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DIY Shabby Chic Furniture Made Simple

Fri 07 Mar 2014

The shabby chic trend was huge in 2013 and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Upcycling involves taking old pieces of furniture and giving them a makeover, so that they look completely different and give your home a whole new style.

We understand that the idea of painting furniture yourself may sound daunting, but there is actually no easier theme to try than shabby chic if you just want to give your current furnishings a whole new lease of life.

Check out our guide on creating your own shabby chic furniture in a few simple steps and give it a try yourself:

Choose a Piece of Furniture

First things first, you need to choose which piece of furniture you are going to use for your shabby chic project – or which multiple pieces you are going to use if you are feeling brave! For your first item it is best to choose something quite straightforward, such as a table without any overly intricate features, as this may make painting harder.

If you don’t actually own any items of furniture that you would want to use, you can just visit a local car boot sale where you are sure to find a great deal on a range of different pieces. If you find something cheap, you will be less worried about anything going wrong too.

Prepare your Furniture

The first thing you need to do with your wooden furniture is to sand down any existing paint or varnish. By removing any old paint, you will be providing yourself with a smooth base on which to begin, meaning your end result is likely to look better.

Choose the colours you want to use next. With shabby chic furniture paler colours tend to work better, such as pastel pink or sky blue, of course white also works just as well. Chalk paint is now becoming quite popular and Annie Sloan has a lovely selection of colours.

Paint the Furniture

If you are using standard paint, then it’s best to put a layer of primer on first, but chalk paint does not require this. Cover your whole piece of furniture in the colour of choice and let it dry.

If you are painting dark furniture and using a light coloured paint, then you may need to use more than one layer of paint. Again, chalk paint seems to do well with just one layer. Once all the paint has dried, give the furniture a coating of wax to seal it.

Distress the Furniture

If you want to create a distressed look on your furniture, then you will need a piece of medium grade sandpaper. Decide which areas you want to “rough up” and delicately rub them with the sandpaper. If you aren’t sure where to start, then corners always work well.

It is important not to go too far with the sandpaper; less is more in this case. You don’t want to take too much of the paint off and make it look too worn and end up need to repaint the whole thing again.

Buff your Finished Item

This is probably the best part, once you have painted and distressed until your finished piece is exactly as you wanted, it’s time to buff it. Take a lint free cloth and buff the item of furniture all over to give it a beautiful shiny finish.

So there you have it, shabby chic made easy. It’s a really great way to create unique furniture that reflects your personality and bring an old piece of furniture back to life with a quick and easy transformation.