Shabby Chic – Ikea Hack

To transform any wooden furniture into an individual shabby chic piece you only need the following material and a bit of time:

  • piece of furniture (solid wood)
  • sandpaper / sander (coarse and fine grit size)
  • wood stain (base color)
  • paint (2-3 colors)
  • varnish (silk mat)
  • tape
  • bristly paintbrush
  • small paintroller
  • piece  of cardboard

If your piece of furniture is untreated wood it suffices to prepare the wood with only the fine sandpaper. In case you have to get rid off some old coating, remove it using the coarse sandpaper and finish with the fine.

Clean the wood using a wet towel to remove dust and let it dry before continuing (over night works best).


The transformation starts with applying the wood stain (the new base color of your furniture) using the paintbrush. Apply the color to one side of the furniture(-parts) and let it dry completely before turning over and coloring the rest.


Once the wood stain is applied to the all parts and sides and dried completely you are ready to apply the colour accents. To achieve clear edges mask positions you like to paint using the tape. The shabby chic look is achieved by alternating 2 to 3 colors and by applying them in a random order. Use a quite bristly paint brush, lightly dip it in one of the paints and incorporate the color into the brush by sweeping the brush over the cardboard. Especially in the beginning use only a little paint and try how the apply the paint on a piece cardboard or a spare piece of wood. The frayed and irregular color accents show a fine structure if you use little color and apply it very gently.

Remove the tape while the color is still wet and let the color dry complete. Repeat this procedure if you want to apply more color accents – if you apply several colors next to each other, let each of them dry in between.


Apply a final layer of varnish using the paintroller to protect your transformed piece of furniture and let dry again.

Ready to use – enjoy your individual piece of furniture.