View Full Version : Any Painters? Decorators? Anyone? I Need Help!
01-04-2006, 04:25 PM
i am moving to a new place and have decided to decorate my bedroom in the "shabby chic" look. if you're unfamiliar with the term, here is a link for your reference: http://www.shabbychic.com/
so far, i've only purchased a white vanity set with stool, a white desk, and a small white shelf/cabinet set—all from target. i still need to find a white desk chair, tv stand, end table, as well as decorative items, but haven't discovered anything in my price range that would contribute nicely to the decor. i'd like to spend as little as possible as this living situation is temporary.
looking for inexpensive furniture is limiting enough, but having to further limit myself to only white furniture makes it even harder. one idea that i have is to find furniture that is inexpensive and paint them white, apply appliqués, switch/add clear knobs and maybe distress the paint job a bit for the shabby look. i have never painted furniture before and would like some tips and maybe some product recommendations...
what kind of paint would i need exactly? indoor flat paint? exterior paint? spray paint? varnish? primer? and in what order do i use these in? i've seen bad paint jobs that turn out looking like the wood had been painted with watercolors or that most of the paint had soaked into the wood-- i'd prefer paint that will cover well, lasts long and has a bit of a sheen, much like regular furniture that is purchased in stores.
does anyone have information on how to apply decorative appliqués to painted furniture?
i am also looking for any places to buy shabby chic style furniture at a low price (or furniture that is very cheap that i could re-paint) either online or in the Orange County, CA area..
any input in regards to interior decorating or furniture painting would be greatly appreciated as the bedroom is still looking very, very bare...
01-04-2006, 04:55 PM
Pier One has a lot of furniture with that finish on it. Might wanna check there.
01-04-2006, 05:56 PM
you could try Craiglist. I just did a search in LA-Furniture for Shabby chic: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/cgi-bin/search?areaID=7&subAreaID=0&query=shabby+chic&catAbbreviation=fur&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max
01-04-2006, 06:48 PM
First thing to do is sand the furniture so that the next coat will stick.
Then apply a good primer, such as Kilz.
Then paint white.
Be aware that there are hundreds of shades of white. Plus you need to match the level of gloss.
01-04-2006, 09:53 PM
Yard sales for furniture. Start early in the day to look- the good stuff goes quickly. Hit the Salvation Army and Goodwill. If you want to distress it more, get a string or chain and put some washers and nuts on it to bang the furniture with (be careful not to hit yourself when it bounces off). Gloss white paint. If the piece is already painted you don't need a primer. If it is not, you need a primer coat or like you said the wood will soak up all the paint and it will take two or three coats to cover. Washable latex paint is the easiest to cleanup. Ask the paint store- something good for a bathroom or kitchen in terms of durability is what you want. If you want to applique, do it after painting. You can cut out whatever you want and just use regular glue to put it on. After the glue dries, cover with a couple of coats of polyurathane. Lightly sand it between coats so it will stick better.
01-06-2006, 05:38 AM
Back in the day, we used to call Shabby Chic-Cottage Furniture. Because everyone at the lake had white furniture in their cottages..
I agree with the Salvation Army idea-you can always make your own ideas work better than finding a ready made product to suit your tastes..I bet your place will look great..white furniture makes everything look so homey :)
Good luck! (and don't forget to check out salvage yards-you'd be surprised what you can find there..old wood framed window panes can be painted and turned into lovey large picture frames, old porch pillars can make very cool shelving units (with added brackets and shelves from home depot)..etc..use your imagination! And Have FUN!
01-06-2006, 02:05 PM
thanks for all the replies! they have all been so helpful. i have since been busy looking for furniture here and there...mostly unfinished solid wood furniture. the salvation army might be a good place to look...i haven't had much luck looking for old furniture at my parents' home as they usually throw it all out.
i'm still a bit confused about distressing furniture. maybe i have just been reading a bit too much about it...but almost everything i read about distressing furniture tells me something different. some say to use spary paint when painting items with smaller areas, such as chairs (with intricate legs), etc... others say not to use spray paint at all since it leaves an uneven finish... one says to strip the paint and use primer no matter what... another says that there is no need to strip paint and primer is no longer needed...
are these all just based on personal preferences?
01-06-2006, 02:49 PM
for the most part it is all in how they were told. I think a lot of it is how each person feels it should be done and based on how much money they have to spend on the project. someone with a lot of money is goign to say the only way to do it is the most expensive route when someone of limited means might only spend $5 and get the same look. It is all preference. I would also say a good place to look for furniture would be on Freecycle.org. Great place to gather items you need.
01-06-2006, 02:54 PM
Yeah, it also is dependent on what you are starting out with. For example... the primer issue... if you are starting with regular wood that hasn't been painted, you don't necessarily have to use primer but it will take you a few more coats of paint in order to not have the wood color show through. My advise on that is to use the primer, it makes it so much easier.
If you are starting with a piece of furniture that is already painted, it would depend on what was used to paint it initially. The nice thing is that you don't have to fight the wood... it has most likely either been primered already or there are enough layers of paint on it to saturate the wood. As for whether you need to strip the paint or not, it is partly dependent on what paint is already on the wood. If it is a water based paint, then IMO it isn't as important to strip the paint as if it is an oil based paint if nothing else simply because the next layer of paint will stick better. What I usually do (not the best approach as far as quality but it is fast and easy and you get pretty good results) is either sand it a little or use an organic solvent to leech the oils from the paint and paint over it. If you have a sander or if the furniture has a couple of dings in it already I would suggest sanding it because you can compensate for it... if you just want a cheap and easy way of doing an ok (but not great) job go with the solvent.
I generally don't spray pain stuff unless it's a freeway underpass or something metal or small where it is hard to paint it with regular paint so I can't comment on how it looks versus regular paint.
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