Create your own shabby chic table

The popular shabby chic design encompasses many styles, like Cottage, Rustic, French country or Wabi-sabi, which are  represented by all sorts of pieces of furniture, with more or less adorned frames and finishes, specific pallet of colors and so on. But no matter how different are these elements, they all exude a charming and timeless feel, breathing new life into old elements and creating an ambiance of warmth, elegance, simplicity and charisma. Shabby chic furniture is the central element of this style, so if you want to add a vintage touch to your home décor, you should carefully select pieces of furniture that look used, but still serviceable and try to bring a shabby chic tough to your modern home.

If you have an old coffee table and you don’t know what to do with it, you can transform it into a stylish piece of furniture that is both elegant and sophisticated. An old wooden coffee table might not catch the eye, especially if it is brown and dreary, but imagine how great it will look if you painted in a shade of antique white, pale pink or muted green. You can even make a coffee table by yourself using old trunks, and large wicker baskets, however, this will be a fun and rewarding experiment that will exploit your imagination, creativity and personal taste. Moreover, it is a small, inexpensive project that will bring a touch of French style straight in your home, creating a warm and relaxing living space.


Restoring an old coffee table is a two step project that involves sanding and painting in order to achieve the right shabby chic style. Of course, you should learn how deep to sand and on which parts of the piece before actually painting it and how to choose the right color scheme. Particularly, you should consider pale, soft or faded colors, and even specific patters, such as floral, checks and strips. Obtaining a good balance between shabby and chic is a bit difficult at first, because you need to emphasize on the style and construction of your coffee table and it would be great to have one that is  solid and well-made, with exquisite details, no matter if it is round or square. As a tip, you should keep in mind that a pedestal table looks great in tight spaces, although you cannot store anything underneath, while a simple table enables you to emphasize the other pieces of furniture in the room, as well as the light.


Once you have the right table, the first thing that you should do is to remove the portions that have water damage or scratches. You should start to sand down the top in order to obtain a uniform finish and once you finish sanding the leg, the table is ready for painting. For this step of your project, you can use sandpaper or Nitromors, both methods are highly effective, but if you  have a solid coffee table, with intricate details, you should opt for  Nitromors, which is a chemical substance eliminates paint, varnish and skin quickly and easily. Of course, once the table is sanded, you must get rid of any dust, wiping it with warm water and enabling it to dry.

The primer should be applied only if the wood is in a very bad condition, otherwise, instead of primer, you can simply apply two coats of paint. Although the smell of paint is very annoying, you should avoid painting outside, especially on a sunny day, because there are all sorts of bugs and dust that will leave marks on your fresh paint. An highly important aspect to remember when painting is that your should apply the paint in the direction of the wood grain, with minimal amount of paint on your paintbrush. You need to add a nice thin layer and wait for it to dry before applying the second one. In terms of color scheme, you can jut give free rein to your imagination and adjust the color to match your preferences and of course, your home décor. Let the painted piece of furniture to thoroughly dry for at least 24 hours and it will be ready for the last and highly important step of the project: distressing.


If you are not a huge fan of the distressed look, you can leave it the way it is, adding just some varnish or wax to protect the paint. Otherwise, you need a fine grit of sandpaper, a 150, 180 or 220, depending upon the degree of “aging” you want to obtain. Taking into consideration that you have a flat surface, you should focus on corners, legs and edges. Remember that is has look as it would have naturally been worn down so the trick is to sand in one direction repeatedly and you can even use a metal chain to beat the coffee table in order to obtain a very used and battered piece of furniture. At this point, you can leave it as it is or your add a coat of beeswax or varnish that will protect the wood. Now, you have your very own shabby chic coffer table, which can be decorated with all sorts of vintage elements, that will bring a touch of style and  and class, creating a romantic and inviting décor.

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