How To Shabby Chic Furniture

Shabby chic furniture has caught a lot of attention across the world. It is a fantastic way of revamping your old furniture and adding class to it. However, how to shabby chic furniture is often a dilemma for people who are new to this. Here are a few ideas for you to shabby chic your furniture…

shabby chic cupboard

Cupid Cupboard

Do you have an old shabby cupboard in your house? Let’s decoupage and turn such a furniture into a charming addition to your home. To shabby chic this piece of furniture we need not require many expensive and artistic skills. Painted furniture as we know never goes out of fashion. We can always give a new look to our furniture. It is a wonderful way of recycling old worned out pieces. France can be said to be the seed of all modern day furniture. Painting your unwanted furniture is a great way to create a French style room within your budget. British taste is more inclined towards with antique whites and creams. It’s up to you to decide how daring you want to be when it comes to colour and finish.

Materials required

  • Scissors
  • Decorative paper images
  • Small cupboard
  • Medium sand paper
  • White shirt
  • White matt emulsion paint
  • Diluted wood glue
  • Small paint brush
  • Acrylic varnish
  • Large paint brush
  • Antique oak – coloured varnish
  • Soft cloth

Step 1:

Using scissors cut out the strips of decorative images required.

Step 2

To give a fine finishing rub down the cupboard with sandpaper, until we get a smooth finishing simultaneously, clean the surface with white shirt and coat it twice with white emulsion. Arrange the strips evenly on the cupboard with diluted glue. Leave it for an hour.

Step 3:

Using a flat small paint brush, coat the acrylic varnish only on the strips to protect them against the next stage of varnishing .allow the varnish to dry for at least 30 minutes.

Step 4

Lastly we’ll use a large paint brush for applying the antique oak-coloured varnish to small areas at a time. Go on repeating the same process until the whole cupboard has been varnished. The benefit of this process is it stains the white painted areas while the oak-coloured varnish stays intact in cracks and grooves.

Bedside Cupboard

shabby chic bedside cupboard

The most impressive and elegant motif “fleur-de-lys” is best suited for this bedside cupboard.


  • Bedside cupboard
  • White matt emulsion paint
  • Large paint brush
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Green acrylic paint
  • Sponge
  • Gold pigment
  • Acrylic varnish
  • Small paint brush
  • Clear gloss varnish

Step 1:

Prepare the cupboard by applying two coats of white emulsion paint. Cut out the “fleur-de-lys motif template. Now place the template carefully on the top of the cupboard and take its impression. Repeat the same process on its door.

Step 2:

Mix a base colour that is mid-tone with a mixture of green acrylic and white matt emulsion paint. Cover the whole furniture evenly with a large paint brush and make it sure that it is painted carefully around the motif so that it remains white. Leave it to dry for an hour.

Step 3:

Mix a darker shade of green in a bowl using more acrylic and less white emulsion paint. To keep and protect the fleur-de-lys motif white, cover it with the original template. Sponge the darker green solution to the edge and onto the paper with a sponge. This process should be done quickly and lightly all over the cupboard to get an even pattern and texture.

Step 4:

Let the green dry meanwhile we prepare a form of liquid gold by mixing gold pigment and acrylic varnish. Now paint the fleur-de-lys with a fine small paint brush. Give two coats to ensure it is covered.

Step 5: 

As soon it is dry, paint a shadow and further detail on the fleur-de-lys in a dark green acrylic colour with a small paintbrush. Let it dry for 30 minutes.

Step 6:

Lastly apply a single coat of varnish using a flat paintbrush. 

Do’s and Don’ts:

Never paint a perfect antique piece. Styles keep on changing and there is always a tendency to go in and out of fashion. Those which are unloved today can again revive and be worth in the next coming years.

We have always opt for those furniture which is physically strong but have minor surface damage for e.g. water marks, deep scratches, old worm holes or similar. All these things can be masked by painting and solving out its imperfection and chanced to be loved again.

Author: John Clax

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