DIY Shelf

A family collection expands with an added shelf. We built and painted a shelf for an existing piece. I’ll provide details on the shelf and explain how my collection started. Take a look.

Old to New

Ryan and I helped my grandparents move from Georgia to Maryland last year. They were downsizing, which meant we needed to rehome a ton of furniture, antique pieces, and collected memorabilia. Nana and Papa told us that if we liked something, we should ask for it. I had one piece in mind when they asked, but I later discovered a record player console in one of their bedrooms. It had been covered up for years, and I had never seen it. I thought it was the coolest thing, and Papa told me to take it. I decided it would look great in our living room.

console before

I originally thought I’d be able to sand and stain the piece. Upon closer inspection, I realized I would have to paint the entire console. Easier said than done, because the front is a louver design of sorts. I love the louver look though! I used a power sander on the top where I uncovered some water damage. The rest of the console got a light sanding, and I wiped the entire thing down with mineral spirits. I also removed the existing hardware and filled those holes.

console process

Many of you have probably heard of chalk paint, and I love the stuff! Annie Sloan is my favorite brand; however, I haven’t tried the newest collection of chalk paint by Joanna Gaines & KILZ. With a quality brush in hand, I painted all of the inside corners and smaller spaces. A foam roller was perfect for the top and sides. The console looked great after two coats. Tip: I do recommend lightly sanding between each coat. The front was saved for last, because it required the use of a small artist brush. Each slat had to be painted by hand, multiple times (I’m screaming on the inside). If I’m being honest with you, I’m still not completely done, and I started this project last year! I just settled after awhile, but I think I’m ready to get back to it. Once I finish the slats, I will seal the rest of the console. I used the Annie Sloan clear wax on all of the previously completed areas. I think I might switch over to poly though, because I don’t like how the wax coated the piece. I haven’t had any issues with other pieces, but sometimes things just don’t work like before.

console painted

We were excited to learn that the radio inside this piece still works. The record player will need to be replaced more than likely, but Ryan is going to try to fix it. I’d love to be able to play records in the living room, especially during the holiday season. The console looks great in our home, and it reminds me of my grandparents. Two wins! This piece has become even more special to me, because I lost my Papa. He was a wonderful man, and I cherish our memories together.

console painted 2

Now I need to decide if I want a lamp on both sides of the console or not. I really like symmetry. I’ve tried various things, but I haven’t found the ‘right’ look. I took everything off so that you could get a better visual. The middle really shouldn’t support anything heavy, so I’ll probably just keep a book or two there with a small object on top. What do you think? One or two lamps? I hope this inspires you to refinish a piece in your home or reminds you to cherish a family heirloom.



Paint is by far the easiest way, besides cleaning, to spruce up your home. Ryan and I have painted nearly every inch of our home. The previous owners had very unique tastes. Even before we purchased it, I had more experience painting than the average person. As a teenager, I painted my room almost annually. I don’t change my mind quite that often anymore.  I try to select a color that I will love for years. I thought I’d offer eight suggestions for your next paint job.

  • I used to think purchasing samples and painting them on the wall was a waste. I was completely wrong. If you want to be certain you have the right color, then you need to try it out first. I usually narrow it down to three possibilities, and I paint each color on a wall or remnant piece of drywall. Pay attention to lighting, focal points, and the overall vibe of the space. It’s best to compare the color to other samples as well. Samples may include flooring, fabric, rugs, etc. (Side Note: If you paint a remnant piece of drywall, you can take it with you when making decisions about furniture, fabric, tile, and more.)

Cat Room 3

  • Use a quality paint and select the right sheen. We love Benjamin Moore paints, because the brand is durable. Messes happen, and I don’t want to accidentally wash the paint of the walls. Another reason I use Benjamin Moore is because the color matches from gallon to gallon. I’ve purchased many brands, and I’ve been disappointed when I needed to repaint one wall or touch up a nail hole. Eggshell is my absolute favorite, because it cleans well and doesn’t show every imperfection.
  • Label your paint cans and purchase a ‘Pour & Store’ lid by Shur-line. This lid makes all the difference when you have to start and stop. I also suggest labeling, because you might just forget or misplace the information. Just write it on the container with a sharpie.
  • If painting trim, I recommend painting it before it’s attached to the wall. That base coat will make your life much easier after you fill in the nail holes.
  • Use quality brushes when it matters. Home Depot sells a short handled brush for five dollars and some change. It’s my absolute favorite brush. I also use it for painting furniture.
  • I don’t use tape. I find that knowing how to properly ‘cut in’ saves time, energy, and money. You can also keep a wet cloth handy.
  • If you are painting over a dark wall with a lighter color, be sure to prime. I know it’s annoying, but it will look better if you do.


  • I recommend buying a pole to attach to your roller for those higher spots. Rolling always looks better than brushing in my opinion. I always use a foam roller to even any brush marks.

I hope you find those suggestions helpful, and be sure to check out my ‘Weekly Favorites’ for paint color ideas. We’ve got lots of exciting things going on at our house, and I’ll be sharing some updates very soon.