DIY Distressed Shabby Chic

DIY distressed shabby chic

One of my first posts on this blog was back in March of 2014. I had written about a Do It Yourself (DIY) project that I had been working on – breathing new life into an old piece of furniture, creating a distressed shabby chic look. I showed before and after photos, but today I am going to show you tutorial pictures that will help you to create this look for yourself. My taste in home decor has changed somewhat since I last wrote about dresser repair; however, I think that shabby chic furniture pieces go with an array of styles. For example, I am currently very into contemporary and eclectic home decor. I’m loving white walls with minimal wall furnishings, green plants, and splashes of gold speckled throughout the house. Yet there is something about a distressed piece of furniture that just blends seamlessly into a variety of decor styles: coastal, contemporary, cottage, and eclectic to name some.

Before and after diy distressed shabby chic
The before

This white piece of furniture was left here by the previous home owners. We were going to get rid of it, but I thought perhaps I could transition it into something more aesthetically pleasing. So I whipped out some sample paints I had in the basement and went to work.

My little Oliver helping out his mama.

For this project I used Annie Sloan chalk paint, but I actually like working with regular paint better. I find chalk paint is better for smaller objects, i.e. picture frames. Nonetheless, I used Duck Egg Blue as the base.

Duck Egg Blue – I used a light layer of paint, intentionally leaving some of the original color to show through.
Keeping the same direction of strokes throughout.
Using Old White to highlight the corners to give it that worn out feel.
DIY distressed shabby chic
Instead of dipping the entire paint brush in the paint, I simply dabbed the brush in the paint on the newspaper. I didn’t want a heavy coating of white, just a distressed, scratchy look.

Lightly going over the Duck Egg Blue with a little Old White, paying closest attention to the edges.

DIY distressed shabby chic
Here I used the third and last color, Paris Grey, just to go over the Old White to break it up a bit and add another layer of texture. As you can see, I used it very sparingly, just using the paint from the mixing stick to dab onto the brush.
Using the side of the brush to add sweeping strokes of Paris Grey.

Using Paris Grey to break up the Old White and give it a more layered look.
DIY distressed shabby chic
Using the side of the scissor blade, run the scissors along the edges, scraping off the paint to give it a more weathered look.
Leaving some of the paint along the edges gives it a more realistic quality.
Adding baskets for both appearance and convenience.
diy distressed shabby chic
Finished piece – The baskets are from Target and the picture frame is from a local shop, The Blue Bungalow. The white vase was a DIY project from a previous post I shared here.

Below I will share pictures of the DIY dresser repair I did back in 2014. The look is the same – distressed shabby chic. The colors I used were Benjamin Moore Cucumber Salad, Behr Dark Ash, and Behr Pale Honey. All in a flat finish and sample sized. 

The before…
DIY distressed shabby chic
…and the after. In this case, be sure to remove the hardware prior to painting, as well as removing each drawer and going over each of their edges with paint and scissors separately.

DIY distressed shabby chic

Have any other tips you’d like to share?

Author: Balanced Bella

Hi, I'm Jaime and I am the recipe tester, photographer, and writer at balanced bella! All my recipes are vegan, gluten free, and 100% delicious!

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