Thursday, December 6, 2007

Shabby To Elegant Chic

I have had a few emails asking to see more projects and always emails asking about techniques. I won't give away all of my secrets *-* that have been perfected over a life time of earning my keep as an artisan~but I don't mind telling a bit about how I paint furniture.

This table was given to me by my mother (hi Mom, I know that you read my blog!) and was shabby when I received it. Admittedly it's been sitting outside in a corner of the patio accumulating all sorts of dust, stray paint and glue...and Mr. Shabbyfufu has even been using it to groom our fur baby Murphy on!! I knew that it had to be redone, and FINALLY the weather has become bearable for working outdoors~here in beautiful South Florida. I have woefully been neglecting the website this past week, as I NEED TO WORK ON MY HOUSE....with the Holidays coming up and all that comes with it. Anyhoo, this one definitely went from Shabby to Elegant Chic.........amazing what a little paint and elbow grease can accomplish!

I wasn't kidding when I said "SHABBY"!

The first step was to run the electric sander all over the table, including the top. I then washed it all down with some TSP mixed in a bucket of water and dried with a tack cloth. YUCK, quite the messy job.

The top is leather and had PATINA GALORE that I wanted to enhance, but not cover in paint. I carefully taped off the top with a decorating painter's tape. The stuff is what dreams are made of for painting enthusiasts to use in blocking, but you need to remove it as soon as the paint is dry, or it may pull away the finish. I gave the table 2 coats of semi~gloss black, as I find that it gives the finished product a rich look....especially if you sand off and distress.

After the black paint had dried, I gave it two coats of an antique white in a flat finish. Once that dried the tape was removed. Next I used some cheesecloth and rubbed on an antiquing medium (wear gloves!), including over the leather top in select areas. I then took the trusty sander, and hit it on some various edges to distress. I then gave the top a couple of coats of a gloss sealer to protect it. This is a very smelly & toxic I was sure to wear a mask when sealing.

Before antique sheet music was "en vogue" I had purchased a pile of it probably 10 years ago at a Flea Market. I am sure that you can still find it everywhere.....but I love the pile that I have and use it often. Most of the music is dated around 1900~1910, and is very yellowed and fragile......suiting my needs perfectly! I lined the drawer genteely with a cut of the paper, and then sealed it. TIP: use an Exacto knife with a new blade.

The original hardware pull was glorious, so I merely enhanced it with a little black paint, then adorned with some vintage seam binding in the colors of my family room decor (darker than the rest of my home). A wonderful old skeleton key from my collection adds a nice touch.

TA DAH~the finished product! I think that I am going to place it next to the caramel leather sofa and perhaps put one of my Shabbyfufu lamps on top. That will have to be after Christmas, once the HUGE tree makes it's exit. I hope that I gave you some useful tips for your own furniture......let me know!

I am sorry that I have not posted new (old!) items to the website lately.....but I PROMISE to do so SOON! Tomorrow however.....Mr. Shabbyfufu, doggie Shabbyfufu and myself are taking off in the morning for a weekend of rest (and antiquing:-) at our beach place......before the REAL craziness starts around here.
Until then.............à tout à l'heure!


  1. How wonderful the table looks now you have worked your magic.

  2. WOW!!! STUNNING!! what can I say what a lovely item!! It's turned out beautiful! Mandii

  3. Beautiful redo!
    I've never thought of painting a black undercoat. You're right, does give it a lovely depth when distressed.

    Kimberly :)

  4. Oh my goodenss, I love that Janet! What a treasure!

    I am off to the Post Office to mail your order... :)


  5. Clever cookie Janet, the table looks spectacular! Love the idea of the old music sheets as draw liners and the key!...I'll have to keep that one in mind, really adds a personal touch. Have a well deserved few days away, you'll need the break by the sounds of things

  6. The table is perfection! Who would have thought of a black undercoat?....only the "fabulous fufu"! And as always, you add a signature touch, this time the vintage rayon ribbon and a key! You continue to stand out as one of the most creative people out there! Miss Fuf!

    Trisha Evans
    a vintage white

  7. You never cease to amaze me. Your sensitive shabby-tizings are impeccable.

    Enjoy your relaxing wekend. My precious pooch is having a Saturday morning of beauty. I'm his exclusive stylist because he's such fraidy -dog! Wash, cut and blow dry are on the agenda. No small task for a 90 pound golden!

  8. Janet ~ I love your table ! It is so pretty !!! It is amazing how things can be recreated so wonderfully ~ Have a fun weekend!

  9. Janet~Moms table came out FABulous!It's completely shabby & charming!xo chris

  10. Janet! It's beautiful, your talents amaze me sweet friend! Thanks for giving us some secret tips (don't give them all away though!)~xo

  11. What a wonderful result from a lovely day in Florida! Great job!!

    kari & kijsa

  12. Hi Janet,
    Ive popped over from my dear friend Mandii's blog.
    I have always admired your web store!
    I looove what you did with that sweet table, it looks adorable.

    I hope you have a wonderful break away.

    Please pop by my blog some time.

    Shannon :)

  13. Hello Janet!

    WOW, what a difference you made to this piece! Its looks so lovely!

    Siobhan xo

  14. I just discovered your blog and the shop through Julie at Fabulous Finds...lovely!!

  15. What a gorgeous table, I bet you are glad you finally got to it and worked your magic, it looks wonderful, and thanks for the tips!

  16. Love how that turned out.Beautiful.
    Jen R