Ornate Shelf Makeover

Hello dear friends! Today I’m sharing a shelf that used to be in Brennan’s room. I had it in my yard sale pile and decided at the last minute to keep it and give it a new look!

But first, big news…my Etsy shop is open for business! Woot woot!

It’s called TheSerialDIYer. If you missed my announcement last week, I am officially a Dixie Belle Retailer!

My booth is stocked and ready to go:

And now I have their products in my online shop as well! You can find most of their products there, including all 64 colors. I have $8 flat rate shipping and free shipping on all orders over $50. (Use code FREESHIP50) I hope that if you love their products as much as I do, that you’ll consider ordering from me! (There is a link to it in my sidebar as well for future reference.)

I don’t have plans to add any of my makeovers to the shop for now since it is easier for me to sell those items locally at my booth.

Let’s see what else I saved from my yard sale…meet my new bunch-o-treasures destined for makeovers:

I decided last minute as I was pricing things not to sell the shelf, the pictures, the sign, the dough bowls, and the frames, but I was trying hard to get rid of that folding chair and basket. There were no takers.

Some of these are thrift store and yard sale finds that I never did anything with, and some are things I used in our old house that didn’t quite make the cut here.

This shelf once belonged to my Mom, and when I was decorating Brennan’s nursery, I raided her attic to see what I could find to use.

Except I did this to it:

It was really pretty before, but I willy nilly slapped cobalt blue paint all over it so it would match the nursery.

It never made it into his room here at the new house and has just been taking up space in my storage room because I didn’t want to tackle nixing the blue paint.

Luckily, there was an easy solution!

Here’s how it turned out:

How to dry brush


How to dry brush

Instead of removing the existing paint, I could have spray painted over it with dark brown spray paint, then painted it, and then sanded it, and it would appear that it was just wood underneath. However, an even easier solution was to paint and then dry brush.

I started with a coat of Dixie Belle’s Vintage Duck Egg:

This is ONE coat, ya’ll! Then I used a small brush to get the paint into all those little openings on the sides. (If you’re using my DIY chalk paint recipe, a similar Behr option is Gray Morning.)

Then I took a VERY DRY brush with the remnants of Bit of Sugar on it and dry brushed it across the surfaces:

How to dry brush

And here are the two finishes side by side:

How to dry brush

The dry brushing really highlights all those pretty curves.

Then I sealed it with white wax, letting the wax settle into the crevices…

Shelf made over using a dry brush technique.

White wax turns clear as you buff it in, but stayed white in the crevices where I left it.

Shelf made over using a dry brush technique.

It’s so cute now, right? So light and beachy!

Shelf made over using a dry brush technique.

Doesn’t it have the prettiest details?

Shelf made over using a dry brush technique.

I’m so glad that I didn’t let it go for $3 at my yard sale!

Shelf made over using a dry brush technique.


Shelf made over using a dry brush technique.

That’s one done! I’m so pleased that this poor shelf is no longer stuck in the corner of my storage room!

I’ll be back on Thursday with my Furniture Fixer Upper Girls sharing a piece I dragged home from my booth to redo. It started out like this:

UPDATE: Bam! See what take two looks like now HERE! I’d love to know which one you prefer!

I tried hard to preserve some of that pretty wood, but no takers…time for a new plan! Then I’ll continue working through my new bunch-o-treasures!



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    Wow the shelf turned out so beautiful!! Now, are you selling the shelf at your booth or keeping it? Congratulations on becoming a Dixie Bell Retailer and your Etsy shop, I haven’t every tried their paint, but I might have to get some. I am for sure going to get some of that white wax so I can have pieces with lines and wrinkles turn out like your shelf! I will check out your shop!

    • Thank you, Mary! I haven’t decided, but I’m really tempted to keep it!! And yes, I am excited to join the Dixie Belle family…I love everything of theirs that I’ve tried so far! That white wax is very cool. Hope you get a chance to visit the shop! XOXO

  2. That shelf is so pretty. I love the limed look, as we all it in the UK.

  3. Christine DiTrinco Prowak says

    Love it, hopefully you’re keeping it for your home??

  4. Denise V Cox says

    That shelf is nothing short of GORGEOUS!!! I love coastal decor as I live so close to the Chesaoeake Bay and Ocean City, Md.( here on the Eastern Shore of Md.). What a big transformation for such a small investment!!! LOVE IT!! What a shame you don’t sell your items in your new store… ????. Good luck with that… ????.

    • Thank you so much, Denise! I love the Eastern Shore! I wish I could sell my own things on Etsy but that darned shipping is what keeps me from doing it! XOXO

  5. Christina in SW FL says

    Christy, I admit I thought you would go white on the shelf. 🙂 It sure looks great after the makeover you gave it.
    Congratulations again on being a Dixie Belle retailer. I favorited your Etsy shop.
    Have a great week!

