11 Mar, 2023 @ 11:00
1 min read

Atelier Vintage in Capileira, in Spain’s Granada, explains how to shabby chic your old furniture

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FURNITURE is one of the least recycled items in homes. Our beautiful Alpujarra is surrounded by National Park – so let’s reduce what’s going into landfill. Instead, we can give old furniture a new lease of life.

To start, choose a small piece, such as a mirror, nightstand, or chair. Visit Pintrest for ideas with colours and finishes, and keep it simple.

Any type of wood is suitable for painting, even MDF.  The trick is patiently prepping the piece. Before you start, remove ‘hardware’, such as door handles.

You’ll need rags, degreaser, wood filler, screwdriver, hammer, spatula, sandpapers with different grit, paint brushes, bucket, and painting tray.

Firstly, clean the item with degreaser, wipe it with clean water, and let it dry.

Apply wood filler to any holes, with the spatula, and dry overnight. Next, sand it lightly with 220-grit paper and clean with a wet rag to remove dust.

Now, prime the piece so the paint adheres. Use any water-based primer and dilute if it’s thick. For MDF, priming is very important. You may need an extra coat on dark wood. Drying time during winter is 24hrs and 6hrs in summer. Be patient between coats.

Alicia of Atelier Vintage

Now you are ready to paint! Choose a water-based latex paint for a smooth finish, or chalk-based for a distressed look. It’s best to apply 2-3 coats, not too thick. Again, try to leave 24hrs between coats. Some chalk paint brands say you don’t need to prime. For a durable job, always sand and prime.

The final step is to seal and protect your piece. For latex paint, use a water-based, matte varnish. Chalk paint requires clear wax (any furniture wax), then polish with a rag.  You can distress the corners with a light sanding.

Clean any ‘hardware’ with a metal cleaner, and refit.

Leave finished items to “cure” for 72 hours before using, so the protective varnish or wax can settle properly.

If you need an expert hand, we can upcycle furniture for you. Our workshop in Capileira has inspirational pieces with various colours, textures, and finishes. 

Visit Atelier Vintage at: Plaza del Calvario, 12 Capileira, Granada      @atelier_vintage_capileira


Jo Chipchase

Jo Chipchase freelanced for internet and lifestyle publications in the UK, and for Living Spain magazine, and was co-founder of Press Dispensary. She lives in the Alpujarra mountains of Andalucia with her teenage sons, dogs and a horse. Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es

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