Simple Shabby


It amazes me to see how much shabby chic furniture, frames, etc can cost.  I can only imagine that most of the price goes on labour, because it is a time consuming process.  But because it’s really not that hard to do I can’t justify the expense of purchasing someone else’s handiwork.  Why deprive yourself of the joy of creating? Last week I taught a friend just how simple it can be.  She got stuck straight into a buffet make over. But then she’s a “jump in the deep end” kind of girl!  With her permission, I’ll take some pics of her finished product to show you what a newbie can accomplish with a bit of courage and plenty of enthusiasm!

Here I’m going to demonstrate an easy-peasy lamp make over.  I bought these from my local op shop for $2.50 each.

When you’re out hunting for potential wooden items to give the shabby treatment to, just make sure you like the shape of the thing.  Also, when buying electrical goods from second hand places, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’ve been tested in store and are in working order.

Ok.  Let’s do this.

Grab some sandpaper and sand back the wooden surface.  The coarser the sandpaper, the quicker you’ll get the job done. However, you may end up with scratch marks on the timber.  All part of the look in my opinion.  The job does not need to be perfect.  Just rough up the varnish on the wood so the paint adheres.

Wipe off the dust with a damp cloth.  Allow the surface to dry, then paint!  Dulux Antique White USA is a popular shade for shabbying.  I happened to have some Hog Bristle Half laying around and used that.  Here’s what 2 coats looks like.

Once dry get your sandpaper and sand back parts that would naturally get knocked or bumped over the years.  Or not.  Just get in there and go for it!

I decided to try being a little braver than I normally might be.  I need to live with the results for a week or so to see if I love it.  Time will tell.  What do you think?

Finally, here the lamps are in their new habitat.  The lamp shades were bought years ago from Target, on special.  I still love their shape, but I may change the trim… It’s all a work in progress.

Happy upcycling!



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