For the last week or so I've been extremely busy being creative and making our furniture much more beautiful by doing it up and turning it shabby chic or distressed. I'm really enjoying it!! Painting has been very calming and enjoyable plus it is very satisfying seeing the end result. Best of all, it is also so much cheaper making it yourself too! I have scoured many shops and looked on Ebay to find pretty restored furniture or new furniture made to look old and distressed but it is all so expensive! The shop I bought our dining table from is a good example of people wanting to restore furniture and sell it at a reasonable price but those places are rare and don't always have what you may be looking for. This made me think a bit.... Surely I can do it myself with stuff I've already got? I started with a mirror that my mum gave me...they had never used it so thought we may like it. It was a mid colour wood (I didn't take a before picture... WHY?!) I painted it white, grey and then white again with the intention of sanding it down to get a 'two tone shabby chic look' but when I started sanding down something just didn't look right. I texted my friend Vicky (my lash lady) as she is very creative and makes a lot of things for the home so I wanted to see what she thought. I AM SO GLAD I DID. She told me how to make home made chalk paint and it has changed my life!! Some of you may have heard of it as there is a range by Annie Sloan available out there but it is very pricey which is why I haven't gone near it. Making your own is so much cheaper and so SO easy! I mixed up some white chalk paint and repainted my mirror, left it overnight then sanded it the next day, now it looks fabulous! Some parts I sanded right back down to the wood so it really looked distressed / worn and some parts I just sanded down to the grey. I am very pleased with how it looks!
Once I finished the mirror (I am yet to wax and clean it but only because it won't go up on the wall straight away) I decided to do a picture frame that we had out at the flat but got so badly chewed by Bentley it looks awful and I was just going to replace it. A couple of coats of chalk paint, a quick sanding here and there and voila! a gorgeous distressed frame which is now sitting proudly on the bedroom wall. No need for buying a new one and now the photo's are in a frame in the exact style I want!
The thing with chalk paint is the consistency is tough so it goes over any surface with no need for sanding first, this means much less work and that you can paint and distress any item even if it is made of something like MDF and wouldn't normally be able to be sanded down and restored. Vicky has even painted different surfaces with her chalk paint including tiles and her fridge! I am thinking of giving the tiles in our kitchen a lick of paint in the new year now I have seen how good hers look.
So, how do you make chalk paint I hear you ask? Well, there are many different recipes out there if you google it and see what takes your fancy but I have found that for me, what works best is simply tile grout, water and paint (any you have laying around) I never do specific measurements, to me it is all trial and error but I have found that roughly measuring half and half works so for example if you use three tablespoons of grout then add three tablespoons of water and three tablespoons of paint. The mixture should look like pancake mix once you have stirred it in and it is smooth although I have preferred lately for it to be just a little thicker than that and have added more grout which makes the mixture a little more 'gloopy'. I find it goes on better and I like the finish once it is dry. See what works best for you though! You can only try. Make sure you seal the furniture after with wax to preserve it.
I will be scouring shops now for furniture that needs distressing rather than it already being distressed. Any little gems I find on Ebay or in charity shops that no-one wants I am going to snap up! before long our house will be full with lovely shabby chic items of all different colours proudly recreated by me! :)
|FIRST PROJECT: My distressed mirror (just needs cleaning up and waxing)|
|FINAL RESULT: My fabulous shabby chic inspired frame on the bedroom wall|