CD rack into food storage shelf.

I bought these wooden CD shelves from a charity shop as I was moving into my flat. I think at the time I was just excitedly buying stuff, rather than seeing what I could use it for. They cost about £2 each, so it wasn’t a big splurge.

In a former life at the flat.

In a former life at the flat.

It turned out they fitted perfectly under the kitchen cupboards in the flat. They added some much needed storage space and each compartment could hold a cup. They worked well for my 4 years in the flat, and moved with me to the new place.


After doing lots of painting and decorating within a month, I was eager to find new projects. I’d just discovered chalk paint. Chalk paint doesn’t have all the harmful chemicals of normal paint, you mix it up yourself and you can wax afterwards to finish it, if painting wood. Some chalk paint comes ready mixed, but its interesting to mix it yourself. The type I have is so safe you can add the unused paint to your compost heap. So its got a good feel good factor. It has a similar finish to matt paint if used on a wall.

Mixing chalk paint for the kitchen cupboards.

Mixing chalk paint for the kitchen cupboards.

So I decided to paint the CD racks with chalk paint. I used an off white colour, the same I used on my kitchen walls. The CD racks were fiddly to paint as so many surfaces. I worked out a system of painting the bottom of each one, then rotating it 90 degress and then painting the side of each, and rotating it again, until each side was covered. I then painted the outside and left it to dry. It took about 3 coats, I think I’d mixed the paint a little bit thin.


Once dried I had to decide what to put in it. The cups now fitted in my cupboard. I bought some cheap glass containers that fitted in each compartment and stored grains, nuts and dry fruit in them. I added chalk labels. The other shelf has herb and spice jars as well as a few decorative bits. I may arrange it better later, as we do have a spice rack too, but for now this works.



It was a very easy project and used objects I already had, other than the jars. The jars make it easier to find things and leads to less cluttered cupboards. You could easily make from scratch some similar shelves, or keep an eye out in charity shops for something similar. Glass jars can be bought in various sizes, so hopefully you can get ones that fit. For bigger shelves baskets look great, or a mixture of glasses and baskets.




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