You can create a designer horse furniture yourself that rivals any show room piece. The process is relatively inexpensive, and the possibilities are limitless. The only things required are imagination and elbow grease. Check-out this Pinterest Board for inspiration.

Step 1:  The Piece

I have found all of my pieces off of Craigslist. I search under “Furniture”, then add the parameter of $100 limit, add the keyword “wood” and see what treasures come up. Perhaps in your town – a local Goodwill or Flea Market is a better option.

Ready for the super cool part of this adventure? It doesn’t matter what kind of stain is presently on the piece. You are not going to have to sand it! So if it’s super dark, or some awful color- it doesn’t matter.

Think FLAT surfaces. You want a surface that lends itself to the image transfer process, and give you a great canvas. Trunks are particularly good, as are the fronts of some dressers, or the tops of coffee tables.  If you are just beginning to learn, I would recommend a small piece with a limited amount of intricate details. It will build your confidence as you learn the process.


Step 2: Chalk Paint

The second step is to paint the piece with Chalk Paint. If this is as a new material for you to work with- be prepared to fall in love. It has completely revolutionized the furniture rejuvenation industry. Why? Because it requires NO SANDING before you apply it. No sanding, no awful stripping chemicals, no having it get the piece professionally dipped to remove the finish.

I like to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. She is the original creator, and I was inspired by her story of how she created it. In a nut shell; bad divorce, had to feed her kids, figured out that if she mixed plaster with paint- she could restore pieces from the local flea market to make ends meet.

There is a plethora of Pinterest images for you to explore the color combinations and possibilities. Search by “ASCP” in Pinterest. Here’s a teaser to get you excited:

Some personal tips that I have found when using chalk paint. I use light coats and I layer the colors. For example; I will put a wash of a gray base on a piece, and then cover it with a coat of white. There are lots of YouTube tutorials on how to do this. The key concept is that you are layering the paints to provide depth and visual texture.

Step 3: Stress

Yes. You are going to “Stress” the piece. After you have layered your chalk paint, it is ready for you to use that elbow grease to reveal the layers. This is actually where the magic happens. Chalk Paint really likes to be “worked”, and stressing it with sand paper not only reveals the layers but gives it a sheen.

If you get a little too excited and take off more than you want- it’s ok. You can just touch it up with your chalk paint, and do it again. The whole Chalk Paint process is very forgiving, and one of the reasons that these projects are so fun.

Step 4: Image Transfer

Now that your piece has the finish that you desire- it’s ready for your image transfer. There are multiple techniques to do this. Which image transfer technique you use depends on what kind of image you are going to use and how large it is. For example- if you decide to use small black lettering or imagery- you can use Modge Podge. If you want to do a full blown multi-color image- you will need to print it on image transfer material.

I strongly suggest doing at least one practice image transfer before you attempt it with your newly painted piece. It is one of those things that one technique will work great for one person, and not be effective for someone else. Once you figure out how it works best for you- you are going to be an unstoppable image transfer machine!

Step 5: Wax

Another really cool aspect of Chalk Paint is the “curing” process.  You use a wax to cure the paint. Also during this phase you can use a dark wax to add depth and dimension. The wax does have a smell, so this is best done outside. After the wax has cured, you will give it a once-over with a very light grit sand paper, and the piece will get a beautiful luster.

Search YouTube for “annie sloan wax” to learn the different techniques for the light and dark wax tutorials.

We hope this gets you started on your own unique horse furniture creations! Part of having a HAUTE life is getting to be creative – right?

Ride Haute. Create Haute.

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