Thrift Store Shelf Makeover

Happy Tuesday, beautiful Friends! Thanks to everyone who entered the Craft Junk Giveaway! I wish everyone could win, but there can only be one winner. Congratulations to Michelle from Albuquerque, NM. (She has already been notified.) Don’t worry if you didn’t win this time, I’ll be back in August with another box of goodies, and again in November!

I have a pretty little makeover to share with ya’ll today.

I picked up this shelf at the thrift store a while back for $1.98:

I have seen several of these since, but none for as cheap as I scored this one.

I decided to keep with the idea of mug hooks, but changed them out, and added a back to mine:

Update a thrift store shelf with numbers and hooks!

Cute, right?? It’s amazing what paint and some graphics can do for a simple thrift store find. I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I use.

I decided it needed a back, so I originally went searching my garage for bead board, but I didn’t have a piece that was wide enough. I had some hardboard I had left from making chalkboards, so I cut that to fit with my table saw…

Then I removed the brackets from the shelf and gave them a coat of black spray paint. I followed up with a little petroleum jelly here and there, and also added some to these hooks I found at Hobby Lobby (HERE on Amazon):

How to distress with vaseline.

Then I sprayed them all with white primer first, then white satin spray paint:

How to distress with petroleum jelly.

I probably didn’t need to prime first since I was spraying over paint…habit I guess.

When they were dry, I wiped the areas with petroleum jelly with a soft cloth to remove the white paint…

How to distress with petroleum jelly.

Kind of looks like the paint peeled off in those areas.

How to distress with petroleum jelly.

Then I painted the rest of the shelf parts with Dixie Belle Chalk Paint in Fluff. I decided to add the numbers using black acrylic craft paint and my silhouette machine ( I have this one.)to fill in that big blank space:

If you don’t have a silhouette, no worries…add them the old school way seen HERE. This is the French Script font.

Turn a thrift store shelf into a pretty new mug rack!

You could use house numbers you can find at the hardware store instead of painting them, for a little added dimension.

Turn a thrift store shelf into a pretty new mug rack!

These ironstone pieces are all thrift store finds as well…

Turn a thrift store shelf into a pretty new mug rack!

Everything was sealed with Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture wax. I’m giving that a try for a change, and I like it so far. It has the consistency of body butter and goes on really smoothly.

Turn a thrift store shelf into a pretty new mug rack!


Turn a thrift store shelf into a pretty new mug rack!


pdate a thrift store shelf with numbers and hooks!

What started out to be a simple white paint job became just a bit more unique and fun with addition of the numbers.

I’ll be back on Thursday with my Furniture Fixer Upper girls sharing how I changed up this armoire:

This was not an easy one, and it may have involved some choice words.  😉

UPDATE: See the armoire drama HERE now!



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    I Love how that turned out, I got rid of the exact same shelf that I had years ago, to bad I don’t have it any more. What a great idea to add the wood to fill it in and change the look so much. I told my daughter about your blog, and she started following you, and loves your blog and the amazing things you recreate as much as I do. Her and her husband just moved to South Carolina. I do believe we have you covered with #1 and #2 fan club! Hi to Jenny!

  2. Christina in FL says

    Good morning Christy! I saw this shelf and thought “Oh, she is totally going to change out those cup hooks.” hahaha Love what you chose. 🙂
    Add, that I really appreciate your sensibilities in where to put the petroleum jelly so it looks like true wear rather than just random spots. Heck, I’d buy this shelf! 🙂 I know it will sell very fast.
    Create on!!

  3. Sherry Darlington says

    I have this exact shelf somewhere in my stash of “styling supplies”. I am sooooo doing this! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. ColleenB. says

    what a lovely shelf make-over and what a great/cheap price to boot

  5. christine says

    Christie, I LOVE everything that you do! May I ask, why the Vaseline? Couldn’t you just spray black, then white and sand those few areas? Thanks!

    • Thank you so much, Christine! If I were to sand it, the original brassy gold tone of the brackets would have likely shown through, and I didn’t want that. This looks more like the paint has chipped off in certain places, and no gold. 🙂

  6. Love the shelf. Will be on the lookout for one when I go thrifting. Of course you never disappoint me. Can’t wait until Thursday.

    • Thank you, Janice! I have seen a few of these, so you might just get lucky. See ya Thursday! XOXO

  7. Laura Lane says

    I have a shelf just like this one….thanks for the idea Christy!!!

    • Awesome, Laura! This must have been pretty popular back in the day because I have come across a few of them. Wish I had picked them up now ha ha! XOXO

  8. How CUTE! What a change. The back was a must, and the numbers are perfect. Cup hooks may have their place, but mostly they need to be left in the package, haha! Your hook swap is gorgeous! I love how you refinished the hardware too. That little shelf will have no trouble finding a new home!

    • Thanks, Becky! Yes, those cup hooks had to go, but of course I did keep them just in case LOL. You just never know! XOXO

  9. So stinking cute! I bought that very same shelf from Home Interiors back in the 80s. Seems to me I still have it somewhere in the basement. I am going to steal your idea if it is there!

    • Thank you, Suzan! I knew there was a reason I’ve seen this shelf several times before. Home Interiors was the bomb back in the day! Hope you can find yours! XOXO

  10. I love how you left the screws black. Normally, I like seeing them painted, but in this case it further accents the number graphics. You have amazing vision!

    • Thanks so much, Judy! I do sometimes paint over the screws, but sometimes they work as is. 🙂

  11. Very cool! You’ve got SUCH vision!

  12. Love it! Thanks for all the inspiration! I see those shelves all the time!

    • Thanks, Cecelia! Apparently they are by Home interiors. I figured because I’ve seen several of them myself. I won’t pass up any more up from now on! XOXO

  13. Those were originally from home interiors. awhile back…..I remember them well. I love to see your transformations, it would of sold like hot cakes back in the day if they all looked as nice as yours!!!

