Shabby chic techniques

Once you have mastered the basics with Autentico Vintage chalk paint, you are going to want to keep going and master other techniques that are easy to achieve with this versatile chalk paint.  Remember,  Autentico Vintage chalk paint gives you a soft, porous surface, which is easy to manipulate for different effects.
One of the easiest, and probably the one we are asked about most often, is the ‘old and shabby’ or ‘shabby chic’ look. Here is our quick guide to this easy-to-achieve look with Autentico Vintage chalk paint.

There are many different techniques to achieve patina and an old weathered look. Take a look at this quick guide to ageing an ordinary plant pot into a rustic zinc pot of beauty!

Courtesy of Autentico Sweden - ageing a plant pot

Courtesy of Autentico Sweden – ageing a plant pot


Highlighting shapes and details

Once painted with your chosen Autentico Vintage colour, you can gently sand corners, edges and ornaments, details and shapes on the piece of furniture, which are then accentuated, thus giving it a new depth and lease of life. Once the wooden surface shows through it gives it that old, worn and slightly shabby look you’re after. You can either choose to wax or not, depending on the level of shabby chic effect you are trying to achieve.

It is often very beautiful when old and worn or a dark wood shows through the paint. However, a lighter type of wood like fresh pine may not give you the same feel nor be as authentic. If you don’t want the original wood to show through at all, but still want the same effect, you simply need to paint different layers of colours.

 Working with layers
  1. Paint the first coat:
    Either cover the whole piece or only chosen parts with a generous layer of paint (the more paint you use, the better as it makes sanding afterwards much easier). A surface that is a little uneven often has an interesting impact and results in a great patina, so don’t be afraid to leave small blobs of paint behind.
  2. Leave to dry and wax:
    It is important that you allow the paint to dry properly between coats. If you have already decided exactly where you want the undercoat to show through (for example edges and corners), you can protect them by rubbing hard wax on these areas (for example a bar of wax, beeswax or a regular, transparent candle).
  3. Painting the second coat:
    Choose another colour and cover the whole piece this time. Preferably put a slightly thinner coat of paint on. Just add some water into the paint if it’s too thick.
  4. Sand and scrape:
    Lightly sand down the areas you want the undercoat to show through. If you have used wax between the different coats, the paint now comes off easily. You could even rub it off with a damp cloth as the paint doesn’t stick well to these waxed areas. For a rougher patina carefully scrape away the paint with a scraping tool or wire wool.
  5. The Finish:
    It’s really a matter of taste whether you sand your piece before or after waxing – try both and see which way you prefer. The paint comes off easier if sanding prior to waxing, although too much paint can accidentally be removed. Take care not to remove the first coat of paint as you don’t want the wood to show through.  If you chose sanding after waxing a second coat of wax is recommended to protect the sanded areas.

autentico linen shabby chic

 Dry brushing

“Dry brushing” is a very easy technique to paint in layers without sanding or to achieve a weathered look.

  • Apply a coat of paint and let it dry completely.
  • For the second coat use a dry brush (preferably an old used brush with natural bristles) with a very small amount of paint, well worked into the brush. Dab paint for structure and sweep the brush lightly across the surface  in order to enhance details. In this way you avoid complete coverage and the base coat will still show through.

shabby chic cupboard

Textured patina

You can achieve a rough patina by creating a textured surface for wax:

  1. Use thick paint.  This can be achieved by leaving the tin without its lid to dry out for a few hours.
  2. For an even coarser structure, you can use a layer of Autentico Terrapieno to create the base. Use a spatula, brush, sponge or a cloth to apply the Terrapieno for different structures.
  3. Apply a thick layer of paint and paint in different directions, criss-cross without thinking too much. You can also dab and stab the brush to get a rougher surface. An irregular brush with natural bristles is normally good to use.
  4. If you return to an area that has started to dry, you will get even more texture.
  5. Let the paint dry for longer (because of the thick layer) and then wax the surface with Autentico Clear Wax.
  6. Finish with Autentico dark wax, and make sure you get into all crevices and brush strokes. Wipe off excess wax and buff. The dark wax will now be prominent in all cavities and grooves of the painted surface.
  7. Use some clear wax if you want to remove some of the dark wax.