Shabby Chic Redecorating on a Budget: How to Make Your New Furniture Look Vintage

If you pay attention to design trends, you’ve likely noticed old is new again. Weathered furniture now fills the house of some of the most stylish homes in America, displaying a hot trend known as shabby chic.

One trip to a furniture store will show you how expensive distressed furniture can be. However there is good news, you can save money by using furniture you already have in your home. Here are a few tips for turning ordinary items into beautiful vintage furniture.

Find the Right Items

shabby chic_chair

Chances are there’s a dresser, end table, or chair in your house that you’re ready to toss to the curb. Maybe there’s a piece you aren’t ready to discard or you’ve never really liked, but thought had potential to be something more. If you don’t have such an item,  you can head out to garage sales or secondhand shops and purchase a piece of furniture that you can then turn into your weekend project.

Purchase Supplies

shabby chic_paint

For your shabby chic remodel, you’ll need water-based acrylic eggshell paint and primer. You’ll also need basic paint supplies, as well as something to place beneath your furniture item to protect the floor from paint. If you plan to replace the handles, you may want to go ahead and purchase those so you’ll be able to finish off your look once the paint dries.

Prepare to Paint

shabby chic_dresser

Once you’re ready to get started, you’ll first need to remove any handles or knobs on your piece of furniture. If the furniture has paint on it, you need to strip it first. If not, you can head straight to the next step, which is sanding it down. Once you’ve primed it, paint as you normally would and allow the paint to dry completely.

Distress the Furniture

shabby chic_sanding

Using different types of sandpaper, rub off paint in areas where the piece of furniture would normally receive the most wear. As you work, step back often and view your piece of furniture objectively to see how the piece looks. Wipe the dust off and allow the item to dry before wiping furniture wax all over. This process is demonstrated in photos here.

Alternative Method

shabby chic_crackle paint

Another way to give furniture a distressed look is to apply one coat of paint, allow it to dry, then apply clear furniture polish to areas you want to appear distressed. Crackle paint kits are also available to easily give a surface the look of cracked paint.

If you feel uncomfortable with the way your furniture will turn out, consider starting with a piece you would be discarding anyway. It could be a small item like an end table. You could even purchase an old piece of furniture from a garage sale, practice on it, then progress to distressing the furniture in your own house.

If you want to give your home a more contemporary look without spending a fortune, DIY shabby chic projects are a great option. There are different ways to approach distressing furniture, giving you a chance to choose the method that works best for your own unique work style.

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