    • Ha ha you know me well, but I went for the blue this time! I was actually imagining gray instead of the blue but changed my mind at the last minute. Thanks so much for the shop love…it’s hard getting started so I appreciate it very much! XOXO

  6. Great job! Love that shelf you are so lucky to have something so unique. Love how you brought out all of the details.

    • Thank you, Candy! I am so pleased with how it turned out that I might just be keeping this one! XOXO

  7. Janice Holt says

    Love the shelf. It does have beautiful details. Glad to know you are selling your paints online.

  8. Bringing out those details with the wax made SUCH a pretty difference in this piece. Just love it!

  9. Congratulations on the new shop (Etsy sellers rock, of course. ????) That blue on the shelf was just not right and now those details shine. Love it!!

  10. Cecilia from Georgia says

    I bet that shelf will fly out of your booth now! Of course that is my color so I am partial. I can’t believe the side table with the whale is still in your booth…I love that thing! The DB display looks great on that shelf you made over. Good luck with your Etsy shop!!

    • Thank you, Cecilia! I don’t think this one is going to make it to my booth lol! The whale table surprises me as well…usually, anything I paint for the little goes quickly! XOXO

  11. My jaw literally dropped when I scrolled down. Wow!

  12. WOW Christy! What an amazing transformation on the shelf! Love all the detail and how the white dry brushing brought it to life. Awesome!

  13. The light blue is beautiful. My tables and shelves were accidentally sold in my storage locker. At first I was very very upset but then I thought hot damn I get to go searching for more.

    • Thank you, Jody! I love that you are finding the positive in your loss…it will be so fun to hunt for new treasures! XOXO

  14. Nice color on the shelf Christy. I am a wood turner as well so when I spotted the bowls I was eager. They look like Maple or could be Box Elder but I can’t tell unless a closer up pictures. I would buy those from you as is if you are willing to sell them. PM me.


  15. Cheryl Atkinson says

    Good Morning! I love this little shelf and what a difference. I love the highlights and details. White wax sure made a difference. I’m about to place an order from you because i am low on some paint. I have been painting smalls ( i don’t even have a booth) and it is so fun. Thank to you i have trays and boxes and frames etc. etc. LOL Do you need some smalls for your booth? 🙂

    • Thank you, Cheryl!! I hope you find some goodies to get creative with in my shop! I removed the other bookcase I had in my booth that held smalls, so I actually don’t have a lot of room in there for smalls at the moment! I’ve never had that problem lol! XOXO

  16. Such pretty details on this shelf…love the new color and white dry brushing + wax! And congrats on your new Etsy Shop Christy! XO

    • Thank you, Denise! Sometimes the easiest techniques are the best! And thank you for the shop love! XOXO

  17. sharon austin says

    Nooooooo! Say it isn’t so! I hope in the future you will list at least the makeovers that are easy to ship in your shop. I was so excited until you said no makeovers 🙁 I’d be so excited to own one of your pieces!!

    • Aww sorry about that Sharon, but just so you know, I am always willing to ship the smaller things if you’re ever interested in anything. Just message me! And thank you!! That means a lot! XOXO

  18. Wow One coat over that bright blue,great paint. Love how the shelf turned out.

  19. Ange Mills says

    What a sweet shelf. Looks so feminine now. Love the details. Another great save.

    • Thank you, Ange! I’m so glad I didn’t sell it! I forgot how pretty it was with that wild blue paint hiding all the details! XOXO

  20. Tammy Ganci says

    I want that shelf!!!!!!!!! lololol

  21. Just placed an order!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited for you!

  22. Sooo much better Christy ???????? I didn’t even notice the pretty detailing before and now it just pops ????

    • Thank you so much, Annie! That bright blue paint was definitely covering up all those pretty details! XOXO

  23. This shelf redo is just wonderful. I see the beach but I also see a beautiful Christmas scene with little evergreens and a white church. So many styling ideas!

  24. Kimberly says

    That shelf definitely has new life. Those details are beautiful and you really made them noticeable.

  25. Donna Bledsoe says

    Beautiful Piece!!

  26. Sheila DelCharco says

    $3?? You would have snapped that up in a jiffy at a thrift store! What a transformation! I absolutely love it with the dry brushing! I think I know what I’m going to do with my dresser! I love that you shopped your own house for your next round of projects! (I actually came on here to get your diy chalk paint recipe as I’m about to paint my nightstands.)

    • Thank you, Sheila! My Mom always says I price my yard sale stuff to cheaply LOL. And you’re right, I would’ve snapped this up in a heartbeat for three bucks at a thrift store! I don’t know why I waited so long to paint it. This technique would be gorgeous on a dresser! Best of luck with yours, my friend! XOXO

  27. That shelf is BEAUTIFUL !!! my neighbors gave me 2 wicker chairs and a coffee table to match which they had painted all that Cobalt Blue—–do you think I could use the same technique to get it to the color of your shelf?

