DIY Home Decor

DIY White Chippy Shelves

If I have one word of advice on home project DIYs, it’s make your own shelves! Shelves are surprisingly expensive once you start looking, especially for something that is trendy, sturdy, and has real quality. Making your own shelves costs a fraction of the price, and they are so simple to make! You also have a huge range of customization options if you DIY them. There are a ton of wooden and metal corbels online to choose from, and you can add any type and size of wood to the top, in any paint or stain color you choose.

Since I already have so much wood in my house, I decided that I wanted to add white shelves to my bedroom. I’ve distressed several items before, but for this project, I was really picturing chippy, old, weathered shelves that look like they had been around for decades. To create this look I used Valspar Weathered Crackle Glaze. I was surprisingly pleased at how easy this product was to use and how crackly my shelves became! And the best part about this project? Each shelf only cost $25 to make! If you prefer to see a video of the process, you can head over to my Instagram page, where I have the process saved in my highlights.


What You Will Need:

2in x 6in x 8ft piece of Whitewood cut into 2 ft pieces (I asked the person at Lowe’s to cut them for me)

2 corbels per shelf (I purchased these from Amazon)

Wood Stain

Valspar Weathered Crackle Glaze

Latex paint in your color of choice

2 paint brushes (0ne for the glaze and one for the paint – I used foam brushes and threw them away between each step)

Medium grit sandpaper

3 in screws


How to Make:

1. First stain your wood and corbels. I used Minwax in Dark Walnut.

2. Once your stain is completely dry, apply a layer of crackle glaze on your wood and corbels. When applying the glaze, be sure to add a fairly heavy layer. The first time I tried to use the glaze, I applied a thin later on the wood and very little crackle occurred. The more uneven you apply the glaze, the more variation you will have in your crackle. I kind of just slabbed the glaze on, not spending too much time to apply it. Wait one hour. If you wait longer and your glaze dries, you will have to repeat this step.

3. Apply a layer of latex paint. I used Behr in Spun Cotton in a satin finish, because I had it left over from our shiplap project in the kitchen. You can use any latex paint that you prefer. When applying the layer of paint, be sure to use a fairly heavy layer. You will want to brush in one direction, using a light hand. Do not overwork your paint. Using one or two swipes is best! If you brush in different directions, or use too many strokes, you will peel off the glaze you just applied. You should instantly start seeing your paint crackle! Let your paint dry fully, and then flip your boards and repeat the process on the other side. If you’re pleased with the result after applying one coat of crackle glaze and paint, you can definitely stop here! I loved the crackle effect with only one coat, however, I felt that the white paint on top of the dark stain looked unfinished, and I didn’t like how you could see the brush strokes, so I opted for another coat.

4. If you opt for another coat, apply another layer of crackle glaze, wait one hour, and then apply a layer of latex paint. I noticed on the second layer that the glaze peeled off much easier than the first layer. Don’t worry about this too much, as you will sand everything later. To keep the glaze from peeling, I used a heavy layer of paint in light short strokes in one direction. I made sure to not overwork any of these paint strokes. The more strokes I did, or the more pressure I applied, the more the glaze peeled off. Even with a thick layer of paint, the crackle still occurred.

5. Once the second layer of paint is dry, sand the edges of your boards and corbels. Be sure to sand the areas that would have received the most wear, like the edges, or tops of the boards where items would have been pulled on and off of them. I also sanded down any spots that the glaze bubbled or peeled off to create a smooth surface.

6. Screw your corbels onto your boards using 3 inch screws. We place the each corbel 3 inches in from the outside of the board and screwed straight through the boards into the corbels. Your shelves are now ready for hanging and decorating!

 Brett told me this process really nailed the aged, weathered look and was shocked that they were brand new pieces of wood only a day earlier! I’m in love with them and love the character they add to this little nook in our bedroom. The best part about these shelves: They only cost $25 per shelf, and I had the chance to customize the size and width of the shelves, choose which corbels I wanted and paint them to match my existing furniture! I would love to see your finished products! Tag me on Facebook or Instagram!

Until next time DIYers! Thank you for reading!

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