Do you have an old piece of furniture that has layers of paint already on it? Maybe it was handed down to you or you found it at a garage sale for a great price and thought I can strip it down and make it pretty again. Has that piece sat in your garage for years because you don’t have the time to strip the paint off? Well, you don’t have to take the time to strip the paint, just work with what you have and give it a Shabby paint finish.
A shabby paint finish is not a paint finish that all love. This is where the eye of the beholder enters into play.
This empire dresser had seen better days, she was FREE and I wanted to save her. She sat in my workshop for 3 years, oops! She had layers of paint on her and most of it was probably latex.
I started by stripping the drawers to see what I was dealing with to remove the layers of paint. I wanted to strip the entire piece and paint a nice clean layer of paint on the body and stain the drawers.
It took a lot of time to just remove the paint from the drawers and it was not looking very nice. So I moved to plan B, a shabby paint finish.
The dresser was in a muted pink and I only wanted some of the pink showing through so I began to add more layers. I added a random layer of green, cream and white. I sanded down after each layer was applied and dried. As you can see it is a messy paint job and all the layers will peak through the final coat of paint as you sand back to distress.
The final coat was cream de Menthe by Maison Blanche Paint. I applied a very light random layer to make it easier to sand back and expose all the other colors of paint. After sanding, I applied white and cream with a dry brush method. I sealed the entire piece in light brown wax from Maison Blanche and applied some dark brown wax in a few areas to create a deeper aged look.
The drawer fronts had many issues after I sanded and restained so I did a light paint wash over the drawers to highlight and use all the imperfections they had.
She is shabby beautiful!
I used the same shabby paint finish on this Frankenstein vanity that also was free from a friend. She was dropped off at my house just like the photo and I needed to make the base match and blend with an already painted top.
I started by randomly adding linen paint to the top and Persian blue paint to the legs to get them to blend with each other. I added layers of Millstone and Key West Blue to finish the shabby paint finish.
Tip: I always use cans under my pieces to raise them up to get them off the dirty surface and helps to raise them to prevent bending over.
After everything was completed I used dark brown and liming wax over the pieces to add depth and more visual layers.
I usually avoid buying or using already painted pieces but when needed, I can always use a shabby paint finish to work with the existing finish to save time.
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