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DIY Spray Paint on Wooden Shelves

Updated on April 30, 2016

Before and After Pix

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is the piece I decided to update...it surely needed it. In this pic I put the first coat of gold paint on.This is a side view of the finished design :)
This is the piece I decided to update...it surely needed it. In this pic I put the first coat of gold paint on.
This is the piece I decided to update...it surely needed it. In this pic I put the first coat of gold paint on. | Source
This is a side view of the finished design :)
This is a side view of the finished design :) | Source

Motivation to be Creative

Hello there! Welcome to Crystal's View.

I have had this wooden shelf/coat hanger for over 10 years. It was a gift from my Uncle when I was a little girl. It is simply made of wood and I have never thought of painting it to change it up until recently. I've been watching a lot of "how to" and DIY networks on television and finally got the courage to try to deign something. So I decided this shelf/coat hanger would be a good beginning for me and later I can create more detailed work. I will provide tips and the steps I took in order to create this amazing look.

Materials Needed

  1. Furniture or item you would like to change
  2. Ensure you have an area where spray painting can be done and is well ventilated
  3. A face mask to protect your nose and mouth from ingesting the paint spray
  4. Two colors of spray paint (I used Gold and Leather Brown)
  5. Painting tape to create your design
  6. Good cutting scissors
  7. Ruler or measuring tape (I didn't use either which is why some of my lines are not completely straight but if you want a really clean look you may want to use a measuring tool)
  8. A plastic sheet to protect the area around you while spray painting.
  9. Some old clothing that you don't mind messing up
  10. A good attitude and Patience :)

Colors I Used

I bought these from Walmart for around $10 (USD)
I bought these from Walmart for around $10 (USD) | Source

Color Choice

I have a darker wood finish on my beautiful dresser in my bedroom so I chose the colors for the design to be gold and leather brown (spray paint made by Krylon). This design would be beautiful in an assortment of colors. In my opinion a light/bright color or even a neutral color (off white) as the design background/base would be best, with the darker of the two colors as the second layer on top (the leather brown in my case as the layered color over the gold, base color).

The Steps with PIX

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here is my item with the first coat of the base color already painted on.Here is the design I created using the painting tape on top of the gold color.The front of my finished item :) So happy with the way it turned out!Side view of the simple stripe design made on both sides of my item.  My room looks way more put together with this item painted!
Here is my item with the first coat of the base color already painted on.
Here is my item with the first coat of the base color already painted on. | Source
Here is the design I created using the painting tape on top of the gold color.
Here is the design I created using the painting tape on top of the gold color. | Source
The front of my finished item :) So happy with the way it turned out!
The front of my finished item :) So happy with the way it turned out! | Source
Side view of the simple stripe design made on both sides of my item.  My room looks way more put together with this item painted!
Side view of the simple stripe design made on both sides of my item. My room looks way more put together with this item painted! | Source

Steps to create this awesome design

  1. Begin my deciding what piece around the house you want to change or update. Depending if the piece is wood or metal the spray paint you will need to use may be different so keep that in mind while shopping for materials. (In this tutorial I used a wooden piece that had not been painted previously). I purchased two colors that both contained the paint and primer all in one to give it that awesome shine when dried.
  2. Decide the best colors you would like to use in your design/transformation. One really bright color and one darker color works best for the design I used. In this tutorial I used Gold and Dark Brown spray paint I bought at Walmart for around $10.
  3. Make sure you find an area outside or that is well ventilated because the spray paint gets everywhere and it is very easy to inhale. I don't want you to inhale any unwanted chemicals.
  4. Place your item on the plastic sheet (or in my case an old big T-shirt) and spray your base color. The base color is the color you eventually want your design to be. In this case my base color was gold. To spray paint hold the can about 4-6 inches away from the area you are painting and spray horizontally in a fluid motion left to right for about 4-6 inches. Continue with the fluid motion but backtracking (creating a small overlap of paint) about an inch to evenly paint. Only paint where you want that color to be for your design later or else you are just wasting it. I went through two coats of paint (letting the first coat dry for about 2 hours and let it sit overnight after the second coat).
  5. The next step is to create your design. In my opinion this is the hardest part and most time consuming. So make sure to take your time and really make sure the design you create is something you can live with before painting with the second color. To create the design I made I used the straight edge of the painting tape extensively so I wouldn't really have to measure too many straight lines. I began with the center portion of the shelf and extended the design from there making sure when it was all said and done there wouldn't be any awkward areas of just brown that didn't belong there. While taping make sure that the tape is flush against the wood/metal etc. before painting so there is no running paint going underneath the tape and ruining your design.
  6. Once the design in completed with the painting tape, again make sure that all the tape is flush with the wood. Once that is done, begin to paint with your second color (in this case the leather brown color). Again use that fluid, continuous motion to spray the paint across the item. There should be no places on the item that contain the first paint color (i.e the gold paint should not be seen since it is under the painting tape). The entire item should be painted with this second color. Let the paint dry for about 2 hours and proceed with as many coats you deem necessary to get the color you want. After that let the item sit to dry again overnight.
  7. The fun part. Begin taking off the tape and you finally get to see how the two colors you chose work together to give your item that fantastic pop you have been wanting. Once all the tape is taken off....taaadaaaa you are finished :) YAY! Now you have an item not only fabulous but something you can be proud of painting yourself. I hope you enjoyed Crystal's View. Thanks for reading and let me know how your items have worked out!

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