Resene Paints - home page
Upcycling for Good

Paint a cubby shelf

Freshen up an old cubby shelf unit with a fun new look!

Resene upcycling for good with Sarah Herring - Project 11

Finished project - Cubby Shelves
Finished project

You will need: Resene Lumbersider (waterborne low sheen) in Resene Quarter Spanish White (500ml), Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat (500ml), Resene testpots in Resene Suzie Q, Resene Wheel Of Fortune and Resene Black, Sander or rough grit sandpaper, Small detail brush, Testpot brush.

Finished project - Cubby Shelves
Finished project
Prior to refinishing
Upcycling for good
Step 1
Step one
The original cubby shelves had quite a lot of green paint on them already so needed a good sand to prepare the surface for painting. Sarah chose to use an electric sander for this because it was faster and could get through the paint more easily, but you could still use some rough grit sandpaper to do the job by hand.
Step 2
Step two
Once sanded, dust off all the surfaces and apply a coat of Resene Quick Dry to prepare the surface for painting. You must wait for the primer to dry completely.
Step 3
Step three
Apply two topcoats. Sarah chose Resene Lumbersider in Resene Quarter Spanish White to give these cubby shelves a fresh white finish.
Step 4
The shelves themselves were quite rustic and rough, so Sarah needed a nice low sheen paint that could provide good thorough coverage. If you were planning to store books or heavy items, you could use Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel.
Step 5
Step four
Once the paint is dry, you can add extra colour by painting the interior shelves in fun bright colours. Sarah painted the top shelf in Resene Suzie Q, and the bottom shelf in Resene Wheel Of Fortune. Two coats were needed.
Step 6
Step five
For the interior back panels of the shelves hand paint black dots using a detail brush and a testpot of Resene Black paint. This can be tricky and requires a steady hand, so have a practice first! The dots won’t be perfect, but that adds to the charm of painting something yourself.
Step 7
Step six
Once all your dots are dry, place your finished cubby shelves somewhere useful in the home and fill with trinkets, toys or photos, whatever you like! You can never have too much storage space.

Upcycling for Good

You can find a huge range of treasures, from ornaments and picture frames, to furniture and toys at your local Salvation Army store that you can easily upcycle with a little Resene paint and some imagination.

"Our Family Stores are full of treasures generously donated by members of the public. We value these donations and try our hardest to re-purpose and sell as much as possible. We’re all about re-using and recycling, so teaming up with Resene on Upcycling for Good was a perfect match. Resene’s products and tips are a natural fit with our pre-loved furniture and accessories, which are usually great quality but could sometimes do with a lick of paint to ensure they fly off the shelves.

Each year, nationally, our stores save 16,000 tonnes from landfill. This initiative increases the value of the donated product, improves the range of goods for our customers, and furthers The Salvation Army’s mission and Resene’s community activity.” Gareth Marshall, The Salvation Army's National Family Store Manager.

View more projects


Get inspired ! Subscribe      Get saving ! Apply for a DIY card

Resene Paints Ltd

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us!

Resene Paints (Australia) Limited   –

View Videos

Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.