Shabby chic furniture is characterized by the look of distressed wood. You might just want to purchase new furniture that has this look, but you may find that it tends to be extremely expensive to do so. You can reduce this problem by simply doing it yourself. Here are some tips for redoing your furniture so that it has the look that you are trying to achieve.
1. Clean the Surface and Apply Wax
Once you have found a solid wood piece of furniture that you would like to use, clean off any grease, oil, or debris. You can do this by using a mild dish washing detergent and warm water. Simply dip a sponge into the soap and water solution and use this to wipe down your furniture. Wipe the furniture again with a clean towel to dry it. For both cleaning and drying, make sure that you are moving with the grain of the wood.
Then, sand the wood so that it is textured enough to securely hold onto the finish. If you want the look of peeling paint, which is a key for shabby chic furniture, you can take a plain candle and rub the wax on the textured wood. The paint will not adhere as well to these areas and will peel more quickly.
There is no need to apply a primer since you want to make sure that the paint is not entirely adhering to the chair and you want the wood to show through the paint. Paint one or two coats of the paint onto the chair to give it a solid look. Allow the paint to dry.
3. Distress the Paint
Once the paint has fully dried, use steel wool or sandpaper to rub away the paint on the seat of the chair, on any armrests, or anywhere else you think the chair would be distressed after being used for years. This will give your chair the natural, distressed look.
Finally, if your chair has upholstery, you will need to choose a fabric that matches the distressed look. Getting an older, solid-colored fabric will allow you to elevate the shabby chic look. Take your chair and the desired fabric to a furniture upholstery service to have them apply it for you. They also might have some ideas for the best type of upholstery to complement the overall look.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in upholstery services, like Bob Arkus Custom Upholstery Inc.