    • Aww thank you, Melinda! I figured they must have been a popular item back in the day since I’ve seen a few of them! XOXO

  14. Mary Ross says

    Good morning Christy,

    II just happened to purchase 2 shelves just like that last week, however mine already had the wood piece on it, “whew” no construction work for me. I love your idea,…… bars are so popular right now.
    I have a question: Have you ever tried or read any thing about Heirloom Traditions Paint. I’ve watched so many of the tutorials, and the paint sounds AMAZING ! I’ve ordered several containers, and can’t wait to try it.
    Keep sending out your emails, FB etc…………also I refer back to your fabulous talent when ever I get a new pieces…… always inspire me.

    Your follower, Yes you are my cult leader ! LOL LOL
    Mary Ross

    • You are so funny, Mary, thank you!! I have not heard of this paint, but it sounds awesome. I did Google it. I’d love to know how you like it after you’ve given it a try! XOXO

  15. You continue to rock my world! This one might be my favorite one yet. You do amazing things with next to nothing and in styles and colors I love. When I see your emails I can’t wait to pop them open to see your next treasure. The only thing I would change is more, more, more – I would appreciate a makeover every day! No pressure. Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

    • Oh you are so sweet, Jennie, thank you!! I’m so thrilled to hear you enjoy seeing me in your inbox! How awesome would it be if I actually could post every day? I’d be very productive LOL! XOXO

  16. Really beautiful! I love the hook and the numbers! This would make a sweet addition to my kitchen – I need to be on the lookout for one next time I go thrifting!

    • Thank you, Gina! I’m wishing I had a place to hang it in my own kitchen, but unfortunately I do not boohoo. Good luck in your search for one! XOXO

  17. Sherry Stuifbergen says

    What a bargain, and I love how you updated it with the hooks painted with your “technique” and stencils. It looks wonderful, as usual. Can’t wait to see what you do with the armoire. Is THAT a thrift store bargain? I do love YOUR thrift store!

    • Thank you, Sherry! A bargain, indeed. So glad I brought that little cutie home with me. And yes, that armoire was a thrift store find for only $75! Can you believe that? I grabbed that tag and ran to the counter so fast LOL. Can’t wait to share on Thursday! XOXO

  18. Beautiful as always! I was wondering why you chose to prime the hooks etc. instead of just 2 coats of spray paint? Thanks!

    • Thank you, Anita! Sometimes the finish looks funny and mottled on metal pieces, and using a primer first prevents that. 🙂

  19. Marcie Lovett says

    What a great find! Now it’s beautiful and so much more practical with the new hooks. I see it in a mudroom or entry to hold coats or hats or dog leashes or backpacks or tote bags or…..

  20. Rose Arroyo says

    Just lovely.

  21. Oh my goodness! I have two of these shelves from the old Home Interiors days! Seeing your project makes me think they would make the perfect display shelves for my Rae Dunn collection!

  22. Sandy Steele says

    Oh my gosh! I think I may have this shelf in my garage gathering dust! I am going to find it and do this same thing with mine! I am so excited, thank you for sharing this! LOVE IT!!!

  23. I’ve seen so many of these shelves at my local thrift store lately but haven’t really found any inspiration in how to refresh the style of them! I LOVE this idea (and it would let me show off some of my inherited teacups!)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thanks, Megan! It is an old Home Interiors piece I’m told so it’s no wonder there are a ton of them out there! This would be perfect for your teacups! XO

  24. You did a great job updating that shelf! My mother sold “Home Interiors” back in the 80’s, this shelf my friend was very popular back then.
    You always amaze me, you are so talented!

    • Aww thank you so much, Cindy, I appreciate that! And I knew there was a reason I’ve seen several of these floating around! XOXO

  25. Oh my! I have the same shelf from several lives ago! It’s in the garage and now you have given me some great ideas!

    • Well I’m so glad I’ve been able to show you another way to see it, Fran! It seems this was a very popular piece back in the day! XOXO

  26. Lauri Kunze says

    I remade at least three of that same shelf and they sold very quickly in my booth. Now that I see what you did, I’d like to “recall” them and try again. Yours is way cuter!

    • Aww thanks, Lauri! I’m sure yours were great too! I loved it just with a fresh paint job. 🙂

  27. Love your idea of adding a back plate and numbering the hooks – another fab thrift store find makeover, Christy! Pinned

    • Thanks, Marie! I was originally just going to paint it, but one thing always leads to another! 🙂

  28. You continue to amaze me when to take something ho hum & make it shine.Keep it going can’t wait for next project.

  29. I drank the Kool-Aid, bought the shelf yesterday for $7.99, no bargain but a cute idea! Thanks for sharing.

  30. Really turned out cute! I love those Johnson Bros. English stoneware dishes too. I have lots of those myself and have collected them for years. Can’t wait to see what you do with that cabinet.

    • Thanks, Peggy! I love those dishes. I have several pieces already, but I buy whatever I find anyway! 🙂

  31. Absolutely LOVE this Christy. Well done!!

  32. Cottagey cute…if that is a word!!! You go girl!!!
    god bless,

    • Thanks, Addie! Yes, that sounds like a legit word to me! 🙂 Hope you are enjoying your weekend! XOXO

  33. Love this makeover especially since I have that exact shelf. I never considered doing anything with it other than holding dog leashes. It is next to my laundry area and I have a wooden ironing board under it with an antique iron. Hmmm

    • Thank you, Leona! It seems this was a popular little shelf at one time. Happy to give you another idea for yours! XO


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