  28. Patricia Hontalas says

    Ho. Christy,

    That shelf came out amazing!!! I love that color. It looks so vintage. I want to paint my Moms kitchen bottom cabinets that color and the uppers in white. She has solid golden oak cabinets from the 80’s. I can’t wait to see what you do with the folding chair. I have two in my garage and thought about donating them on freecycle. I’m waiting patiently.
    Have a great day!!


    • Thank you, Patricia! Ooh I can definitely see that color combination in a kitchen… I love that idea! I’ve looked at that dang folding chair for about the past four years or so trying to come up with an idea for it LOL. That’s why I finally decided I would just sell the thing. But alas here I am. I’ll come up with something and share it soon! XOXO

  29. SO much better. Good job! Great color, and practical, too.

  30. I love what you did with this shelf! I would snatch it up!

  31. Marcie Lovett says

    That certainly looks much better now! Love the effect you get with white wax.

  32. Charleen Adams says

    It is amazing what a little paint will do.wonderful choice of color. Great job!

  33. Oh boy, that duck egg blue is so pretty….but, you are right, with the white dry brush it is light and airy and probably will find a new home more easily. Glad you didn’t sell it, it really is a unique piece.

  34. Judy Lincicum says

    Hi Christy! I am a loyal fan of your blog and have been following you for literally 5 plus years. I am always impressed with your talent and knowledge of just what to do with a piece that seems lost forever. Even though I am a wood person, I have never disagreed with any of your choices to paint. I am also an avid Dixie Belle customer. I found Dixie Belle on Amazon some years ago and was so impressed with the self leveling and coverage of the product, that I use nothing else. I was thrilled to find out that you are now a dealer of this great product and will order my paint from you in the future. I have always flipped my pieces for my own use or given to family members and am now attempting my first dresser. I love your tutorials and recipes for chalk paint and have used the recipes in the past with glorious results. I am not a professional or an expert by any means. I do this for pure pleasure. And since I am 73 years old, I find that an easy way out is the ticket for me. Nothing too complicated. I find your techniques and tutorials easy to use. Since I have never said these things to you before, I thought it time I tell you how much I appreciate your time and effort in maintaining your blog for so many years. You seem tireless and I’m amazed at how many irons you have in the fire and still are managing to raise a family. I wish I had your energy, for it must take a lot.

    • Well Judy, you just made my whole day!! I appreciate that so much!! I’m thrilled that you enjoy what I share. Staying creative helps me keep my sanity and it is probably what keeps you young! I hope you’ll continue to follow along with me and stay creative, and I’d love to have you as a customer! Thank you!! XOXO

  35. Sandi Wagner says

    I love it! And now I know about “white wax!”

  36. Brenda Johnson says

    It is a gorgeous shelf, I just love all the detail and the color you chose makes it even prettier!

  37. Barbara Warner says

    The new makeover on this shelf is absolutely gorgeous! Love the way the wax brings out every little detail in the wood. This piece is stunning and even if – in 10 yrs – you decide to refinish it again, KEEP IT! I see this as a classic

  38. Congrats on your Etsy Shop, On line Store and your Dixie Belle paints. I live in Canada and am wondering if you ship here? I love what you did to your shelf! Very pretty!

    • Thank you, Gail! Unfortunately, I only sell to those in the US. I wouldn’t cover my costs with the high shipping. I wish I could sell to all my friends in Canada though! XOXO

    • Okay so I just looked up shipping costs to Canada for a few of my products. I always assumed it was expensive, but it’s actually not too bad. There are customs fees, but If I can figure it out, I might just make it a possibility! 🙂

  39. Wow, it’s like watching Cinderella crawl out of the ashes, haha! The blue just kind of buried the beauty. Very VERY pretty now!

  40. Christy – i may have sold that BLUE shelf myself, but not now after your redo! i love the new color and glazing – it really brings out the details of its beauty! looking forward to the folding chair redo when you get there – i have a ‘thing’ for folding chairs!
    i preordered your book last evening, looking forward to that too. you never know, if just MAY change MY life! never underestimate your influence!

    • Thank you, Gwen! I have an idea for the chair…just need to get to it! And thank you! My friend, Jen from Girl in the Garage, will be thrilled you ordered her new book! We share very similar content so I know it is easy to get us mixed up. I have seen the book though and I promise you will not be disappointed! XOXO

  41. That looks like a totally different piece! One most people would walk past for sure… but not now! 🙂 xo

    • I know, right?? I can’t believe I waited so long to do anything with it that I was just ready to sell it at my yard sale! Now I’m trying to find a place for it ha ha! Thanks, girlie! 🙂 XOXO

  42. This is my most favorite piece of yours, and of all of the sites. I love how the wax stays white in the crevices, highlighting the curves of this beauty. I can honestly say if I ever came upon this shelf, I would pay what ever price Was listed. And then I would worry about decorating a room for it to be featured in.

    • Thanks so much, Esther! I am so glad I didn’t stick it out at my yard sale. Now it’s going to have a home in our kitchen! XOXO.

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