Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Shabby Chic corner unit: before and after

So I completed my first furniture project. Well, it's almost complete, it just needs a few touch-ups here and there. I started our home renovation by painting the corner cabinet we bought. Here's how it looked before. It was a good size for the space, but was a little orangey for my taste, and didn't have the look I was going for.

shabby chic furniture

paint pine furniture

 Things you will need:

If you're planning to update a piece of furniture in this way, you will need
  • Sandpaper. I started by using glass paper as we had some of that. This was a mistake and will scratch your furniture! I used a course sandpaper to start, followed by a medium grit, and ending with a fine grit. This gives a smooth look to the wood.
  • Primer. I used some generic primer for wood from B&Q
  • Paint. I used a cream eggshell acrylic water-based paint. I read somewhere that you can use emulsion, but I decided to pay a bit more and get eggshell. It worked well and dries with a matt finish.
  • Paint brushes
  • A dust sheet
  • A sanding block. This makes sanding much easier.

  1.  Take off doors and handles. Put masking tape on glass edges.
  2. Sand the furniture. Make sure you get all the varnish off, or at least rough it up. I tried to leave some of the varnish in the hard to reach places, but ended up needing to go back and sand again as the primer would not stick to the varnished wood. Sand using coarse paper to remove varnish, and then finer sandpaper to achieve a neat finish.
  3. Wipe the wood down to remove dust from sanding. 
  4. Prime the wood. I did two coats of primer. It wasn't completely clear, you could still some some wood colour underneath the primer, but it was enough to cover the wood. You could do three coats in order to require less paint later.
  5. Sand the wood. Once the primer is dry, make sure the primer is smooth and you don't have any bumps. A quick sand will give a level finish. Wipe any dust off after.
  6. Put on a coat of paint. Eggshell paint dries quickly, but give plenty of time for it to dry. It should say on the tin how long it needs.
  7. Sand between coats. Unfortunately my boyfriend used some time off work to finish the piece. Lovely of him, but he didn't know to sand between coats. It worked out fine but there are a few bumps here and there.
  8. After painting enough coats to give a good cover, leave to dry for a couple of days before you start using the item. Even when the paint feels dry, it will still chip easily at first so letting it dry properly will avoid the need to touch it up later.
Here is the finished product! I still need to quickly touch up the tops of the doors. I was tempted to sand the paint back to give a shabby chic look, but I decided I preferred the piece a plain white. What do you think?

how to paint furniture

shabby chic painted furniture

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