Hey Friends Over at Perfectly Imperfect!

I’m Heather from The Cozy Cape.  I’m a TV producer by day… and habitual decorator by night.  When I’m not in the television studio, I’m scouring local flea markets, yard sales and salvage stores and refinishing my finds.  I hate paying full price for anything and I ADORE everything vintage and/or Shabby Chic.  As Shaunna is spending some well deserved time globetrotting, she asked that I share a piece of my cozy cape with you.  I know I’m a sucker for before and after shots… and I’m sure you are, too. These all have one thing in common: cheap transformations by paint!  So without further adieu, here are a few of my favorite things.

My first attempt at distressing furniture was a pedestal table that I snagged from Craig’s List for for a mere $15 bucks!  They were going to throw it away but at the last second decided to see if anyone wanted it.  I’m so thankful that someone else’s trash turned out to be a little piece of my kitchen heaven.

Here’s what it looked like when I picked it up:
And here’s the after:
(You can read my full kitchen table post here)
Once I realized that I could easily achieve the shabby chic distressed look, I was on a roll.  I needed some chairs to go with my new-to-me old table… and I had my eye on this inspiration pic:
(Image courtesy of Ballard Designs)

I loved the woven-rush seats but wasn’t in love with the Ballard Design price.  Luckily, I didn’t have to spend my savings, because I happened upon these beauties at a yard sale:
I picked them up for $25 per chair.
Then I got to distressin’ some more.  You didn’t really think I was going to leave them au natural, did you?
Here’s the finished product:
I’m telling you, this first project unleashed a painting beast.
I painted our fireplace:
…and I did a little bit of sideboard CPR after snagging this for $30 bucks:
Not even my dining room table escaped the paint brush.  .
This one took a lot of elbow grease.  Here it is partially sanded:
And here’s one of the chairs:
And here it is all finished:
So how did I get this shabby chic look?  Easy peasy!
Here’s how I did it:
  1. Slap on a a few coats of primer and paint.  (Tip:  If you want a color to show through once you begin chipping away, ask your local hardware store to tint your primer.  This will save you a step because you won’t have to add a layer of colored paint.)
  2. Next, add a couple layers of your top coat color.  Allow this to dry so it’s hard to the touch; however, don’t allow too many days to pass. You want the paint to be pliable for the next step.
  3. Grab a sander and a paint scraper.. and chip and sand away.  You can beat it up as little or as much as you want.  Make sure you hit up the edges.  If this were truly an old piece, it’s edges would appear weathered.
  4. Lastly, choose a stain in a color that you like.  Use an old cloth to apply the stain on the edges, corners and some of the places you’ve chipped.  Then quickly wipe off and smudge the stain.  This will give it the aged look.  (Tip:  If you don’t have stain, use brown shoe polish.  It will give you the same look!)
  5. And you’re done!  (If you’d like protect your new furniture, you can add a layer of polyurethane)

And before I wrap-up this post, A little birdie told me told me that Perfectly Imperfect readers love vintage finds,  So here’s a little eye candy for you:


Bring the outdoors, in with old shutters:
And lastly, an antique ironing board turned sofa table:
Shaunna, thanks for having me… and to her readers, thank you for welcoming me.  I hope to see you around The Cozy Cape.
*************Thank you, Heather!!  What beautiful finds and finishes!
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