Furniture refresh November – A weathered book shelf

Furniture refresh November – A weathered book shelf

I have about a thousand projects going on around here. We are still working on the laundry room, I have one more week for the One room challenge, and I am slowly re configuring our master bedroom. I spoke about it yesterday a little here. This room needs to function as our bedroom and a office/craft room for me. This room is working double time with function. However, I do not want to compromise on it still feeling like a sanctuary. What I am saying is I do not want a massive desk with rows and rows of craft gear. Operation stealth home office and craft supply storage has commenced!

This brings me to this solution. I have signed on with a wonderful group of bloggers, and we call ourselves Furniture Refresh. Each month we have a theme and then redo a piece of furniture to fit that theme. Last month was all about fall inspiration. The November theme is weathered furniture. Of course my first inclination was to do a shabby chic look with a dresser or something.
Then this wonderfully rough looking storage shelf popped into my head. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. It is one of those metal framed storage units. We have a few of them in our basement and I picked up a few new ones from a friend who did not need them anymore.


First things first, I need to make this pretty. Make it look like it should fit in my bedroom. We have a light, bright feel to the room and this being a black color makes it not mesh well.
Nothing two cans of white spray paint won’t fix.


Next step, wood pallets! I am lucky enough to have a neighbor that either works for the mob and handles stolen good or has a home business selling things. Either way he gets a lot of things shipped to his home, I am not asking questions and take full advantage of the wood pallets he puts out for people to take. I am just joking, I of course know it is all in the up and up. I just have a really sarcastic personality. Anyways… He has allowed countless people in our community to have their Pinterest dreams come true. For free!

I measured and cut wood pallet boards to the size I needed to line the surface of the shelf as well as having one long piece run on the front of each shelf.

I was sure to take out all nails and I also sanded them down. Pallets are wonderfully rugged and rough. Which means a little too rough around the edges. Like people, sometimes a little softening of the edges is needed. Wood pallets are the DIY version of a person with potential. We have to help them along and make them shine.


I set them all out on the table. I will mention I labeled and numbered the back of these Because this shelf was lopsided and oddly shaped in spots where one pallet will fit another one won’t. So they are all cut very particular.

I used a dark walnut stain, which is my absolute favorite right now. It is so rich and cozy feeling.
I glued the top ones down and then using a air nailer and put in a few nails into the front ones.


The front piece was able to be nailed into the shelf by it being nailed into the wood boards laying down.


Done! I adore all of the wood grains and lines in this.




I would say this fits in with the “weathered” theme for this month just fine. I took a rustic approach to it.


I set up some books, the baskets I just revamped. Those baskets can be seen here. My favorite thing to do right now in dressing up a home with books is to turn the spines backwards. Sometimes books have a very busy front. I also do not want to pick books to read based on the appearance on the outside. Don;t judge a book by its cover! This allows me to have the best of both worlds. I have the clean and neutral pages but the good books handy to read.
Staggering things on the shelf and giving different heights is key to have a shelf look complete and thought out. It is a fine line between a well styled shelf and a over cluttered mess. I am not saying mine looks perfect all the time, but when setting up initially taking the time to add things that flow is important.
Here is a tiny peek into my bedroom. The walls have not even been painted yet. Still! There is a lot to do in here, but the function of this room is much more important than the looks of it right now. At this moment, these shelves and extra storage is what this room needs.



My plan is to revamp another bookshelf and put one on the other side of my big window. I did not show that window because it has horrible curtains on it and the wall is in the middle of being repaired. We had a leak in our window. The magic of zoom on a camera is amazing!


I love the rustic and slightly industrial feel to this. With the white frame it blends in nicely and lets the gorgeous wood grain and stain that came out shine. Yes, a good wood stain deserves to get all of the attention. In this house the beautiful wood stain always wins, just the way it is.


I had so much fun with this one. It needed a few cuts to the wood pallets and some wood stain. Really quick way to revamp and bring new life to this previously dusty storage shelf. Be sure to check out everyone else’s amazing furniture refresh’s below. Seriously, I am honored to be included in this crazy talented group and love to see what they come up with for each month’s theme. Eek, now I know what I will be doing for the rest of the day, blog hopping and admiring furniture pieces redone. This is my kind of fun!




  1. wow what a way to bring new life to a storage shelf very nice!

  2. I love these Emily! My house is chaos too, while I'm working on my One Room Challenge, my husband starting demo on my kitchen!

  3. I love how it turned out! You have such a wonderful sense of style. I wish I had the patience to renew some piece of furniture I own…but it is such a long work…gotta have some power of will!

  4. I can't believe the transformation this bookshelf went through! Just gorgeous.

  5. I love this shelf. It's beautiful!

  6. This turned out great! Awesome way to up-cycle a born metal shelf.

  7. Oh my gosh I love this!! I have two of the shelves in my garage right now. I am in desperate need of storage (that is useful but looks good too) and this is exactly what I'm looking for! Hopefully the mob doesn't come looking for their pallets back 😉 jk That is great that he lets you all use his pallets; it's a win-win!

  8. Your furniture refreshing skills are amazing. The added edge to the front of the shelf takes it to another level!

  9. You got it going on!!! This is so unique. Love he dark stain in your light room! You're a lucky duck with your pallet hook up!!!

  10. You impress me yet again with your amazing skills! Would you ever want to do a guest post at The Innovative Mama?

  11. I love your set up. I always look forward to your ideas and us it in my home.

  12. Emily,
    What an amazing transformation. Love how you styled the piece, too. Total winner!! Linking your post to my blog now. 🙂

  13. Amazing Emily, your shelf came out gorgeous!

  14. Love this idea! It looks so much better than before! Great job, very impressive!

  15. Wow! That's a complete transformation. I love your work!

  16. I love your DIYs and I love your writing style. I really want to make this. I have to say my favorite part was when you said, "Wood pallets are the DIY version of a person with potential. We have to help them along and make them shine." Priceless!

  17. FAB. Seriously. I love this. Might 'steal' this idea for a big display bookcase in our living room next year. FAB. FAB. FAB. <3 xoxo

  18. This is genius. I am really lovin this project! It turned out so amazing. I love the dark rich stain you used. Seriously. love it.

  19. I followed you here from HomeTalk. I love what you've done with this otherwise non-descript shelf. I had no idea you could get such rich colors and grain from pallettes. Beautifully done.

  20. Wow, free pallets!!! Lucky you! This turned out fabulous!

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