Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cottage Chic-ing It Up

Sonya is the queen of shabby chic in my book.  She does such a good job of it and has made a little set of instructions to share her knowledge.  Hope you all enjoy!

My shabby chic methods are pretty simple and basic.  There are so many good books out there with great techniques, but I just wanted to share with you how I do mine -- quick and easy.  The first step is to determine if the piece should be painted or left as is with just some sanding and clean-up.  I prepare the piece for painting by using a strong mix of TSP (wear gloves) which cleans and also gives it a good surface for painting.  It may also need a little sanding before painting.

I am painting this piece with two layers of paint starting with a light blue, let dry and then paint a white top coat.  This is so the blue will show through when I sand the piece.  Lots of old furniture already has  more than one layer of paint which often can be top sanded and other layers will show through the sanding.

Painting the top...

The paint is dry and ready for the second coat. If you want, you can now add a "resist" in spots you would like the blue to show through before painting the second coat. You can use something like wax crayons, oil pastels, or an artists resist which will keep the second coat from sticking in these spots. I don't do this very often but it's easy and can have a nice effect. Next is painting the white or second coat.

I'm kind of new at doing this part but think it's fun and like the effect. I use a heat gun (which is also great for stripping paint) to heat and bubble the paint.

More heat gun fun.

I have used this type of sander for 20 years. It has a kind of swirling/vibrating motion that is easily controllable. The sandpaper is also velcro which is nice. I use 100 grit but always sand a little on an old piece of wood when using new piece of sandpaper. It knocks off the heavier grit so you don't have swirl marks on your paint. Also, start sanding before your sander gets too cranked up to prevent swirl marks. Now, start sanding the flat areas and edges and the bubbles from heat gun. The wood and the blue paint will start to show through. I just do it until I like the look and concentrate on areas where normal wear would occur -- edges, around knobs, table legs, etc.

I have always used a "mouse" sander or a hand sanding block to sand ornate or carved areas. You can control the sanding this way so it looks natural. Now, when you are sanding the bubbles from the heat gun you are getting an effect you can't get from just sanding. Also, if you used a resist, you will get other areas where the blue will show through. You can now always go back and add a little more paint and/or take some more off. The last step I do is wipe it off and wax it. I like a wax that I have only found at Woodcrafters in Portland. It is just called "Paste Wax" and comes in a can in clear and brown. Pretty inexpensive, doesn't get sticky, spreads like a dream even when it's cold.

And you're done! A pretty little shabby chic table!

Hope you find this info interesting and helpful!


Trisha said...

It turned out great! The legs remind me of my dining room table-so perfect! Very good job!


Robin said...

Such a cute table !!! I have not tried the heat gun,I like the effect I'll have to try that.Thanks !

Andy's Attic said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I always wonder how people get that effect!

Carly said...

Looks awesome! Thanks for the tutorial! I look forword to trying your method!

The Wade Creek House Gals said...

Sonya.. thanks for sharing. I love this tutorial and the one about lamp shades... I appreciate the tips!

Erica said...

Such a cute table! It turned out great!

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4th and Birch said...

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Kindred Roses said...

Love that little table!!!

Pearl said...

Yes this is very helpful!
Thank you for sharing!
Cant wait to get started on one of my projects!