Quality Control for Shabby Chic
Good day everyone! I wanted to talk about QUALITY for a moment regarding SHABBY CHIC furniture! I was shopping recently in the U.S. and brought back a number of items I found from the trip. I just love looking for new projects and sometimes I purchase stuff that is in relatively good shape but not quite up to the standards I put on myself and the pieces I refinish. Now sometimes the price reflects the quality of the item and there is a fair price on it. Other times, I notice that there are a lot of expensive items put out there that just fall short of what I would put in my house as far as quality goes.
I ALWAYS use one guideline for myself, and that is if I won’t put it in my house, why would you want to put it in yours? After refinishing this particular project I thought it would be good to reveal what exactly I do with my projects to have them qualify to the standards I set.
The item has to be CLEAN: no cobwebs, dust, grime, rust, cup rings or any kind of grit or dirt. The item is STURDY: no wobbles, weak spots, or shortcut fixes that will eventually weaken and break. If painted, I do a process that ensures that there will be NO CHIPPING. I sand all pieces thoroughly to assist the paint to adhere to the surface. In most cases it is PRIMED. I sand between each paint coat so you get a nice smooth finish. Plus I CLEARCOAT every painted piece with a satin finish to protect from scratching and powdering off. The UNDERSIDE of any one piece whether it’s a chair, vanity, sideboard, table, etc. is well done so that if you flip it over, the bottom surface doesn’t look like an unsightly mess. If the piece is UPHOLSTERED, I make a judgement as to the difficulty of the item and whether I can upholster it myself. This saves a lot of money as you know upholstery can be quite expensive! If I can’t do a particular project myself, I hire a professional. Again, I won’t put out anything that is a COMPROMISE to quality. I do not mark up any upholstery expenses (I do the drop off, pickup and fabric choice at no charge for my time). I truly believe in passing on every penny of savings onto the customer wherever possible.
Here is an example of a vanity I purchased that was already done in a shabby chic finish. Upon close inspection, I found it was lumpy (dirt had not been cleaned off), the paint was peeling (no primer was used), it smelled (like a barn!), the mirror was unusable (deteriorated), the underside had cobwebs and grime…so you can see it was not even close to a pristine piece of furniture…I took this piece and put it through a proper, detailed refinishing process so that it is now 100%, right down to replacing the mirror and painting the insides of the drawers.
I hope this post helps you understand the steps taken to bring you the best product possible! I take a lot of pride in my ability to always bring you the best of what I do, complete with a GUARANTEE of quality.
BEFORE refinishing (looks ok doesn’t it? But I guarantee when you get it home, all the issues I listed out above will rear their ugly heads!