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Furniture Painting Guide To Creating a Fantastic Shabby Chic Look

Transform Your Furniture and Give It A Fantastic Shabby Chic Look. Painting Guide in 8 Easy Steps Transform Your Furniture and Give It A Fantastic Shabby Chic Look. Painting Guide in 8 Easy Steps

Want to be inspired to change the look of your furniture? Shabby Chic is incredibly versatile and is a relatively easy look to achieve.

Painting furniture can rejuvenate tired looking or out of date furniture giving it a fresh new look. The transformations can be quite staggering and you can also gain a wonderful sense of pride and achievement with the finished look.

Is it easy to do? That's a good question, so consider my experience as I took the plunge to Shabby Chic a pine chest of drawers I had in my hallway. We (talking about my husband and I) had this pine chest of drawers in our hallway for many years, but as time had gone by it no longer fitted our home decor, and after all, antique pine really isn't in vogue anymore.

After experimenting by painting a cheap pine dresser that I acquired for my conservatory it gave me the motivation to update my pine chest of drawers. For inspiration I went on the internet and looked at DIY painted shabby chic furniture and formulated my idea of how I wanted my drawers to look.

Deciding in advance how you want the finished item to look is an important step. There's no point spending money on buying materials if you don't have a plan already in mind. I was on a tight budget so I needed fairly cost effective ideas, so please continue reading to see how I did it and what I achieved.

By the way, if you don't want the mess of sanding down a piece of furniture, then the best thing to do is use furniture chalk paint as a primer and undercoat. When I was experimenting with my pine dresser I used Rust Oleum chalk paint as a base coat and two coats of Crown Paint eggshell for top coats which achieved a pleasing end result as it gave a tough and durable finish that still gave that shabby chic look.

My pine drawers were in a more prominent high traffic area, so I thought they should receive a little more love and attention to make them stand out, so I thought it best to add a splash of colour and some extra special finishing touches so it would draw people's eyes to my shabby chic furniture 'masterpiece'.

My pine chest of drawers pre shabby chic make-over







Step 1 - I removed the drawer handles, then I washed all the surfaces that I wanted to paint with sugar soap in warm water as this removes any build up of dirt and grease and provides a clean surface ready for paint. I then painted all surfaces with the Rust Oleum chalk paint as a primer and to provide a key for the top coats of paint to adhere to.

Pine chest of draws masked

Side panel with Rust Oleum chalk paint base coatpine drawers pre shabby chicdraws with rust oleum chalk paint base coat

Step 2 - The sides and drawer fronts I painted in Crown Period Collection, White Glove Eggshell. Two coats were needed, I made sure each coat was dry before applying the next.

The first top coat of crown eggshell paint







Step 3 - For the top of the drawers and plinth around the base I used Crown, 'Crushed Aloe', matt emulsion, I applied two coats.

Step 4 - At this point the drawers were still fairly plain and I wanted to add a touch of individuality, so around the edges of the top and base plinth I applied some gold paint. I used Crown metallic millionaire, and with a makeup sponge I dabbed on the paint to pick out the areas I wanted to highlight. To get the best effect its best to have the sponge fairly dry, dapping off excess paint onto kitchen roll, as its best to build up layers than to apply too much in one go.

Applying of gold paint to top edges







Step 5 - To seal the emulsion I used a furniture lacquer. If applying two coats make sure each coat is thoroughly dry before applying the next, if you don't you will end up with a sticky mess. Personally, I have found that with any painting, it is best to wait at least overnight to get the best results. However, with some modern quick drying paints things can be a lot quicker. In all cases, read the instructions on the tin and you won't go far wrong.

Step 6 - To add extra individuality I wanted a mismatch of drawer handles in different designs. I had seen some lovely ceramic ones on the internet that I liked (they were a big pricing though) but I was on a tight budget so I set out to try and replicate their look by painting the original pine ones. In painting these very plain pine drawer knobs I followed the same painting procedure as with the drawers. To make creative designs you can really let your imagination take over. For example, you can use any leftover coloured emulsion paint you may have in the shed or garage (I find I have quite a few paint sample pots that I have acquired) and with a thin artists brush create your own designs. Make sure you seal them with the lacquer you used on the top and plinth.

Draw handles painted white

handles attached  to cardboard for easy painting

Step 7 - To create an even more individual look and to add some pizzazz, I stencilled a pattern on the drawer fronts using the crushed aloe green and gold paint I had previously used. Stencils are relatively inexpensive, I paid £4.00 for a 'folkart scroll stencil' made from Mylar which I bought from eBay. Most stencils are made from acetate and are readily available in a ton of patterns.

Adding a stencilled pattern

finished stencilled pattern

Step 8 - The finishing touches were to lightly distress the drawers to give a more used and shabby chic vintage feel, I did this by rubbing the edges with medium grade sandpaper.

distressing of the paint work

The finished shabby chic chest of draws

So from the pictures above I hope you have been  inspired to have a go to paint your furniture to create a beautiful shabby chic or vintage style look. What if things go wrong? No Problem! Remember if it doesn't go right first time, don't get disheartened because you can always repaint and try again. Happy painting!

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