Shabby Chic your furniture!

Shabby Chic your furniture!

Never heard of upcycling your furniture before? Well it’s this great new trend that involves turning your beloved old fittings into shabby chic style goodness!

Interior design has changed over the years, from bleak minimalism to the current beautiful vintage look and let’s be honest the home is where the heart is so you want it to look its best. It all comes down to your personal preferences and that decides where you go from here. But if this is your type of thing, we have some great tips just for you!

Now of course, you could go out and buy a £200 designer shabby chic cabinet but where’s the fun in that? You’d be surprised how easy it can be to achieve the look. The whole part of the shabby chic look is to make it look loved and worn so if you miss a spot whilst painting it’s not the end of the world.

This stunning contemporary look can be achieved by these simple DIY steps:

Find your furniture

First things first, pick the lucky item from your home or recycled goods you’ve purchased or found. Etsy is a great shop to find old recycled goodies!

Prepare the wood

In order for the paint to stick properly you will need to remove the existing finish and any wax or varnish that has been used on it. You can easily remove varnish by purchasing a paint and varnish remover or sanding it down. A way to remove wax is apply a white spirit to it and that should do the trick. If you’re painting a cabinet with handles, it may be best to take them off before you get started so they don’t get ruined. This also gives you the opportunity to go shopping and find a handle that you really love. My favourite are glass cabinet knobs, they give such an elegant look to any room!


Apply a coat of water-based acrylic primer which will give your furniture a smoother, cleaner, easy to apply finish. This way your paint will glide over your wood.

Apply the paint

You will then need to add two thin layers of paint but don’t forget to make sure the first layer is completely dry before adding the next one. However, this doesn’t have to be just acrylic water-based paint; you can also achieve a great look with a good spray paint.

If you’re going for a distressed look, instead of applying two coats of the same colour, on your second coat try and rub away to reveal the first layer. This will give a natural wear and tear look. Not distressed enough? You can attack the painted furniture with sandpaper, a nail or whatever you can find and scrape off the paint to as deep as wood level. But don’t panic if it goes wrong, you can always paint over it.

The most difficult part of it all is making your distressed look, look random! We are natural pattern-seekers so we find it hard to avoid creating a pattern. But luckily it’s nearly impossible to get shabby chic wrong.

But shabby chic doesn’t have to be all white – if you have a more colourful side try doing these steps with bold, bright, Mediterranean colours that will make a big impact to any room. If you want to go for a cooler, subtle look then a collection of pastel colours can give a softer look, which is my favourite look of them all.

I know first hand that it is easy peasy to create luxurious furniture – all you need is some room and spray paint. If you have any other decorating ideas, we’d love to hear them!

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