I found this vintage wall shelf with towel rods on the side of the road. Maybe you call it a whatnot shelf? In any case, it's thrift store decor day, and this is my project.
It's much larger than it may appear in this photo. I'm guessing it's from the 70's or 80's. That means it's 45-50 years old! How is that possible? I graduated high school in 1975!!
This is our Thrift Store Day, be sure to check out all the projects below.
I love using this All in One Paint Surface Prep. It cleans and deglosses in one step. It doesn't get any easier than this.
For more tips on prepping furniture see my article
Brush off Debris
I find this handy dust brush works really well on large and small projects alike. You really want to remove all the dry stuff first, you know--stuff like cobwebs and spider eggs.
Use a Deglosser to Clean & Prep Furniture
This piece was really pretty nasty. But because the vintage wall shelf has mostly straight lines, it was easy to clean with the surface prep and an old towel. You definitely don't want to apply any paint over all this grime.
Begin Painting your Piece Upside Down
When you're flipping furniture for resale, you don't want the buyer to load it in their car and see bare wood that was missed during the painting process. For that reason, I always begin painting my projects upside down. In addition, doing it this way, when you flip it, if something gets scarred, chances are it won't be seen.
I used All in One Paint from HTP (weathervane). It was the end of the can, and I wasn't sure if I was going to have enough to complete the project. As it turned out, I didn't. More about that in a minute. But! Isn't the finish awesome? That's why I love to use my Finish Max Paint Sprayer!
Typically, I do 2 ½ coats of paint. The first coat is a light coat, and the second coat is another light coat. The ½ coat is wherever the paint may be thin.
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Final Coat of Touchup Paint
After letting the vintage wall shelf (whatnot shelf) cure for several days, I was ready to get this project behind me. So, see the thin paint that needs another coat? Normally, I would just paint that area, but because I'm using a different color, the entire piece will get a full, light coat of the Cathedral.
I gathered some quick and easy painting tools.
- foam plate
- small foam foller
- small paint brush
I love these small foam rollers. They really do a great job of painting without brush strokes and the cleanup is easy without a lot of waste (paint going down the drain). The only con is that they don't get the corners. That is why I have my favorite small paint brush on hand. You can buy all this stuff on Amazon, just like I do! The paint I'm using is Cathedral. It's very close to weathervane, but I quickly gave the vintage wall shelf one last coat of paint to make everything look great.
Gray Vintage Wall Shelf
Isn't the color and the finish of the whatnot shelf pretty? Not bad for FREE, eh? Well, not counting the paint. I don't get that for free.
Vintage Wall Shelf in the Kitchen
Here it is with kitchen items on the shelf, I'm sure anyone could use this extra storage. The canvas photo? I took that picture on my trip to Destin Florida with the cousins. The shells to the right are actually from a Cape Cod trip I took with my daughter Jamie many years ago. I made the kitchen towel using a Chalk Couture transfer. (I sell them in my booth)
Whatnot Shelf for the Bathroom
Here it is for use in the bathroom. Those long towel bars on the whatnot shelf hold a lot of towels. I'm hoping with it's versatility that it finds a new home very soon.
Overall, a whatnot shelf with dowel rods for towels is a versatile and functional piece of furniture that provides extra storage space while also helping to keep the kitchen or bath organized and tidy. How would you use it?
More Great Thrift Store Projects from the Team
- DIY Plaster Candle Holders
- Do It Yourself Bird Feeder
- Thrift or Dollar Store DIY Spring Wreath
- Thrift Store Wooden Candle Sconce Repurpose
- Easy Thrift Store Projects to Upcycle for Home Decor
- Mid-Century Modern Coasters (Inspired by Glassware)
- Vintage Wall Shelf with Towel Rods (you are here, thank you!)
Great shelf & a great makeover! You could utilize that piece in any room.
Naomi S Shelton
I love it, Gail! The color is great and I never would have imagined it in that color. You did a great job! If I had anywhere to put it, I'd buy it myself! Alas, my house just doesn't have enough wall space (small ranch) to hang stuff I already have!
I hear ya Naomi! My house is small and I wouldn't have room for it on any wall. 🙂
I appreciate your kind comment.
So many great uses for this piece Gail! And did you say FREE?? Amazing!! Pinned 🙂
Yep, FREE. Many of my items are free, or very inexpensive.
thanks for pinning!
I’m so happy to see all these new projects. Makes me want to go to thrift shops and dig around. This really is a cute towel shelf. I love the color.
It's so hard to know what color will sell best. I have some black mirrors that have been "hanging" around forever in my booth.
Sarah @ Sadie Seasongoods
Whatnot shelf if the perfect name for it- and it looks positively gleaming now!
Thanks friend! I appreciate your kind words.
It's super cute, and I love the colors.
I'm definitely glad I dragged it home. It was definitely an afterthought.
I love the color. I definitelly would use it in a kitchen, maybe in coffee bar?
Anyway, it's a great blog.
Ohhhh, Over a coffee bar would be perfect! I hope it finds a new home very soon.
I love this...especially the free part! I would hang this above the toilet in the bathroom with towels and my beachy themed items on the shelves.
I love it!!!!
Thanks for sharing your idea of where it would hang in your home. Beachy items would be perfect!
An awesome job on finding it and I love how you finished it. Beautiful color!
Thank you Nova! I drove by it AND the coffee table many times before I actually stopped over to check it out.