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How to Shabby chic furniture – Enniskillen

Listed under Adam Bermingham, Annie Sloan, Blog, hand-painted furniture Posted Sep 07 2013

Shabby Chic Furniture In this post, specialist furniture painter & TP’s man in Ireland, Adam Bermingham, explains how the Shabby Chic Furniture look is created & how it can be applied to almost any surface.

In this case Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is used on a solid pine Bedroom Suite & distressed to great effect…

Across the Border…

For the first time, My Hand Painted Furniture was asked to complete a contract for a client across the border in Northern Ireland, technically my first International contract for Traditional Painter.

Via email correspondence the client & myself discussed & agreed all the details; price, colour & finish plus timescale & delivery. The internet has made it possible for businesses like mine to massively widen their service area. This month alone I will complete contracts for clients in Killybegs, Enniskillen & Maynooth, an area covering over 250km. This distance would have made the contracts unworkable in the past.

This is what the furniture looked like when it arrived in my workshop…

shabby chic furniture

Shabby Chic Furniture

What the client asked for was a distressed look, off-white in colour. I recommended that we go with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint; distress it using a variety of methods & then use a matt varnish. The varnish would serve 2 purposes, first to discolor the paint adding to it’s aged look & second to protect the surface.

This is the process…

It’s not always necessary, because chalk paint is a highly versatile product & will adhere to the majority of surfaces without sanding or priming, but I like to clean the surface before applying the paint. I use a scouring pad for this, which keys the surface in the process.

I then apply 2 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk paint using a variety of brushes including * Wooster FTP, Corona Cody, * Purdy Monarch & Axus Decor.

Axus Decor Grey Pointed Precision brushes

shabby chic furniture I’ve been very impressed with the * Axus Decor Grey Pointed Precision brushes in chalk paint.

I used them to paint the mirror frames here and found them to be excellent for cutting in the small intricate moldings.

shabby chic furniture


Once the 2 coats are fully dry, take a sanding pad, a solid one for flat areas & a soft one for moldings. Go softly at first until you judge how much paint is removed & start to rub off the paint back to bare timber in areas that would naturally wear over time.

Ronseal Ultra Tough Matt Coat

Ronseal have a wide range of products, & not all of them do what it says on the tin. This one shabby Chic Furnituredoes. I’m a big fan of their Ultra Tough range. For this project I used the matt version, it also comes in Satin & Gloss.

It performed 2 functions when applied to this shabby chic furniture. First it gives the chalk paint a yellowed, aged look, just what I was after. Second it gives a much better protective coat than wax, the most common product for this application.

With all the fittings put back & the doors & drawers reassembled, I was very pleased with the results. I think the client will be as well…

shabby chic furniture

shabby chic furniture

shabby chic furniture

Happy Painting

Joseph & Sons kitchen painting furniture painting West IrelandSpecialist painter and decorator, Adam Bermingham, is a member of the Traditional Painter UK network. He is the first port of call for hand painted furniture and kitchens Ireland.

Joseph & Son is Adam & Tom Bermingham, a father & son team with diverse backgrounds covering specialist painting and decorating, antiques and interior design.


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7 comments to “How to Shabby chic furniture – Enniskillen”

  1. Charles Budd

    Very nicely done Adam, and good to see another coating used with Annie Sloan paints – as you say, much tougher than wax. I used Patina (as recommended on this website) with good results too. Thanks for the tip for using Ronseal.

  2. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Hi Charlie, how is the patina in terms of yellowing?

  3. Charles Budd

    Hi Andy, to be honest I’m not 100% sure! It is a bit yellow going on so I’m not sure whether it has got any yellower with time, and I’ve just checked under halogen light. I definitely wouldn’t use the Patina if I was applying over a colour, and I wanted that exact colour – but as the item (a Union Jack coffee table) was deliberately done to have a vintage ‘chabby chic’ look, it didn’t really matter.

  4. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    So it is holding up well and looking old. Good one.

  5. Charles Budd

    Yes, rather like me!

  6. My Hand Painted Furniture Adam

    I agree Charlie. If it was to yellow over time I wouldn’t see that as a negative on a piece like the one above.

    Ronseal is not very often my weapon of choice but I love it over the chalk paint. All the better if it yellows to be honest.

    Must give Patina a go.

  7. Mark

    Hi, Great post. What grit did you use for the sanding?

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