The garden shelfie - Create a vertical garden to display garden plants, pots and gardenalia with a diy garden display shelf


DIY garden shelf painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Athenian Black and finished with a coat of Chalk Paint Lacquer in matte.


The garden isn't just about my love of plants, it's a creative space. 

 I can get lost in my small urban garden for hours, planting, tinkering and thinking about what colour, texture and height I want to add to the garden next. It's also a place that I love to have fun styling and as a collector obsessed with antiques, the garden is another space I can display my collections of plants and gardenalia.

This past winter I came across a Victorian Auricula Theatre I had seen somewhere online. It's a small display shelf that holds a collection of Auriculas (a type of primula) - one of the many flowers that became popular in the Victorian era when gardening became wildly popular in England. 

I decided to create a version of one to display herbs just outside the doors to our small deck. It was an opportunity to add something interesting to a rather dull looking privacy screen. It is also practical as I can step outside my door to access fresh herbs. I think it will be fun to style throughout the seasons.

I've collaborated with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint who provided the paint for this project.


A garden shelf painted in a dark shade is a nice contrast to the green plants and terracotta pots. Shelf painted in Athenian Black, table in Olive using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.


I'm really happy with how it turned out. I like the contrast of the dark paint and the green plants and terracotta pots. I've also been wanting to give this table a fresh coat of paint for awhile (I'm obsessed with the Olive green!) and I really do love how easy it is to paint furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. But I had never thought of painting outdoor furniture, and a fence! Chalk Paint Lacquer is a finishing product that protects painted surfaces from the elements. It's a water-based polyacrylic varnish with built in UV protection. 

This is a before photo.


Before photo of the plain privacy screen and vintage enamel top table in need of a facelift.

Here's how we did it.

First we cleaned the privacy screen. Although you don't really need to prep too much with Chalk Paint, we gave the screen a light sanding to remove any rough edges or debris.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Athenian Black.

The paint went on very easily. I only did one coat and a few touch ups.


After painting the screen, we left it to dry for a few days before applying a coat of Chalk Paint Laquer

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Lacquer in clear matte.


Then we painted the old table using Olive with a finishing coat of the Chalk Paint Lacquer. I've been wanting to paint something green for awhile. I love the colour. 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Olive.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Olive.

The garden shelf was built using what we could get our hands on at a local building supplies store. Wood has been hard to get.  My husband John used a simple knotty pine which we knew was going to be painted so it didn't really matter what kind of wood we used. It's just a simple 4 foot x 4 foot shelf with 16" between each shelf. 

Since this shelf will be outdoors, we painted and finished it with Chalk Paint Lacquer before assembling the shelf. That way it is completely sealed and better protected from the elements.

DIY garden shelf and upcycled table turned potting bench. Shelf painted Athenian Black and table in Olive with Annie Sloan Paint.


I'm really pleased with how this turned out. It's a great spot to display herbs and I also use it as another potting bench. 


A garden shelf is a great way to have fun styling your garden with your favourite pottery, plants and seasonal items. I love how it looks painted dark with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Athenian Black.

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