I've known for awhile that I needed to come up with SOME shelves to replace all of the ones I got rid of when I redecorated my living / dining room. I found these at our local thrift store.
The larger one was marked $3.00 and the smaller $2.00 but it was 20% off day again so my total cost was just a little over $4.00 with tax. Now these girls are HEAVY, solid wood and have lots of great distressing/worm holes in them already but I had a plan that first of all included removing the metal stripping. Easy enough with a screwdriver -- prying out the brass nails (which I kept for any future projects) and pulling it all off.
I then had to fill in the nail holes and my 'go to' for that is Elmer's Wood Filler. I just rub it into the holes, smooth it out and wipe off the excess. You let it dry (usually only takes about half an hour) and then sand lightly. (I used the Scotch sanding pads for this because there isn't much to remove -- just needs smoothing out.)
Once all the holes were filled and smoothed out (Note: I did NOT fill all of the 'worm holes' in the shelves -- that would be silly since they give it so much added character!) it was "time to prime". I used Rust-Oleum white primer and gave each shelf two coats. Hint: To keep paint from floating everywhere, I use a large cardboard box to lay the pieces in and spray. And now, I was finally ready for two coats of Behr Pearl White paint.
Once the paint was dry I sanded with 80 grit sandpaper to distress the pieces, wiping them down after with tack cloth to remove any dust or wood particles. This was followed by wiping on a coat of stain (I used Varathane Pecan stain just because that's what I had!)
I wear disposable rubber gloves and use a clean rag to wipe on the stain and then wipe it off with another piece of rag. The longer you leave the stain on, the darker of course it will remain. I did these in small sections and wiped off immediately because I didn't want a lot of stain on them -- just enough to really bring out the distressed areas and add a bit of an aged look to them.
Finally, I finished off with just one coat of polyurethane because these will be hung up on the wall and won't need any more protection than that.
I think these are going up on my dining room wall along with the hymns I collaged and framed. I'll post pictures soon!