cloth.
An alternative to sanding would be using Slick Stick bonding primer. (Apply one coat, then a second coat after two hours, and then let it sit overnight before painting.)
I chose Silk in Salt Water for this shelf:
I used the last of one jar on the first and second coats, and just after opening the second jar for the final coat, this happened…
Oopsie! If this happens on a floor like this concrete we have in our garage (can you tell I’ve done this more than once?), I leave it as is to dry.
The next day, I am able to pull it up in one piece:
Pretty awesome. I did paint the entire final coat with that paint from the floor though lol. I tried not to waste it all! I guess I could have scooped it up somehow, but I was thinking of the mess.
This piece needed three coats for complete coverage over that dark stain. Silk dries from the top down, so be sure to let it sit longer than you might for chalk paint. I left it in the sun for about an hour in between coats.
You can read more about the differences between Silk paint and Chalk Mineral Paint HERE.
Once my final coat was dry, I sanded all the edges to distress a bit.
Yes, you sure can do this with silk paint too when you’re just hitting the raised areas where natural wear would occur.
If I was going to make this pretty, I had to add a transfer!
I chose one of my favorites, the French Ceramics transfer:
This one is very forgiving since the pattern is pretty random.
I realized after painting the first coat that I should have removed the backing to make it easier, but it had so many staples that were really embedded in there, so I chose to do it the hard way lol.
I cut pieces to fit the back of each cubby. To do that more easily, I enlisted one of my favorite helpers, my rotary cutting set.
It includes the mat, the rotary cutter, and the straight edge.
I use it for transfers, decoupage paper, and fabric.
Then I used the included burnishing tool to transfer the image…
However, the larger stick made it a bit more difficult to get into those corners and in those tight spaces, so I swapped it for a popsicle stick and it worked much better…
There is no need to seal Silk paint since it has a built in topcoat. I also didn’t feel the need to protect the transfer since it was at the back of the cubbies, so this project was complete!
Framed Cubby Shelf Makeover, The After
Here is how this dark and dreary cubby shelf looks now!
Bright and cheery!
And this transfer is the perfect backdrop for these pretty ironstone pieces…
Here’s a bit of a side view. You can see how the frame sits away from the wall:
It is pretty now!
And here’s a peek of the shelf naked:
I feel like I’m working right through this haul!
See what I’ve completed from this haul so far below if you missed any:
I’ve added 19 BRAND NEW Fall and Christmas items from Redesign to my Etsy shop! They should be the first things you see on the homepage when you visit! Get these items while supplies last as Redesign is already sold out of some of these items.
I’ll be back with this vintage bed tray on Tuesday!
UPDATE: This is such a cool piece…see its two functions HERE!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! ❤️
Don’t Miss a Thing!
If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along!
Get FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50. No code needed at checkout! Orders under $50 always enjoy $8 flat rate shipping! Most orders ship same or next business day!