Sweet friends! If you’re anything like me, you love antique furniture but the price tag... not so much! So when I started hunting for an old writing bureau, I knew straight away I wanted the functionality of an IKEA piece (hello, storage!) but also the aged-look of Grandpa's old roll-top desk. After half an hour browsing antique furniture online I soon realised what I wanted and what i was willing to pay were not quite meeting up! That was when I found a second-hand HEMNES Writing Bureau on Gumtree! You know you're winning when you don't have to build the IKEA furniture PLUS you’re only paying a third of the price!
The aim was to age and distress the piece. I did this by using plaster filler (cost of $7!) in two ways. Firstly, I used stencils to achieve an appliqué look. I didn’t want to use actual appliqués as they weren’t subtle enough, plus they were going to blow my budget! I wanted a worn-look which I was able to achieve using stencils created by my silhouette cameo machine and plaster filler.
I focused the stenciling around the handles and corners of the top cupboard, hutch section and the bottom cupboard. The second way I “aged” the piece was by randomly scraping plaster over the entire thing. I aimed mainly on the parts that would have naturally been worn over time like the edges and corners.
After that it was a matter of coating the piece in white chalk paint, lightly sanding, and repeat! I then applied clear wax followed by a dark brown wax over the plaster and “appliquéd” parts. This really highlighted the worn-out bits I’d created as well as adding some texture and dimension!
The next time you’re thinking of buying a piece of furniture that has great storage but isnt quite ticking your design boxes, consider DIY appliqués! It’s inexpensive, fun and effective!
Please tag me in your creations on Instagram using @owl_and_the_willow