The story behind it...

Hi, Pearl here. This DIY came about because I wanted a change. I am in the process of re-decorating my room and instead of getting new furniture, I decided to paint them. I've had my wooden furniture for about five years now, my bedside table for instance had stains and the wood started to look aged in general, basically I just wanted a new, fresh look. I've always wanted to try out shabby chic, because I'm a huge fan of the vintage, distressed look. Since my sister is a painter by profession it made the process much easier. This is the first step of my room transformation, so stay tuned for more DIY's.


  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller*
  • Sandpaper (P120 / P150 / P240)
  • Dust brush
  • Masking tape
  • Mixing stick
  • Metre stick*
  • Paint grid*
  • Floor fleece
  • Paint (water-based isolating primer / acrylic paint / water-based clear coat)


paints and materials

First make sure to cover your floors, we used a floor fleece, but you could also just use old towels or covers. Next we measured out which parts we wanted to paint and taped off the places we didn't want to paint. Then we lightly sandpapered with the P150 grained paper and dusted it off. Don't forget to mix your paint and if needed use a paint grid. We used a water-based isolating primer (white) to make sure no stains/wood discoloration peep through. Now you can either use just a paintbrush if you like the brush strokes or a roller if you prefer a roller texture. We went with a roller texture because we think it gives a cleaner look. Apply your first coat and let dry as recommended by the paint manufacturer, then apply second coat. After the second coat has dried use your sandpaper to distress the surface how you like, depending on how distressed you want it to be you can use a P120 or P150 sandpaper (you could also go higher or lower, keep in mind that the higher the numbers/grade the finer it is). When you are happy with your results, use your P240 paper to sandpaper over the entire painted surface for a smooth finish.

process of shabby chic

Dust it off and wipe with a moist cloth. Apply your water-based clear coat for the finish. We used a semi-glossy finish, but you can use any finish you like, matte, satin paint or high gloss. Just keep in mind that the glossier the finish the better you can clean it. We did 2 clear coats. 

result shabby chic

With the green furniture, we used an acrylic paint instead of an isolating primer. The process is the same. You can use as many colours as you like in your coats, just experiment with it and have some fun. When the finishing coat is dry, remove tape. And voilà that's how to shabby chic.

result shabby chic 2

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send us an email. We are happy to help. Also if you try this yourself, tag us in your post, we would love to see the results.