Create your own shabby chic furniture!

Good afternoon vintage lovers! This week Gina has been getting creative with some DIY-ing…’s your step to step guide on how to create that super cool shabby chic look!

Shabby Chic has been associated with us vintage loving lot for quite some time now. The term is usually attached to furniture and home décor that looks pre-loved or upcycled. Not only are people taking on DIY projects, but home furnishing companies are cottoning on to this trend and are most likely making a lot of money in doing so! In fact, check out these dining room chairs from Laura Ashley, as pretty as they are, they’re £400 for the pair! We couldn’t believe our eyes!

Gorgeous, but VERY pricey chairs!

So how do you achieve this popular look without the price tag? Well, you are in luck as we bring you a simple – yet Farrow and Ball approved! – tutorial on how to do just that. So here’s what you’ll need:

Wooden furniture of choice

Wood friendly paint

White emulsion (base coat)

Decent paint brushes

Assorted sand paper


Dust sheet

Farrow & Ball are a high end name in quality home décor and I’ve chosen to work with one of their super pretty pastel shades of paint in Parma Grey. As you can see below at the examples of F&B décor, the shades are all very, uh, “vintage” and rustic in style, as are the homes!

Farrow and Ball paint!

I found a small chest of drawers in a charity shop for £5 to do this with, you may want to use a big dressing table or chest of drawers, but I wanted to start small. (We often have some awesome pieces for sale at our vintage fairs!)

Right, let’s hop to it.

Make sure you have ample space in which to do this task, there’ll be a lot of waiting, so a basement or if you have fine weather, outside is best – and make sure your dust sheet is down. It’s more than likely that your furniture is coated in varnish of some sort. Begin by sanding down your wood with a coarse piece of sand paper and some serious elbow grease.

Get it sanded!

Once you’ve gone to town on the wood all the paint or varnish should be gone. Repeat this process with a finer piece of sandpaper to really ensure you have gotten rid of all traces of the varnish to leave an exposed wooden surface. Then continue by wiping down your now dusty drawers with a damp cloth and warm water. (Around now I suggest putting the kettle on and grabbing a cream scone, after all, that was rather hard work!)

Clean your furniture with some warm water!

The fun part.

Now, I cheated quite a bit with the paint. Because there wasn’t a great deal of varnish and the wood is quite light, I missed out the undercoat. I recommend using a plain white emulsion of any brand. Nothing too fancy – you’ll just be creating a blank canvas. If, like me, you’re lazy then head straight to your paint of choice!

The brush strokes must be in the same direction at all times and I want you to think quality over quantity whilst doing so. These strokes will be visible on the finished product, so think neat! It’ll be worth it. Once you’ve done one coat, it is very important that you wait for it to dry before applying a second coat. Patience is key so do as many coats as you need. I went for three altogether and found this to be more than enough.

Et voila!

There are of course, other ways in which you can achieve this look. You may want to work with spray paint and wallpaper, but we thought we’d start out simple. You can take it from here! Our next project is a chest of drawers – the hunt for pretty drawer handles is on at Sheffield Does Vintage, Durham Does Vintage AND York Does Vintage all of which are in the next few weeks!

We need these!

Happy DIY-ing!!!

We’ll be back soon with more pre-loved inspiration and humbling stories! Alex and Sam x
(and of course Gina) 

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