Barn Wood Shelf

DIY Barn Wood Shelf

Level of Difficulty: Medium


  • Barn wood
  • Corbels (I bought unfinished corbels from Home Depot for $3 each and they came with hardware to hang as a plus)
  • Hand sander
  • Sand paper
  • Wood glue (I use Gorilla Wood Glue)
  • Stain (I used leftover Minwax Dark Walnut)
  • Chalk paint (I used Americana Decor Everlasting White)
  • Wax (I used Americana Decor Dark Brown and Transparent Wax
  • Paint brushes and clean rags

Corbel Steps:

  1. Stain corbels – let dry according to can.
  2. Paint with white chalk paint – I did about 3 thin layers. Luckily each layer dries quick, only about 30 minute wait.
  3. Distress with sand paper to create a rustic look.
  4. Seal with dark wax and then a layer of transparent wax (once 1st layer dries).

Shelf Steps:

  1. Use hand sander to smooth barn wood (including back and sides – you don’t want a splinter!)
  2. The back of my board had some deep cracks and to help strengthen the shelf I added gorilla wood glue to cracks and let dry according to instructions.
  3. I wanted a more natural look so once the glue dried I just coated the barn wood in dark wax with a clean rag, but you could opt to stain them too. If you do I would recommend sealing it with something the can of stain recommends like polyurethane).
  4. Once the corbels and barn wood are both dry, glue corbels to shelf. Make sure to line up to back of shelf for easy hanging. I used a rag to wipe any excess glue. Leave upside down to dry. It took about a day to completely dry.
Unfinished corbels from Home Depot.
I did one thin layer of stain (Dark Walnut) and wiped off excess with a clean rag. It doesn’t need to be perfect since you’ll be painting over it anyways.
After 3 thin layers of white chalk paint I lightly distressed with sand paper. After distressing to my liking I sealed with dark wax.
After sanding with a hand sander I filled (back only) with wood glue to help strengthen the old board. It dries clear but it’s still pretty shiny.
After glue dried I coated the entire board with dark wax and let dry.
Once completely dried I glued corbels to the board and let it sit upside down for 24 hours. You can see the dried glue spots are shiny which is why I only used it on the underside.


The finished product! To see how to create a coordinating barn wood sign check out this tutorial.
I loved the shelf so much I made one for my dining room too!


2 thoughts on “Barn Wood Shelf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s