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!)
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.