Farmhouse Corbel Shelf Refurbish

November 28, 2020

Today I'm sharing how to restore farmhouse corbel shelves.

white felt christmas tree decor gift box buffalo check

I've always had a special place in my heart for farmhouse corbel shelves. I've been known to make them from scratch, not only once but twice, as well as refurbish them. This time I refurbished a long-forgotten basement find into a farmhouse corbel shelf that I was thrilled to hang in our primary bedroom.     

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 Do It Over Designers

I'm writing this post as part of my participation in the Do It Over Designers bloggers' group. I'm very excited to be a part of this very talented group, so be sure to check out all their projects listed at the end of this post!

upside down white wooden shelf

When we moved into our home 16 years ago, we found a few items abandoned by the previous owners. One of them was a huge, wooden shelf with corbels. And when I say huge I mean HUGE. In all the craziness of moving in we just put the shelf aside in the basement and saved it for another day. Well, 16 years later that other day is TODAY.

back side white corbel shelf

Sitting on the bed here (looking at the back side of it) it looks like it's pretty much in perfect condition and ready to be hung.

tannins shelf white paint

Happy day for me that it was already painted white! The only problem was that there were tannins (essentially yellow stains)  peeking through the white paint and there were wood buttons missing (what you plug the empty screw holes with). Both easily remedied.

  Can of Rust-oleum Chalked Paint in Linen White

Despite the fact that it was already white, I painted the vintage shelf and corbels with my Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Chalked Paint in Linen White. It gave it more of a chalk paint look which I absolutely love. It also successfully covered the yellow tannin stains. And once the vintage shelf and corbels were dry it was time for "distressing." (Even thought this shelf is unequivocally vintage, it never had a chance to become naturally distressed since it was left to languish in a corner of the basement, unused, for years.)

 Folk Art Home Decor Layering Block Craft Smart black acrylic paint bottle

One of my favorite ways to "distress" painted furniture is by using my FolkArt Home Decor layering block.

layering block black acrylic paint paper plate

I just pour some acrylic paint onto a paper plate and then dab the wood block in it. Then I graze the block over my painted piece in places that would normally experience wear and tear over the years.

distressed white corbel farmhouse shelf 
And I think it really creates a lovely, authentic, distressed look.

I couldn't have been happier with the vintage-looking outcome of this farmhouse corbel shelf. So where and how did we hang it?


empty wall bed pillows

Here is the empty wall space above our king size bed in the master bedroom. It's been like this, empty, since we had it repainted in Agreeable Gray just over 2 years ago. Boring, I know.

white corbel shelf paper template

Before hanging the shelf, my husband wanted to make a paper template (for the wall) to help us gauge where all the screw holes were going to be. Eight spots needed to be marked, four on each corbel. So he poked a pencil through all eight holes, leaving a small pencil mark on the paper template as a guide.  

paper template blue painter's tape

Here's the template taped to the wall using painter's tape. We had already measured the wall space above the bed so we knew where to place the template based on how high we wanted the shelf to be and where we wanted it centered.  

Here are the four holes, marking where we needed to place the screws on one of the corbels. Mr. OHH drilled preliminary holes into the wall where the pencil markings/pokings were. He then screwed in wall anchors. Then we proceeded to have one of us hold the shelf against the wall (me) and the other (Mr. OHH) use the power drill and drill the screws into their appropriate spots based on the pre-drilled holes/anchors. 

distressed paint shelf screw holes

Here's a close-up after putting in the the screws. The next step was to fill in those gaping screw holes.

 unpainted wood buttons crafting

 And here are the wood "buttons" we used to fill them.

MAdison Mill, Inc. package wood buttons 1/2"

You can buy wood buttons in your local big box store in the lumber section. This shelf required 1/2" buttons. I painted them with the same Rust-Oleum paint I used on the shelf. Then I just used Gorilla wood glue to glue the buttons over the holes.

Isn't it lovely now?

decorated Chrismas tree farmhouse Christmas bedding
I was so happy it was done in time so I could decorate it for my farmhouse Christmas bedroom!
All is Calm All Is Bright Christmas wall art

The sad and empty wall is no longer sad or empty!
red buffalo check pillows Christmas gifts trees shelf


 decorated Chrismas tree farmhouse Christmas bedding

I'm looking forward to decorating this farmhouse corbel shelf for ALL the seasons, so stay tuned! 

Well, that's it until next time, friends!

 I hope you enjoyed reading about my 
Farmhouse Corbel Shelf Refurbish
 and that I've inspired you in some way. 
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Leave a Comment!

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

This came out great, but what really caught my eye is your pretty tree! The room looks lovely!

Dennis Yannakos said...

This product is so versatile! It can help us to do so many great things!

Tania Pelletier said...

Hey, that looks great!! I love corbels too, I have some hanging around waiting for an upcycle project!!


Gail @Purple Hues and Me said...

Your finished shelf looks amazing in your bedroom! It blends in so well with your decor. I know you must be happy and proud on how it looks now!

Donna @ Modern on Monticello said...

So very pretty. I didn't know about some of these techniques so I had to pin this one. I like how you decorated it for the season.

Chas - Chas’ Crazy Creations said...

Your shelf turned out lovely and it's so useful and something everyone needs. Thanks for sharing and wonderful crafting with you.

Kim said...

I love the way it looks in your gorgeous bedroom...and your attention to detail The shelf looks amazing!!

Birdz of a Feather said...

This looks gorgeous with the rest of your decor Kathleen! I've never used chalk paint; I really love how you distressed the edges. Gives it so much character.

Ann said...

I just love a happy ending for a piece that's been laying around for a while. Your shelf looks beautiful over the bed. The perfect touch to a beautiful room!

Anita Holland said...

Your self looks really pretty very eye catching. Amazing what a coat of paint and so TLC can do.

Allyson said...

Your "new" shelf looks perfect hanging over your bed and it's nicely decorated for Christmas. Smart thinking to make a template before hanging the shelf. Great upcycle!

My thrift store addiction said...

It just needed a little love--looks great now in your festive bedroom!

Carol@BlueskyatHome said...

I love your shelf, Kathleen. It’s great to repurpose anything old. You’ve styled it beautifully for Christmas. Love the tree in your bedroom. Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Link Party.

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