Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Quick 'n' easy Shabby Chic Project - With a toddler!

'Shabby Chic' - the interior design look that is all the rage at the moment. I fell in love with the French Country style after visiting my cousins house in America over 8 years ago. They had designed and built a large family home so unlike anything I had ever seen before. It's currently up for sale, check it out HERE. It's stunning. What I loved about it was the inviting, gentle and warm environment it seemed to create in their home. The pretty pastel colours and eclectic vintage furniture  really appealed to me. Ever since, I've been hooked on up-cycling and  shabby chic-ing furniture. 

A few weeks ago, I happened to spot a gorgeous 'settle' seat in an antique furniture shop and fell in love. This would be my next project! 

Normally my painting projects need to wait until the evening, but recently I've been crashing by about 8pm. I decided I'd give it a go painting it during the day with my very 'helpful' 2 year old. 

The first thing I gave him was his own little paintbrush and a tub of water. He happily 'painted' away, while I gave the whole piece a quick once over with a damp cloth to remove any residual dust or grime. 

Unlike all the other pieces of furniture I've done before - this time I did not sand it first. Some tutorials suggest stripping back by sanding and then applying a top coat of primer. 

I was pushed for time (and toddler patience), so opted to paint straight on using Annie Sloan paint which requires no initial sanding .

This time, I wanted to go for a dual colour distressed look so it would tie in with the world map we have on the wall. I deliberately chose 2 colours that were close in colour to those on the map - Olive and Duck Egg Blue.

On the first coat of paint I used the Olive 100ml sample pot (See HERE for link). I cheated a little, in that I knew that I was only going to be sanding back on the edges and small parts of the flatter surface. As such, I only painted olive on the parts of the seat I knew might come through once sanded back. This way I didn't end up needlessly buying a whole 1ltr tin. Amazingly I had about 1/4 left in the pot at the end too!

Chick 2 got bored with the water and ended up dipping his brush in the Olive paint too and having a go. I figured it was water based so it would wash off easily if it got all over him (which it inevitably did!)

Being totally honest, I was so excited about getting the next coat of Duck Egg Blue paint on, that I probably painted over the Olive a little too soon (I'd only left it about an hour...if that!)

To get a really even coverage I find a roller works best, especially if there aren't many nooks and crevices to get into. Any corners that I couldn't reach, I simply used a paintbrush to finish off with.

(Chick 2 got a little peckish at this point and had a pit stop to re-fuel). 

This was it completely painted. I only needed one coat of this, it went on like a dream. I would definitely recommend spending just a little extra and going for Annie Sloan as the stuff is amazing and the coverage is fantastic. Most other chalk paints I've used have needed at least 2 coats. 

I left it to dry for the rest of the day (a true exercise in patience). And then, once all three chicks were all nicely tucked up in bed, I began the sanding. I didn't want an overly aged look, so I gently sanded back most edges and a few other places on the seat. 

What I love about shabby chic projects is that you really can't go wrong. I could have left it entirely painted and it still would have looked lovely. 

Once I'd sanded back and I was happy with the way it looked. I used this Furniture Finishing Wax from B+Q (Link here) to seal the paint using a paintbrush. I started using a dry cloth but found this started to take some of the paint off so opted for the brush as this seemed to work better. 

Waxing is a really important step. I made the mistake of not waxing on my welsh dresser and now it's covered in grease marks from the kids (boo). So at some point I'll need to re-do it.

By the morning, it was dry and boy was I pleased with the result. It ties in so well with the map and with the addition of a pillow it was done!

If you've been up to some DIY shabby chic things at home, please do get in touch. I love being inspired by others!!

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