“Shabby chic”: a worn and faded look; a style of interior decor that’s nonetheless stylish, artsy, and cozy. Perfect for country retreats, beach houses, and the bohemian at heart, here’s a simple project to refurbish any boring piece of furniture into a vintage asset.
- a piece of wooden furniture, like a chair, table, dresser, or picture frame
- a painter’s mask
- medium-grade sandpaper
- a deglosser
- a damp rag
- paint for the base color
- chalk paint
Preparation: Assemble all the materials in a well-ventilated work space. Wear a painter’s mask to protect yourself from fumes or small particles of wood.
Sanding: Sand the wood with medium-grade sandpaper. Stroke in the direction of the grain. If you’re working with pre-painted or varnished furniture, use liquid sandpaper, also known as a deglosser, to dull the coat of paint, the gloss, or the varnish, if any.
Priming: With a clean damp cloth, wipe down the piece to get rid of debris. Follow the instructions on your primer and apply it all over the piece.
Painting the base: Once dry, apply the base color on the piece. Use wood stain instead if you’re working with bare wood that you want to preserve.
Painting with chalk paint: Let dry before applying the second coat of paint. Chalk paint is ideal: you can buy chalk paint or make your own by mixing 1 cup of paint with 1 tablespoon of plaster of Paris and 1/4 cup of hot water. Make as much as needed. Apply the chalk paint all over the piece. Distressing: And now the fun part. Once dry, use sandpaper to “distress” the paint. Rubbing gently, chip off the chalk paint from desired areas to reveal the base coat underneath.