Chalk Painted Bookshelf Makeover

My husband and I have been shopping at the Nashville Flea Market since we moved into our first [tiny] apartment 8 years ago. We try to go every month unless it’s unbearably hot or uncomfortably cold. Over the years we’ve furnished two apartments and two houses with mainly pieces we’ve found there. I’ve found you never find what you went there looking for but you ALWAYS leave with a treasure.

A few months back we found the sweetest pair of handmade bookshelves at the flea market for $40. Not knowing exactly where we would put them we knew they had to come home with us.



They had been sitting there for three days when we found them and it was love at first sight. Of course they needed a little TLC but those arches at the top had me swooning!!!

So we loaded them in the truck and brought them home. I knew I wanted to lighten them up and give them a little of that farmhouse style (obviously!). So my husband got to work sanding down the shelves and I got to work painting.

I used a new to me product for this project. I usually paint furniture with Annie Sloan chalk paint but had heard good things about Rustoleum’s new chalk paint so decided to give it a try.



Verdict – GREAT! I actually found it easier to work with and its half the price of Annie Sloan. They don’t have the variety of color options Annie Sloan does but if you’ve been hanging around here long you know I paint almost everything white anyways so for me thats not a problem.

So after two coats of paint, a light distressing, and a wax finish here they are finished and at home in our dining room.



We decided to leave the shelves natural and I’m so glad we did because it really lets the white dishes pop!



I loved them flanked on two sides of the room but I thought they made an even bigger statement when they were side by side. And because they’re so narrow they work perfectly behind the pew at our dining room table.



We store our everyday serving ware on them. I really paired down on dishes when we renovated the kitchen. For a long time I had three sets of dishes; everyday ones, holiday ones, and my grandmothers china. So I donated our everyday dishes and decided to use the nicer holiday dishes everyday because why not? I might as well use them and enjoy them regularly rather than just a few times a year. All that to say, aside from a few platters, bowls and pitchers we don’t have much to store here so the shelves were just enough.



I think these will be fun to style and change up for the different seasons and holidays. I already have some ideas floating around for fall.



To me there’s something just essentially farmhouse about repurposed furniture and I love the look of mixing clean, new pieces with older, loved ones. They give a home a story and I’m so happy these shelves will be a part of ours.


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