Repainting your old furniture is a very simple yet effective way of transforming the look of your home. Shabby Chic is the perfect style for the amateur design DIY-er. There’s no such thing as perfection in the world of shabby chic, and anyone can have a go at it. It’s all about experimentation, simplicity, and the little imperfections that make your home yours.
- 1 old chair, desk, bookcase, or other piece of badly outdated furniture
- 1 spare afternoon –maybe a little less or more time depending upon the size of the piece and how much of a perfectionist you are about the finish
- 1 block or strip of medium sandpaper
- 1 block or strip of fine sandpaper
- 1 just damp cloth
- 1 tin of Claypaint
- 1 paintbrush
- 1 tin of furniture wax
- 1 clean sponge or piece of cloth
Step 1: Preparation
Using the medium sandpaper block, rub down the entire piece of furniture until the surface has lost its sheen and looks completely matt. You’ll want it to feel a little bit rough so that the paint will stick. Make sure to sand with the grain, following the natural lines of the wood, and any glaringly obvious patches of darker, stained wood that remain should have another good sanding. If the varnish isn’t sufficiently scrubbed off, it might leak through the paint.
Step 2: Clean-Up
Using the damp cloth, remove any dust left from the sanding. If the dust isn’t cleaned up, it will stick in the paint when you reach Step 3…
Step 3: Paint!
With paintbrush at the ready, open your Claypaint. Brush it evenly onto the sanded furniture. Cover the whole piece, working your way around in an orderly way so you can remember where you began. As the first coat on each area dries, add another coat of paint. Continue to add layers until you think you’ve got enough coats. If you missed a spot of varnish during the sanding stage, you might find that its colour shows through. Just add more paint to cover it up, adding the same number of extra layers to the whole piece.
Step 4: Distress
Before moving on to Step 4, make sure the paint has dried completely. The Shabby Chic finish is achieved by making the furniture look a little used. Using the fine sandpaper, give the piece a gentle brush down on the areas where it would naturally get a little bashed. Corners, edges, and doorknobs are some of the most obvious spots.
Step 5: Wax On
If your furniture is going to be getting used at all, it’s best to protect it with a coat of furniture wax. This stops the paint from flaking off and keeps your handiwork preserved for longer. Rub it over the paint in an even coat or two, using the sponge to apply. When you’ve covered the whole thing, let it dry.
And there you have it! A brand new piece of furniture and a fun new craft learnt all in an afternoon.
Classes at Celtic Sustainables
Shabby Chic furniture painting classes are run by Celtic Sustainables at the shop in Cardigan. We ran our first furniture painting class in the summer. The next workshop will be held on Sunday 19th October. Go along and you’ll find all the materials you need waiting for you at the venue, along with an experienced shabby chicer to guide you through the afternoon. All you need to bring is the furniture you want to work on!