Creating a shabby chic look in your home can be costly if you start investing in new furniture. However, ‘up-cycling’ old fittings and fixtures is a growing and popular trend currently making its mark on the interiors circuit which can help you update the look and feel of your home cost-effectively.  Here Angela Noghani, Interiors Expert at Ideal World TV, shares her insight into best practice for turning old pieces of furniture from glum to glam!

Use the right paint

The easiest paints to use for giving old pieces of furniture a new lease of life are Chalk Paints – this kind of paint can be applied to most surfaces with very little preparation and no priming.  It has an opaque coverage which hides any blemishes and dries quickly allowing several coats to be applied once dry.  As it is water-based you can simply wash brushes in water and this makes them instantly clean and easy to use. The paints are also easy to mix so you can create the perfect shade to match your home, and you can also thin Chalk Paints with water to create a wash effect which shows the woodgrain through the paint for a ‘distressed’ feel.

Use the best tools

In any painting project it is always advisable to use a brush that does not shed any bristles.  I find soft synthetic brushes give a really quick and even coverage and as they come in a good range of widths you can find the right size to suit the specific job you are working on.

Choosing the best material to work with

It is really important you find the perfect material for your surface as this will make the job so much easier; for example finding paint that has buildable coverage, so that you can layer to get the perfect finish. Chalk Paints are an extremely versatile range of paints that allow you to cover almost any surface, indoor and out, including previously painted, bare wood and varnished furniture, walls and floors, shutters, doors, pots, iron gates, metal fittings, plastics, wicker, and terracotta and more.

Choose the best colour

Choosing the right colour for your project is a personal choice depending on your home’s interior design. A popular trend at the moment is to mix different colours with bare wood and paint drawers and handles in contrasting colours which allows you to be a as creative as you like. Mixing white with a colour will give you “cool” shades, whilst mixing cream with a colour will give you “warm” shades. You can also use a darker or lighter base colour, and then layer a lighter colour on top to create depth.  If you like the distressed look this dual-colour layered effect will look great when you sand the wood back

Allow the correct amount of drying time

It is really important to allow the correct amount of drying time when painting furniture as if the paint is not quite set, fingertips or objects can leave dents and marks which will ruin the look of your final piece! Depending on the temperature of the environment you are working in, and the surface you are painting, Chalk Paints generally dry in about 15 minutes to one hour and will then be ready for a second or third coat.  After your second or third coat the piece should be fully dry within 24 hours.

By Angela Noghani, Interiors Expert at Ideal World TV

Chalk Paints are available from www.idealworld.tv. Don’t miss the Chalk Paints show on Ideal World TV on Wednesday 30th September at 11am.