Wine Boxes turned free-formed shelf


  • $3/box -> $24 for boxes
  • $12 for paint + small brush (used a $10 coupon)


  • about 4 hours of actual work time. (definitely a learning curve)

After reading about the salvaged-drawers-turned-modular-shelf by Monica Ewing of (post here), I’ve been yearning to try it out myself.  Finally!

I came across someone selling used wood wine boxes on Craigslist.  After hauling 10 of them home, I peeled off the stickers as much as I can, sanded the boxes, and wiped them down.  Not all the stickers came off cleanly… I need a better way of getting them off.  Any suggestions?

I picked up Benjamin Moore’s Natura zero VOC paint because it was recommended to me as very low to none odor.  With no outdoor space at this apartment, I have been using the dining room as my ‘workshop’ space.  Last week, I painted an old shelf with the regular latex paint, and I had to keep the windows open for a long while before the smell was gone from the apartment!  The verdict:  I was VERY HAPPY with the Natura paint.

After the paint, the boxes look like this

The shelf is going underneath our bedroom windows.  There are two of them side by side.  They are great at letting the light in, and I don’t want to block them.

We lined up the painted boxes along the bottom of the windows.  Some vertical, and some horizontal.  Finally we put personal items on them for display.  Family pictures, candles, vases, etc.

The fun part of this piece is that none of the boxes were nailed down.  Whenever we feel like, we can rearrange by re-stacking. 🙂

update on February 2010


2 thoughts on “Wine Boxes turned free-formed shelf

  1. Very nice. I really like how you matched that Burgundy color with the overall decor.

    As far as getting the stickers off, I would suggest going to a wine crate specialist. Not only will a professional remove all the stickers, nails, tape etc., but if you go to winepine for example, your crates will be sanded by hand to a smooth texture and prepared for a first coat of finish.. Also, when you go to a specialist you can choose your crates, and the crates will have minimal imperfections, and will look like new. The 4 hour time period you needed for the project would turn into 1.

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