How To Create Shabby Chic Style Furniture

Shabby Chic furniture is a must have furniture style this season as it provides a light and uplifting fininsh that suits a vast range of interior designs and decors. This versatile style of furniture can be purchased in a selection of styles and colours or can be handcrafted using simple steps and tools.

Here is our step by step guide to creating a personalised shabby chic furniture item that can be revamped to your exact tastes and needs:

What you will need:

A old or reclaimed furniture item 
Newspaper or an old sheet (to protect your floor)
A selection of simple tools (pliers, screwdriver etc)
All purpose wood filler 
A selection of sandpapers 
Several cleaning cloths 
Low tack masking tape and scissors
Primer/undercoat (optional but creates a longer wearing finish)
Paint (water-based acrylic or specialised wood paint)
Various sizes of paint brush
New handles (if required)
Paint stripper (if needed)
Clear furniture wax 

Step One – Remove Handles

Always remove any old handles on your chosen furniture item before beginning the transformation process (even if you are planning on keeping the handles the same) as this ensures a thorough covering of paint across the whole of the items exterior. This can be easily achieved using an appropriate screwdriver to remove the screws from the back of the drawer front.


Step 2 – Fill Any Holes Or Dents

Fill any holes that have been left by the removal of the handles, however if you are re using the same handles or ones of the same size then you can leave the holes as they are to save time drilling any new ones. While you are filling these holes, check the remainder of the item to ensure that there are no other damaged areas that can be filled at the same time.


Step Three – Prepare The Item’s Surface

Cover your flooring with an old sheet or newspaper and begin to prepare your item. If the item is already painted then you can easily remove the current paint finish with paint stripper or if the item is varnished or waxed then begin to remove the finish with a FINE GRADE sandpaper (so you do not damage the grain). This will roughen the items surface area making it easier for the new paint finish to stick to the exterior. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove any dust particles. Always ensure that you work in a well ventilated area or take the item outside if it is a dry day.



Step Four – PrimeYour Item

Mask off any areas that do not need to be painted or mask off a pattern if your feeling extra creative (stripes work well) and then paint the item with your chosen primer or undercoat. If your item has drawers or doors or any interior areas, always paint the inside first, then leave to dry before proceeding to priming the exterior. Ensure all exposed areas are covered.


Step Five – Paint Your Item

Select your chosen paint colour and begin to paint your item using the same technique as you did with the primer (interior followed by exterior). It is best to paint your item using three or four thin coats as this allows the paint to adhere more strongly to the item and prevents the paint finish looking streaky. Use smaller and thinner brushes for any fiddly or intricate areas. Allow to dry fully between coats and before moving on to the next step.


Step Six – Distress Your Item

Remove the masking tape and start to add a distressed look to your paint finish. Begin by using a rougher sandpaper and then move on to a fine grade sandpaper to blend the edges into the paint for a naturally worn look. Select areas that would receive natural wear and tear over time such as table edges and drawer fronts and gently rub away at the new paint finish (less is more).


Step Seven – Finish 

Apply a coat of clear furniture wax to your item, This can be done using a professional waxing brush for complete coverage and should be used on internal and external areas of your furniture item. Once the item has been completely waxed take a soft polishing cloth and buff away the wax until the surface of the item no longer feels sticky (this process should be repeated every 6 months to keep the item looking fresh). Reattach the old or new handles to any drawers or door areas and your bespoke item is complete!


For more painted furniture ideas take a look at our Pinterest board - pinterest – Painted Furniture

If you have created your own shabby chic items or are planning on following this ‘How to’ guide to try your hand at this DIY design then tweet us your finished designs @MarketFurniture or tag us in your Instagram posts @TheFurnitureMarket.

Colour Trend – Copper

Metallic tones and illuminating metals were a huge feature on the catwalks at fashion week last month and with their rich, warm hues they have been perfectly adapted into home interiors to create a luxurious atmosphere that is both sleek and stylish.

