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Adding Patina on Furniture for Shabby Chic Finish

The beauty that time and age bestows is marvelous especially when it comes to patina and rust. The colors of aged brass, bronze, and iron give it a multilayered effect that can be mimicked using many products. The darkening of wood and other surfaces over time has a certain character that can be alluring and romantic. I like brand new, shiny things but something with history has an attraction that brings out my imagination like reading a classic novel. This is why I often look for vintage and antique furniture to refinish. Its style is from another place and time that I did not live but can only fantasize about. Reproductions of furniture from past time periods appeal to many in a way modern styles do not. The trend of shabby chic furniture is popular with furniture painted to look worn and used in order to soften the look so it appears more ethereal and dreamy. Ornate details are often used in which for aging effects gives it an elegance that is not quite glamorous and more understated but still grand.

One thinks of the grand chateaux in France, villas, to large country homes in the English countryside full of antique furniture that is time-worn but expensive in quality. It’s a nostalgic look in stark contrast to the modern style of straight lines, more industrial materials, and affordable in price to the masses. The opposite of assembly furniture that arrives in boxes making it portable and easily obtained whereas the quality of antique furniture cannot be put together without craftsmanship. It’s a shabby luxury not as pretentious as genuine rococo and baroque furniture. Don’t get me wrong, I love baroque furniture as well for its over-the-top gorgeousness. The celebration of many styles is reflected in my work.

Adding patina and rust is an easy way to give your furniture or decor an instant shabby chic look. It emulates the actual time-worn effect but on something freshly painted. I like using patina effect paints and activators in that it can look more organic but using patina pastes and rust or verdigris colored paint is an alternative that can give you the same look. For simple and timeworn patina, I like using patina pastes to dab on around areas and give it an aesthetically pleasing design. There are many patina pastes available but I prefer the one from Re-design with Prima. These are perfect for old-world finishes and shabby chic looks.

If I am going for more of a verdigris finish and not the rusty sort of patina, I love using the verdigris colored pastes and paints along with the metallics that create these colors in nature. These would be copper and brass paints. Copper produces more of the darker blues and green hues. Brass has the whitish blues to bright blues and mint green hues. Of course, you can use your own artistic interpretation for your designs. I like to dab the pastes on with bristle brushes as it gives more of a textured effect but you can use whatever kinds of brushes you prefer.

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Old World, French Provincial Vanity

Old world, European, shabby chic, french provincial vanity. I’ve been searching for a french provincial vanity for quite some time so I was excited when I found this one in an estate sale. Definitely antique the bench was upholstered with little tacks and shredded fabric. The lacquer was peeling badly on the top especially. I sanded using Gator Finishing Products hook and look, orbital sand paper to strip off all of the flaking, original finish. I primed using Rust-Oleum‘s painters touch in flat white spray. I added the Universal satin bronze on top as the base and a bit of chestnut. I added Re•design with Prima rice papers called Botanical Sonata and Floral Sweetness. I wanted the surface to have a lot of texture and depth so I dabbed on the memory artisan hardware powders in taupe and french ivory. I used the finnabair patina paste in brown rust and gray. You can find the lives where I demonstrate the entire process. The sides are decoupage with the Washed Damask paper. I reupholstered the bench with new satin, damask fabric. She’s glamorous but in a more subdued way because of the patina effect. Dainty like a ballerina with her tapered, slender legs, she is the perfect balance of rustic elegance. I’m happy I was able to revive this vanity and reveal her beauty once more for another lifetime to come. What’s old is better than new sometimes.Papers and pastes: Artisan Powders: