How to Paint Shabby Chic Furniture

Shabby chic style is a romantic and vintage way to decorate rustically. Furniture is usually worn and has chipped paint in light or pastel colors. Shabby chic furniture fits very well into a lot of cottage, romantic and Victorian style homes. When you decide to paint shabby chic furniture, don't forget to research these other styles for inspiration. Painting shabby chic furniture is easily accomplished once you decide how shabby you want the chic furniture to be. There is really no wrong way to do it and only a few guidelines. Choose light, vintage pastel colors and be sure to let paint dry thoroughly between coats.

Preparing the Furniture Piece

Step 1

Clean the piece of furniture thoroughly and allow to dry. Repair any damage to the structure and remove all of the hardware. If you will be using this hardware again, take this opportunity to clean it well.

Step 2

Sand the surface of the furniture piece. Remove the paint or finish, if you like, or just sand the gloss from the finish. If the furniture has been painted numerous times before, be sure to smooth out any bumps on the surface.

Step 3

Clean the furniture piece of dust with a clean rag or tack cloth.

Sanding Technique

Step 4

Apply a thin coat of paint to the furniture piece and allow to dry thoroughly. Repeat this procedure several times. You can either brush paint or use spray paint.

Step 5

Paint the last coat on the furniture piece. When it becomes slightly tacky, begin sanding the edges and places on the piece that would normally receive wear over time. This is not an exact science. If you waited until it was completely dry, that's perfectly fine. You may have to use more elbow grease, though.

Step 6

Clean the surface using a rag or tack cloth.

Step 7

Paint a clear matte finish over the entire surface of the furniture piece to protect the finish.

Petroleum Jelly Technique

Step 8

Apply a coating of petroleum jelly to the surface of the furniture on areas that would normally receive wear and tear over time.

Step 9

Paint several layers of paint on the furniture piece and allow each layer to dry thoroughly between coats.

Step 10

Wipe the surface of the furniture piece, removing the paint wherever petroleum jelly had been applied. Rub the surface and clean well. This technique will give a more chipped paint look than a sanded one.

Step 11

Paint a clear matte finish over the entire surface of the furniture piece to protect the finish.