Do you have a piece of furniture that is ready for the junk yard. Well instead of throwing it out why not have a go at upcycling it.    There are many fantastic ways to update your furniture with a range of painting techniques. The latest trend is to Shabby Chic your furniture.

Do you have old furniture that you're ready to throw out. Instead of getting rid of it have you ever thought about upcycling it. Giving it a new lease of life by renovating it. There are many techniques for refurbishing furniture, but the one I want to concentrate on is the Shabby Chic look. I think this brings a certain charm to furniture giving it a vintage look. A gentle reminder of a bygone a

Only use solid wood furniture as furniture with a veneer surface doesn't work well with this effect. If you have no furniture to start your project, you can always root around charity shops, car boot sales and antique/vintage fairs. Local auctions and online auction sites may also produce a few bargains. This vintage look is very popular, but can be quite expensive to buy already done and it's also a lot of fun and very fulfilling to do it yourself.

To begin your project there are a few things you will need

These items will help you get started on your first exciting project

  • Steel wool or sandpaper 
  • Chalk Paint
  • Undercoat paint
  • Paint brushes 
  • Wax polish
  • Candle wax (not coloured)
  • Damp cloth
  • Matt or satin polyacrylic 
  • Heat gun (optional)

You will need two colours of paint one main colour, and one for underneath. Remember the undercoat will show through on the parts that you rub down. There are no rules to the colours you use, look at images on the Internet or furniture for sale to get ideas to inspire you. Annie Sloan chalk paints, are some of the most popular paints to use for this type of effect. They come in a variety of vintage colours..

When using chalk paints you don't need to prime or rub down surfaces first, though it is best to remove any flaky paint. Check the piece has no woodworm, you would be able to spot this if you see lots of little holes in the wood. This can easily be treated with a woodworm treatment.

Paint the first coat, paint mainly in the areas want where scuffing would naturally occur, at the corners and edges. You will be covering this in a top coat and will then be rubbing down these areas so ensure you have covered these areas with the first coat.

Always  use matt or satin paint, gloss paint is not the right paint for this type of effect. Put a coat  of paint on your piece and allow it to dry. For a two-tone look, paint one color as the first coat and let it dry. After that, apply a different color for the second coat. The top coat will then need to be rubbed off in places to give the worn look. You could apply wax on parts of the furniture before applying the top coat this is another way of getting the worn look

When you're happy with the finish you need to wax the whole item. A good wax to use is Annie Sloane's furniture wax. You can buy this as a clear wax which provides a lovely sheen and antique effect. There is also a darker wax which helps to add character to your finished piece. 

Either of these will help to protect your masterpiece. 

I feel you can have some real fun decorating your furniture in shabby chic style. If you like furniture with character this is for you. The other great thing about painting shabby chic style is your paintwork doesn't need to be perfect. I'm a bit messy when it comes to home decoration, so this suits me.

i hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Be careful it's quite addictive. You'll be constantly looking for more pieces of furniture  to paint in this lovely style.

What do you think?