When I first saw this shelf that Vicki had brought home, I have to admit, I was a tad skeptical about the piece! It was quite dated, (not to mention ugly) but I decided to give it a try anyway by going French Country!
Sometimes while starting a new makeover project we already have a definitive plan for a piece, but sometimes we turn a couple ideas over in our head and it can be difficult to decide which route to go. The latter is what happened during the planning stages of this project…but we didn’t dismay! Usually in times like this an idea just ends up..coming to us! Like the proverbial lightbulb turning on over your head! We then had a clear vision and could start right away.
We decided that Annie Sloan’s French Linen and Old Ochre look wonderful together and would give this shelf a great french country makeover (which is our favorite style). Before we could dip our brush in the paint though we had to do some repairs of course! There were some screw and nail holes on the top and the front (what these were for, I have no idea…) We used Elmer’s Stainable Wood Filler on a putty knife and smoothed the filler over the holes. (Always allow that to dry and don’t forget to sand for a smooth finish). We then sanded the entire piece along with the filled parts to make sure any old finish was roughed up as well as all edges were smooth.
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Next, we decided to add two decorative appliqués to the top corners of the shelf to give it a bit of detail. We used Elmer’s wood glue and clamps to attach them.
Then finally we could dip into that wonderful white AS paint can! We applied two coats of French Linen to the inside back of the shelf.
Then applied two coats of Old Ochre to the rest of the piece.
Tip: When painting with Annie Sloan, brush on the first coat using the thick consistency of the paint to cover everything. For the second coat (if needed), “kiss” the tip of the brush in water before painting on a piece so you can spread the coat easier. It makes the paint thinner and it can then cover more of the piece so you are economizing the paint.
But of course, we weren’t finished yet! To take the piece to the next level of design, and to tie the two colors together better we decided to mix up a wash. About two teaspoons of the French linen was mixed with the same amount of water and was brushed over the Old Ochre with a sponge brush.
We then wiped the wash back with a clean, dry rag.
This leaves a wonderful addition to the plain paint and really epitomizes the french country style we were going for! We then sealed with a clear satin Polycrylic to finish; or you could use wax if you wished.
Personally, we thought this small shelf made quite the makeover. The small appliqués worked perfectly and added that small touch of detail we were looking for. To quote my sister Katie when she saw the before and after, “Wow that was really ugly before. Good job”…!
While admiring the finished product we thought this shelf would look amazing as extra bathroom storage above the toilet, or it could also go in virtually any room in the house to display decor.
If you liked this look, please go to our article Lamp Makeover: From Boring to French Country to see how it works for almost anything!
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