As I find projects to shabby chic for my eBay shop, one method I’ve been turning to recently is the whitewash method. Here’s a similar tutorial in a recent YouTube video.
There are numerous reasons for this; it’s quick and easy, doesn’t eat hours of my time and in turn, my profits. It all depends on whether you find a piece with intricate detail or not.
When shabby chicing for a living, you need pieces that aren’t going to take days of your time. Depending on what platform you’re selling on, say eBay, people want a bargain and sometimes barter. This doesn’t mean shabby chic without much thought of end use. People still expect quality. But what I don’t want to do is painstakingly paint something to perfection and there isn’t a market for that particular piece in my area (or yours for that matter). You’ve also got to take in to consideration how much you bought your piece for. I tend to keep an eye out for a good bargain that is less risk to sell (most charity shops are out in this case).
Anyhow, I acquired this beautiful carved wooden picture frame for free from a jumble sale who know me well. I understand that their ever unsold accumulating bric-a-brac goes in the bin. It doesn’t stop me from buying their best pieces, but couldn’t bare them throwing this away.
Vintage style picture frames can be bought at supermarkets these days so tend to leave them alone, but carved wood is useful for a whitewhite technique.
Firstly, this is optional, but I gently sanded with fine grit sandpaper, but only go with the grain, otherwise your flaws will show.
Then paint over with white emulsion paint of your choice, leave for a couple of minutes and wipe over with a lint free cloth or absorbant paper towel. If you only want a faint white wash, then thin the paint down with water. NOTE: don’t fret too much over chalk paint or emulsion as it’s not going to see high traffic and any wear will add interest. All you want it the paint to stick in to the cracks and crevices.
Leave to dry and seal with a clear wax or as I used, Lord Sheraton’s caretaker wood basalm which can be bought from Tesco’s.
This is a great starter technique if you still love seeing the colour of wood. And if you don’t like the look, why not test a small patch with a little dark wax to hide the white.
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