Roost + Restore
Do It Yourself Farmhouse Decor

Upcycled Dry Sink Shelf

This is hands down my favorite project yet! And yes I am aware that I say that about every project but this time I really mean it! Let me give you a little bit of background on this piece. Near the town where I live in Kentucky there is an annual 400 Hundred Mile Yard Sale that stretches across the state the first full weekend in June. I am lucky enough to be about 30 minutes from the Western starting point for the sale.

A few years ago I went for the first time with my mom and let me just tell ya, we only made it about 4 miles the entire day! Entire neighborhoods are blocked off for this event and we loaded our car to the point we literally couldn’t fit a single dusty treasure more. It is truly a pickers paradise, and after that first successful hunt I was hooked!

This is where this story begins. I found a piece of “mystery wood” for $5. I had no idea where it came from or what it’s old purpose was but I was captivated by it’s ornate details. I snatched it up knowing I was going to create something special one day and restore it to life again. It had beautiful details, interesting curves, and enough of a lip on the the top (or bottom at this point I didn’t know which way was up) that I was certain had the capability of holding a shelf.

And I did exactly that.

After lightly sanding it I measured, cut and attached a 1×4 pine board with finishing nails.

I measured the board just long enough to leave about an inch of hangover on each end. At this point I still did not know what its original purpose was but she seemed to be loving her new look as a shelf. That empty space right in the center is just begging for a wreath don’t ya think?

Next up was paint! I used a Rustoleum Matte White finish to complete this project. I did forget to photograph this step. I’m blaming it on my eagerness to get her finished and hung in my dining room.

After paint it felt a little too new and bright. In order to bring out the beauty and age this piece was sure to hold I decided to us a light distressing technique using a sanding block. I literally did this step after attaching a hanger and placing it on the wall. It was a good way to see the shelf from the most common angle that it would be seen.

After bringing out her age and beauty I centered a magnolia wreath right in the empty space between the curved area of the shelf. I think it is simply gorgeous; truthfully it turned out better than I had imagined.

For a long time I thought that the wood piece once held a vanity mirror. During my Google and Pinterest searches I realized that it was in fact part of an antique dry sink! I had never seen a dry sink with this design but it’s clearly what this was once used for!

This piece has a story. One I will never know, I just wonder who stood at the basin that this piece was once attached to. Were they looking over their shoulder and talking to their kids or washing their face after a long day in the fields…..oh the thought. But what I do know is it sure looks beautiful from across the dining room and she will now be part of our story.


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  • Reply
    Jeanie Martin
    at 9:14 PM

    I love this..

    • Reply
      at 9:24 PM

      Thank you soo much!

  • Reply
    Debra Combs
    at 1:12 AM

    I have this same piece! It was my great great grandmother’s! I love it! I am missing the harp (towel) piece to mine!!! This is beautiful!!!!

    • Reply
      at 1:18 AM

      I didn’t not know it was called a harp! Thank you for sharing that! They are beautiful pieces!

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