Country Curio Shelf Update

There seems to be a theme lately with my projects. I find 80’s country pieces and update with paint and whatever else bonks me in the head at the time. Here’s the latest- a country curio shelf update:


Curio Shelf update |


This is how it started in yellow pine and country stencils. All you in the camp of don’t-paint-wood, don’t fret. I thought it was solid pine, but it is actually veneer. No guilt in painting this one!


Curio Shelf country pine before |


But first, let’s get rid of that heart cutout.


Curio shelf heart cutout |


Yep, I just removed the whole piece by taking out a couple of screws. That’s a good start. Time to turn it upside down and do something about that stencil. The bottom now becomes the top.


Curio Shelf with Wood Applique |


Remember that big giveaway I won? One of the prizes was a gift certificate to D Lawless Hardware. Wow, I felt like Christmas came early! One of the things I chose was this applique (along with several others) plus some cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, all of which I’m sure you’ll see on other projects coming soon eventually. Seriously, their prices are great, go check them out. Now, back to our regularly scheduled post. Ok, not so regularly, but you know what I mean.


Wood Applique |


I glued and clamped that beautiful baby on and let it dry. TIP: Place wood scraps below the applique to keep it level while clamping.

Oh, I forgot to mention, there was a lot of sanding involved in this shelf update- all the edges were rough, just the way the rustic country pine furniture was way back when.

Time to prime. I used Rustoleum gray spray primer.


Curio Shelf primed |


I”ve mentioned to you before that I like to use the gray primer because of the way it gives a shadowy look to white milk paint. Sort of like carrera marble. Sort of. Well, after spraying primer on this thing from a dozen different angles, I decided I wouldn’t be brushing on any paint this time. Instead, I used an off white spray paint.


Curio Shelf updated 2 |


I used my trusty glaze just on and around the wood applique to highlight the details. Ah, I like!


Curio Shelf applique detail |


A quick little swipe with a piece of brown paper bag, and it is smooth and lovely. I don’t miss the stencil and heart cutout at all, do you?

NOTE: I received the wood applique as part of a prize package from a bloggers’ giveaway. I was not asked to give a review of the company or product mentioned in this post. All opinions are entirely my own.




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  1. What a beautiful pieces you have here Sheila, I love the old color of your curio shelf …..Coz brown is often conventional and orderly.

  2. Very nice!

  3. Great work Sheila! I posted your project on our Facebook and on our blog!

  4. Beautiful piece, Sheila! I love little shelf piece like these for makeovers. I did one a couple of years ago that became a little china tea set holder for my granddaughter {bonus: I found the little china tea sets at Goodwill along with the curio shelf}. Those appliques are great for adding some character, too. I’ll have to try your gray primer with white over it sometime.

  5. Love what you did with this! Thanks for the tip about the brown paper bag, too. Love it!!

  6. Love it! I think we think alike 🙂 Do you have any good ideas for the many country ducks and geese I see at every thrift store? I follow youon Hometalk and now here!

    • Thanks, Selina! The ducks & geese have me stumped! The only thing I can think of is to decoupage book or music pages to them. I have had terrible luck with decoupage, but if you’re good with it, that might look pretty cool. Worth a try?

  7. Oops, I forgot you removed the heart and switched things around!

  8. Wow, this looks so much better! The applique over the heart just makes the shelf! It’s amazing now! I didn’t know you could smooth spray paint with brown paper! Great tip!

  9. Very nice makeover Sheila

  10. Looks wAy nicer now!
    I’ll have to try out that brown paper bag trick–

  11. Beautiful Sheila, just so pretty!

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