Wood Look Floating Shelves (with paint and stain!)

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Get this “simple to do” wood look with paint and stain on any project from furniture to decor!

Hello my wonderful friends! Wow, life has been so crazy around here lately. SO much going on. I will be glad when things settle down a bit so I can get back to all the fun projects I have planned. I hope you haven’t minded seeing some older posts I’ve pulled from the archive! I figure some of you might have missed them the first time around so might be a good time to revisit.

But today I’ve got a new one for  ya! I am trying hard to get this hall bathroom done. (and it almost is except for decorating and a few final touches, yippee!)

You might remember when I first considered redoing this bathroom (again) here… Hall Bathroom Mood Board & Plans

If you click over to check that out you will see my original plans for the bathroom. Unfortunately, things went in a bit of a different direction somewhat because I could not get that vanity cabinet. BUT I love how it went! Sometimes things just work out for the better, love that.

I’m not showing you the whole bathroom today. I’m sharing the floating shelves that I gave a “wood look” to with paint and stain.

wood look shelves decorated on white wall

My husband and I made these floating shelves years ago. You can read all about it in this post here … DIY Floating Shelves Tutorial

And as a refresher…here is how they used to look with the old wall color.

white shelves on wall with coastal style decor and blue wall

They look great in white with that wall color.

But not so great with this color…

white shelves plain, white wall

Which is not “white-white” although it looks it. It’s my favorite soft (not warm) white that I used in our kitchen, morning room and dining room downstairs.
It is a color by Benjamin Moore called Pure White. I had it color matched at Sherwin Williams though.

I knew I wanted them to have a wood look because of everything else I have going on in here. There are several ways to do it but I decided to do it similar to how I recently did the bath cabinet in our downstairs guest bath. You can see it here … Coastal Guest Bath Refresh

I did do one tiny little thing different on these though. I’ll show ya! ;)

I began by taping the shelves up with my absolute favorite tape.

white shelves taped with green tape

Then I painted them with the Cobblestone paint linked above.

up close of painted shelf and green tape

And then the extra step that I did this time…dry brushing on some of the “Ash” color. (see it above?)

And below…

top of shelf painted

I just thought that might give it a bit more dimension like real wood has underneath the stain.
I think it was a good choice. More might have been even better.

Once that was dry (I let it sit overnight since it is water based and the stain is oil based) I applied the stain. (with a lint free rag)

top shelf painted bottom shelf stained

See the bottom one I stained? The top one is still just paint.
Isn’t that the coolest? I love how it looks wood-ish. And oh so simply too!

Here’s another shot  to see the top better. (with the light on)

top shelf painted bottom shelf stained

And done!

room view of shelves decorated

So much better than white. There is a lot of white going on in here already, the shelves didn’t need to be white too! lol

wood look shelves with plant and decor

I’m so happy with how they turned out. That Driftwood stain is versitile, I tell ya!
And one of the darker stains I sell in the shop would work nicely too if you are going for a darker wood look.

A little sneak peek of the new mirror.

wood look shelves with decor and rounded gold mirror on wall

By the way, this is not the final styling of the shelves, I just threw that up there for the photos.
Might be close to that though, we’ll see!

A few close ups of that wood look we have going on now.

up close of wood stain wood look

up close of wood look wood stain on side

Have you tried the Driftwood stain yet?? I know a bunch of you have ordered it! I’ve had to restock it multiple times. :)

decorated wood look floating shelves with decor

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Get this "simple to do" wood look with paint and stain on any project from furniture to decor! artsychicksrule.com

I’ll see you back here next week with the FULL REVEAL!! PLUS…the full tutorial on how I painted our bathroom floor tiles. See you then!
UPDATE!! See it now here!!

In the meantime, we are headed to our happy place for the weekend! A little work…a little play. Stay tuned over on Instagram, I may share a snippet or two.

Have a wonderful weekend!!



  1. I love the driftwood look to the shelves now. And thanks for the link on how to make shelves like that. :)

    1. Thank you, Christina!! It was a fun project at the time. And now fun to change them up again! Happy weekend to you!❤️

  2. I really like the soft lighter wood look ! Nice contrast, and warmer against the light walls.
    How did you apply the stain? Wiped on, but did you wipe it off after applying, or was it applied lightly and left to dry ? Hmmm.
    It looks great :) Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, p!! I just wiped it on with a soft, lint free rag. And yep, applied one coat in long strokes to mimic wood and left out to dry overnight. That’s it! :) Easy!

      1. Thanks for your reply !! It really looks so nice.
        I like white…., but the warm wood look is so warm and natural.
        Thanks for sharing your expertise :)

  3. Woohoo…I know you are so excited to finally have the last bathroom completely updated! Then just the main bedroom, right? THEN, I’ll come over for a visit to see it all done ha ha! Enjoy your weekend! XOXO

    1. Oh yes!! All that’s left in our bedroom makeover are a few last things on hubby’s built in closet. Soon I hope!! Lol And absolutely, it’s about time for that!! Haha xoxo

  4. You have shared several ways to get the driftwood look and I have tried a few. What is your favorite technique? This looks so nice and the contrast with the white walls is beautiful!

    1. Oh gosh, hmm…I always love the many variations you can get with the dry brushing but I have to say, I’m really loving the look with the Driftwood stain lately! But probably the dry brush method overall! And thank you, Cecilia!!xo

  5. That looks amazing!!!!!!!! Smart idea – really the perfect answer with the white walls. Well done, Nancy.

  6. These dame out so nice. So much better than white considering the new makeover. I am surprised though because I always though you can not use oil based and water based products together. I love the soft wood color. So pretty..

    1. Thank you, Debra! Oh yes, you can, you just want to make sure you let things “dry, cure, etc” well beforehand. (letting the water from water based products fully evaporate, for example) :)

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