Shabby Chic- A Do It Yourself Guide

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Then you may want to consider transforming castoffs in the style known as shabby chic. The only thing you need is a little bit of creativity, and a desire to do things yourself, with a bit of talent and hard work, you will be on your way to having an entirely new decor while having fun at the same time!

To begin with, you will search for those unique pieces that you will want to transform into a masterpiece. May I suggest that you start with a small, uncomplicated piece of furniture? An end table, pair of nightstands, or a coffee table would work just great! You certainly do not want to start out with large or intricately detailed pieces, if you are new to the world of do-it -yourself. Success with a small, simple piece will give you the confidence needed to move on to something a bit more complicated down the road.

You might be wondering where you will find your first piece of furniture to transform. Well, chances are you would never be found crawling around in a dumpster, but that just happens to be one of my favorite places to look for diamonds in the rough. If you think about it, you are actually doing the landfills a great service by giving them less to haul away, and finding a way to use it instead! But, that is a discussion for another day. If diving in dumpsters is a bit extreme for you, try to locate items left on the curbside before they are taken away. It is amazing how many wonderful things that are disposed of on trash day. I suppose that is what the famous saying means, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

If neither of the above two sources for pieces appeals to you, there are still many options for finding reasonably priced items to transform to a shabby chic style. Tag sales, also known as garage sales or yard sales, depending on where you live, are great avenues for finding gems. An occasional glance in your local newspaper will alert you to those sales, as well as, another great resource… auctions. Auctions are something you definitely don’t want to miss out on! It is so easy to get hooked on auctions, once you discover all the terrific economical finds that await you there. And of course, there is the local thrift store, another tremendous resource for goodies. Soon, you will find yourself to be a regular at all of the places where bargains are to be found!

So, you’ve found that great piece. What do you do next? I have to assume that you know what the essence of shabby chic really is. I’ll make it simple. Shabby chic furniture is an old piece that has been repainted in a distressed, pale color. If you’ve spent any time flipping through decorating magazines or visiting decorating sites Online, you’ve most likely been introduced to the shabby chic style of decorating. You can even find a lot of shabby chic pieces on Ebay. A search there using any combination of the terms “shabby chic, antique, or vintage” will provide a veritable feast of ideas. Once you know the look you’re trying to achieve, you are ready to begin the transformation process.

Cleaning it is essential. Paint will not work on top of a dirty piece of furniture. Who wants a dirty piece of furniture anyway? Next, you need to repair anything that needs to be fixed on your piece of furniture, so that you will be able to use it. The next step will be to paint your piece with your color of choice. I prefer to spray the paint on my furniture, but hand painting works fine. A light sanding in key areas with give it that “been around for a while” look you’re trying to achieve.

After you have finished re-doing several pieces of furniture, I am sure that you will see that it is so much fun that you will be hooked on DIY decor for life! Not too long from now, you will also be transforming coal into diamonds. Well, I’ve got to go. I hear the dumpster calling!