One of the hottest metallic tones to hit the interior design world this season is – Copper! This opulent metal is a fabulous alternative to gold and can be used in a shiny, brushed or hammered state for varied and versatile interior effects.


Copper is a strong and eye-catching colour that makes it perfectly suited for creating a feature wall, or central focal point in your interior providing an exquisitely grand and opulent feel to your home. Metallic paints have become increasingly popular on the high street over the past year and are ideal for creating a splash of glistening luminance. Copper tiling will provide a textural pattern and shimmering surface area that is perfect for creating a sense of light and space in any kitchen or bathroom area.



When choosing your complimentary colour palette, copper works extremely well with neutral beige and cream tones or for a vivid pop of colour then royal blue and cobalt create an eye-catching backdrop that works well in both modern and traditional home interiors. Alternatively you can pair your copper hues with Moroccan tones such as pinks, reds and oranges to create an eastern feel that is lively yet sophisticated.




For a subtle hint of copper in your interior then textiles and accessories will add a shimmering, tonal atmosphere that provides a splash of luxurious glamour. Rich shag pile rugs and satin sheen curtains will create a warm and sumptuous ambiance that provides the perfect balance of texture and aesthetics.

A scattering of cushions are perfect for introducing a statement colour into a neutral interior. Plain cushions can be used to compliment a patterned wallpaper or patterned cushions will add a sense of depth


to a neutral cream sofa or armchair. For an added injection of glamour then why not opt for beaded, sequined and tasseled cushions for the ultimate in opulent interior style.




One of the fabulously versatile elements of copper is its ability to blend elegantly with oak and natural wood tones making it a perfectly complimentary furniture building material. Wooden furniture exteriors can be painted with a high quality metallic copper paint or door fronts, drawer linings and knobs can be crafted from sheets of copper for a splash of lustre.

If your feeling particularly artistic then why not turn your hand at a spot of furniture up-cycling? To create a personalised and unique furniture item or home accessory  (such as this coffee table – right) then empty out your lose change jar and grab your glue gun and cover your table top, drawer fronts or lamp bases with your coppers and pennies. This will create a glistening and innovative tailor made item that will make a centrepiece in any room of your home. 25 DIY Penny ideas.

For more shiny and shimmering interior ideas and all original images then head over to our fabulous new Pinterest board - Pinterest – Copper Colour Trend




Get The Look – Spots and Dots

This week we are going dotty over spots with our latest look into polka dot interior ideas. Whether you like bold and bright designs or neutral and sophisticated spotted prints, polka dots are a timeless pattern that can be seamlessly incorporated into both modern and classic interiors.

From retro and vintage styles to contemporary colour pop designs this season we are embracing all things spotty and injecting a sense of fun and fashion into your homes.

For more exciting polka dot interior ideas and all original images, head over to our latest Pinterest board – Pinterest – Spots and Dots

Walls and Floors

With a vast range of fabulous paint colours and patterned wallpapers available on the market today, you really will be spoilt for choice when making your interior decor selections. If you want to create a fun and funky interior style then opt for bright, neon or primary colours in a large or varying size spotted pattern. This will create a eye-catching feature that looks wonderful when paired with a minimal interior design. For a more subdued vintage style look then opt for monochrome designs or muted tones such as creams, pastels and period hues and partner them with small polka dots that create visual texture without overpowering your walls. As an alternative to wallpaper why not try your hand at stencilling using a punched sheet of laminate or even recycle an old laundry basket (see image to left) for a fun and money saving technique.


Polka dot accessories have been a huge hit on the high street this season, with vintage styles from designers such as Kath Kidston and Gisela Graham and fun, contemporary additions from the increasingly popular Emma Bridgewater. Lighting accessories such as lamps, shades and candles are a simple way to add a pop of pattern to your interior and can be tailored to your chosen colour scheme or used as a blast of colour to add a focal point in your home.

