Update your home with a spot of shabby-chic
Reinvent a tired chest of drawers – or personalise one bought second-hand – with these great makeover tips.
The key to any good re-vamp is the preparation, and whilst it may seem like a bit of a chore, it’ll make a huge impact on the quality of the finish. To prepare your furniture, sand well to remove all traces of paint or varnish. Start with a coarse grain, progressing to something finer, and clean away dust with a damp cloth.
Staining can easily give old furniture a new lease of life, adding character in a few easy steps. Mix the stain well to ensure an even colour, and apply liberally with a paint brush. Wipe off the excess with a lint-free rag as you go – don’t leave it to set as the stain will become sticky and difficult to remove – allowing the grain of the wood to show through. Leave to dry thoroughly, and apply additional coats for a darker and more intense look.
A simple paint job can also transform a piece of tired furniture. Apply a coat of primer to prepare the surface, then an initial coat of water-based acrylic – working in the same direction as the grain – using a good quality brush for a smooth finish. Paint applied thickly won’t dry properly, so remove any excess from the brush. Leave to dry before smoothing bumps with a sheet of fine sandpaper, and apply a second coat.
To create an authentically ‘aged’ look, try your hand at distressing a piece of pre-painted or stained furniture. Add depressions to the wood with a hammer and worm holes with a nail, or use steel wool to create a worn effect. Crackle glazes can be achieved by painting the wood with a dark colour, then applying a thick crackle medium over the top which splits as it dries. Apply a light varnish or acrylic top coat once fully dry to prevent the surface from peeling away.
For a fun and inexpensive retro look, personalise your chest or drawers with a spot of decoupage. Using vintage wallpapers or old maps – try tea-staining newspaper if you don’t have anything antique to hand – apply PVA glue to the surface of the wood and press the paper down, using a slightly damp sponge to remove any air bubbles. When you’re happy with the finish and the glue’s completely dry, apply a few coats of clear varnish to smooth the surface and protect it from scratches.
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Weather for Buckingham
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west