getting the chippy paint look with a wire brush

I left this shelf behind at Goodwill. For some crazy reason I thought $7 was too much. Needless to say I went back later and was happy to see it still sitting on the bottom shelf.

It’s pretty “blah” when you first look at it and the dust certainly didn’t help. I played around with the idea of giving this a very bold, colorful makeover, but always knew deep down it was going to be gray. CraftSmart “Silver Gray” chalk paint is one of my absolute favorites, closely followed by Rustoleum “Country Gray” Chalked paint. “Silver Gray” is a softer medium gray with a cooler tone that works well with modern or vintage pieces and I used it to modernize this vintage shelf.

I wanted a chippy, vintage look to the shelf while keeping it very clean and smooth. Instead of distressing with sandpaper I used a small wire brush. This does require a bit more elbow grease, but it gives a really unique look. As with any distressing, focus on areas that would naturally receive more wear (like edges) to avoid a fake, manufactured look. After all, the charm of distressed pieces is in the appearance of years of age. I did follow up with a little sandpaper distressing along the edges to hurry up the process…naptime was over for my Twin Tornadoes.


From a blah bottom shelf thrift store find to a chic storage piece that was bought before I even left the shop! Wouldn’t this be great for a mini coffee bar or for organizing art supplies at a craft station? I’m sure the new owner will appreciate new storage potential.






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