Washboard Cabinet Makeover

January 11, 2023

Photo of a vintage washboard with homemade shelf back.
During the Christmas holidays, I found a vintage washboard/shelf at Goodwill.  I think it was a very fun find for $14.99.  The washboard's graphics were really clear and bright, and was probably never used much.  The back shelf part was homemade and not exactly perfect.  The wood cuts were off but I don't mind.

Scroll on down to see how I upcycled and decorated my find below! AND it's the Thrift Store Decor Team's January Party with more thrifted projects including rose bowl vases, vintage jewelry, thrift store art, a magazine rack, rattan lamp, necklace holder, wooden decor sleigh, and a serving tray!

(When you click on the bold Amazon, Old Sign Stencils or Dixie Belle Paint Company affiliate links you will be taken to the products I used for this project. If you order it does not change the price or service at all. As an Amazon Affiliate, Old Sign Stencils Affiliate or Dixie Belle Paint Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)
December marked the ten year anniversary of my blog, Organized Clutter.  A lot has changed in my life since I started the blog. My son and his family moved to the Twin Cities after their twins were diagnosed with autism, my oldest daughter landed a great engineering job also in the Twin Cities and got engaged, my youngest daughter received both her bachelor's and master's degrees and became a first grade teacher 100 miles away, I retired, I moved my mom to assisted living and then on to a nursing home, I survived breast cancer 2 1/2 years ago, and most recently got divorced after 29 years of marriage.  I haven't shared a lot about my personal life over the years but it has been pretty difficult at times. Blogging, actually was therapeutic.  You all have helped with your support and sweet comments.

I have been on bit of a blogging break this fall.  Mostly, because I have been refreshing some of the rooms in my home, and cleaning out closets and storage areas. This needed to be done.

I will be sharing some of the room refreshing soon, but now back to my project.

Photo of a vintage washboard and a homemade shelf back.
Here is the inside of the washboard/shelf find.  The bottom shelf notches were cut incorrectly, but overall, the shelf was well made.

Photo of a vintage washboard & a homemade shelf back.
First I washed the washboard and shelf with hot soapy Dawn Dish Soapy water and a rag.

Photo of a shelf being painted with Dixie Belle Chalk Paint.
I removed the hinges and closing hook, and painted just the shelf part with Dixie Belle Chalk Paint in Midnight Sky.

Midnight Sky is a navy blue black.

Photo of an old washboard being waxed with Big Mama's Butta.
Even thought the washboard was in good shape, it was vintage and the wood was pretty dull and dry.

I wiped Dixie Belle's Big Mama's Butta on the wooden parts of the washboard and the chalk painted shelf too.  The wax darkened and enriched both the chalk paint and the bare wood. 

Photo of a vintage washboard with a chalk painted homemade shelf back.
I put the hinges back on, along with the closing hook.

Photo of a vintage washboard with a chalk painted homemade shelf back.

Photo of a vintage washboard with a chalk painted homemade shelf back.
The shelf part had a sawtooth hanger on the top back and a hole was drilled in the bottom shelf back.  I think nailing both the top and bottom shelf to the wall is a good idea to keep the shelf from moving or falling off the wall due to weight.

Photo of a vintage washboard with a chalk painted homemade shelf back.
I also like the shelf as an open display.

I hung a vintage laundry day photo on the washboard with a magnet, and decorated the shelves with a vintage toy iron, old clothespins, a button jar, spools of thread and a couple faux plants.

Photo of a vintage washboard with a chalk painted homemade shelf back.
If you aren't lucky enough to find a washboard with a ready made shelf and can make one, here are some of the dimensions on mine.

Washboard 24" x 12 1/4"
Shelf Height 23 1/2"
Shelf Width 12 5/8"
Shelf Depth 3 1/2" (top shelves) and 5" (bottom shelf)

Photo collage of thrift shop finds before makeovers.
Now it's time to visit the Thrift Store Decor Team's Project Links below:

How To Hydro Dip Using Spray Paint My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Vintage Jewelry Projects Shop At Blu

Updating and Decorating with Thrift Store Art Our Southern Home

Get Organized With an Updated Magazine Rack My Repurposed Life

Updated Rattan Wicker Lamp Domestically Speaking

Hanging Necklace Holder Petticoat Junktion

Wooden Sleigh for Winter Decor Sadie Seasongoods

Upcycling Junk Three Ways Reinvented Deleware

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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  1. Love the transformation - I always love the combo of dark paint and wood tones and metal!

  2. I love the new color and how you displayed it, I have never seen one with a cabinet.
    You have been through a lot over the past few years, keeping you in my prayers, you've got this! xo Kristin

  3. SUCH an epic project, Carlene! It looks so sharp!

  4. Such a clever idea! Love it!! - Briana from Texas

  5. Carlene, I love your blog and am always so inspired by your projects, this one especially. It turned out spectacularly! I want one just like it! I am a breast cancer survivor so I know how difficult that is. I have been in remission--they never say you're cured--for over 20 years and I hope the same and better for you. Having children move far away is hard, too. I am in Michigan and my oldest daughter lived on Vancouver Island and then on the West coast for several years. I missed her greatly. Happily, she is now back here about an hour away from me. Like you, I also went through a divorce and that was shattering, but I survived and am okay, now. We women very often survive many trials but we are warriors and we push on and rebuild our lives and thrive. I know you will do the same and I hope your blog is a significant part of that. I wish you every good thing that makes your heart happy from now on! Keep blogging, and I will keep reading!

    1. Thanks so much Naomi! That is wonderful that you are a 20 year survivor! I have changed my eating habits and get much more exercise too.


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