Turn a drabby thrift store hanging shelving unit into a beautiful painted piece of furniture using chalk paint
One of my favorite past times is shopping…yep, I’m an addict, lol. I just love to browse the isles at all kinds of stores to get inspiration for my home. Finding unique pieces that can be made over or repurposed is so much fun to me – and so agonizing to my husband.
The other day while I was perusing the isles of one of my local thrift stores, I came across this cute decorative shelf that had definitely seen better days. It was covered in a thick layer of dust (yuck) and was pretty scuffed up…although, it had super cute curvy designs. So, I had to buy it for the whopping $4 they were asking for it!
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Like all of the pieces of furniture that I paint and makeover, I give them a good cleaning beforehand.
How to clean a piece of furniture before painting
I get asked this all of the time from readers and friends, “how do you clean a piece of furniture before painting it?”. My answer is always the same. I swear by the product called White Lightning by Dixie Belle. It’s the absolute best cleaner for removing grime, dirt, sticky residue, smoke smell, mildew smell and more. I go into great detail about cleaning wood in this post How To Clean Wood Before Painting.
- Dixie Belle Chalk Paint; color Dried Sage – a beautiful chalk paint color that does not need to be sealed!
- Mini angle paint brush – my favorite type of brush for painting furniture because of the short handle and pointed tip on one side
- White Lightning cleaner – the best, hands-down cleaner for washing your furniture before painting.
- Bucket – for washing your furniture
- Wash rag – any old rag will do. I love the white washcloths from Walmart!
How To Paint And Old Shelf with Chalk Paint
I will walk you through the entire process from start to finish with pictures!
First gather your supplies, see above for what supplies I use.
Add White Lightning cleaner to a bucket with warm water. On the container, the measurements are given for how much water you use.
Using a wash rag, soak the rag in the cleaning solution and wipe down the shelf. Rinse your rag often and “reload” with cleaner.
Once the entire shelf has been cleaned, empty the bucket and rinse out, removing all cleaner. Fill with clean water and get a clean wash rag. Wipe the shelf down multiple times with the clean water, ensuring that all of the cleaner residue has been removed. *Tip: if any cleaner is left on behind, there can be adhesion issues with the chalk paint.
Once the shelf is clean, let it air dry.
When the shelf is dry, begin painting with your favorite color chalk paint, I used Dried Sage to match my dining room chairs that I painted and reupholstered.
Because my can of paint was older, it was a tad dried out as compared to a fresh can. Using the mister bottle, purchased from Dixie Belle, I misted the shelf and then painted. This is called the wet method and allows the paint to “flow more freely”.
Allow the paint to dry and then hang!