Sunday, 9 December 2018

Old White Chalk Paint Dresser - Shabby Chic

I remember clearly, the first time I saw a white, shabby chic dressing table in the window of a shop. Wow! There was something about it.  I wanted to completely renovate my own bedroom - I was in loooooooooove!!!

While you're here, take a look at this book A new publication out in April 2019 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon - French meets British Countryside with the shabby chic inspiration... so many ideas and lots of old white.

I really enjoyed creating this dresser and it only took a couple of days...

First of all though, just step back and admire this old piece of furniture - loved for decades, beautiful solid wood, Queen Anne legs, original handles and what really makes it special is the mirror. Beautiful shape...

The condition of the wood, with scratches and lumps out of the veneer, looked like she's been in a cat fight and just about ready to go in the trash - and that was what the previous owner told me when I carted her off.   A very sad tale indeed!!

But look at this mirror.  The patina in the glass is in the right place, around the sides in the bevelled glass, without really interfering in the centre.

Tip - you might see other blogs advising you to use masking tape... I don't bother. just chalk paint away and when the paint is dry, use a window scraper to remove the paint from the glass, you’ll be able to get right into the edges.

I worked on the brass handles too - they are really pretty.  
TIP - remove handles before painting. Brush over with the same colour paint and then as the paint dries, rub with a soft cloth. Create the handles as a separate part of the work, one at at a time, get a balance with the paint. When you have the right finish, seal with a clear wax.
These little drawer pulls are beautiful.

So nearly there as far as looks go. But I have quite a lot of finishing.  One of the drawers is really sticky so I had to find the right places to sand it to make sure it was working on the runner.

This is the dresser after a couple of coats of chalk paint. The most important thing is the distressing... Leave the mirror and drawers to one side and use a fine sandpaper. Take your time and just gently rub away the chalk paint with sandpaper.

TIP - to get a good shabby finish, gradually go over all the edges, look at bringing out corners. I used a fine sandpaper of this dresser. Lower grit (larger sand granules) on sandpaper create larger looking scratch marks.

After applying a clear wax, the dark wood comes through more strongly and the chalky-white surface is sealed, buffed and has a soft sheen.  The handles are waxed and sealed and polished too.

She's turned into a beauty!

Timing - allow two days. 
Do all the cleaning, hardware removal and painting in day one. 
Day two, work with sandpaper to get the shabby look and then thoroughly wax. Once the was has dried in, you can buff it up to the finish you want. I went for a silky finish here.