Or why not dust of your artists easel and create your very own polka dot art work that will create a centrepiece above a fireplace or feature wall. A simple canvas with stencilled spots can be a real statement piece that can be customised to your tastes or why not frame a scattering of multicoloured, dotted stickers for a more contemporary and abstract art work.



Textiles not only provide a visual treat with their choice of patterns but also provide texture and cosiness to your chosen interior. Polka dot curtains and blinds look particularly impressive in a white or neutral minimal interior where they give the impression of a feature wall or art piece in an otherwise plain setting. Cushions are always a great way to introduce pattern into your home and look wonderful scattered across a sofa, bed or chaise lounge for a subtle yet eye-catching appearance. Alternatively you can opt for spotted upholstery on your seating, bedding and headboards. A blast of pattern on an occasional chair can transform the ambiance of a room and can be easily achieved by reupholstering your current furniture items.


Up-cycling has become a massive trend in the interior design world over the last 12 months and with everyone trying to save the pennies, what better way to utilise your current assets than to transform them into something new and exciting. Any old wooden furniture, or currently painted items can be stripped back, sanded and painted in your selected colour tones and given a dotty make-over that will add a pop of pattern against a neutral painted or complimentary coloured wall. If an overload of dots are a little extreme for you then centre your pattern on your feature wall and add simple white or plain coloured painted furniture to add a bright and elegant atmosphere to your home.

Colour Trend – Yellow

This week we are taking an in depth look at the yellow colour trend and how to inject this sumptuous sunshine colour into your home interiors using simple and sophisticated interior design techniques.

From muted lemons to vibrant neons, the yellow colour trend is a versatile palette that can be adopted into any room in your home. With all the miserable weather we have been experiencing lately, why not create a cheerful haven inside your home where you can sit back and relax in a serene and uplifting environment.

For more inspirational yellow interiors and original images head over to our latest Pinterest board Pinterest – Yellow Colour Trend.

Walls and Floors

This seasons fashionable yellow hues are stepping right off the catwalk and into our homes providing eye-catching feature walls and colour pop flooring. For a subtle spring like ambiance in your interior then you can opt for lemon pastel tones or warm mustard hues for a traditional splash of colour that is not too overpowering. However If you like the idea of a full on sunshine interior then choose, vibrant and zesty yellows and bold geometric prints. These can be used on wallpaper, rugs and tiling for a true statement colour blast. When selecting your interior colour palettes; yellow tends to work best with simple white for a fresh appearance or blacks, silvers and charcoals for a more sophisticated, boutique style.


Accessories are the perfect way to add a splash of colour to your interior without surrendering to a complete decor overhaul. A sprinkling of Yellow cushions can transform a sofa, bed or window seat and add a much needed lift in the ambiance of a neutral of dark interior. Vases, candles, light fittings and mirrors will provide a fresh and inviting colour addition without overpowering the rest of your interior decor. Once again you can stick to plain accessories in your chosen yellow hue, or combine varying tones and patterns for a more contemporary abstract appearance.



Fabrics are the perfect way to incorporate the yellow trend into your interior. Bedding, curtains, rugs, blinds and throws give both colour and textural appeal adding to the overall aesthetics of a room. Patterned textiles can also be used to create matching wall art, such as framed fabrics or screen printed designs that will add a customised flair to your home interior.



Whilst yellow furniture is not a popular or regularly stocked collection you can choose to partner your yellow interior with white or black painted selections such as our French Moulin Noir and French Chateau range. Or why not take this opportunity to turn your hand to furniture restoration. You can transform an old or unused piece of furniture into a stunning yellow statement item with some fabulous yellow paint and some sumptuous new handles for a completely customised interior look.



You can also opt for bright and eye-catching seating options such as stools and dining chairs or update an old occasional chair using a lick of yellow paint and some vibrant yellow fabric to create a fun and functional ambiance that will leave you walking on sunshine!