French chic on the cheap

Hi everyone. 

Ever fancied living in a french palace but just can’t afford it? 

Well I am going to share how I completely transformed a room including the furniture for less than €200 (even cheaper of you don’t use expensive wallpaper).

I unfortunately was not the winner of the euro millions on Friday but I still managed to make an expensive looking room for next to nothing. 

So were did I start? 

I made a mood board! 

Yes if you haven’t a clue were to start do a mood board. 

Flick through loads of magazines and pull everything you like and you’ll end up with a vision which you can build upon. 

Mine is quite fussy but I loved too much in the magazines and went overboard. 

I am doing a guest bedroom that looks onto the garden so my colours are cream, green and then gold. 

Before pic.

Pine, Pine and more pine! 

So were I saved the bulk of the money was from hand painting my pine furniture cream.

If you were to go out and buy a brand new set of cream shabby chic furniture you could spend up to €1k in a furniture shop. 

This was painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint in the shade original. 

I then waxed it by hand but for a large piece like this I would reccomend a varnish. 

I reccomend ronseal clear Matt water based varnish. 

It must be water based so as not to yellow or discolour your piece. 

I done a piece a day. I get one day off during the week so I done a piece on my day off but if you had a week off you could completely transform your room quicker. 

When painting items light cream or white they need more coats than if you were doing a grey or darker shade. 

I done three good coats on each piece then lightly distressed the edges with the lightest grade sandpaper. 

Prep and finish.

To prep I clean each item with sugar soap. 

This can be bought in any of the hardware stores and is reasonably cheap. 

This removes any oils or residues from your piece.

Then you paint. 

To finish your piece you need to seal.

You have two options. Wax or varnish. 

On smaller pieces I like wax. It’s hard work but I like the feel. 

On larger or hard wearing items I varnish.

I painted all 3 pieces with a one litre tin that cost €27. 

A tin of wax is around €12 or varnish is around €10 for a small tin. 

Now the bed I painted in autentico superior eggshell paint in shade neutral.

The reason I chose this for bed is because it’s more hard wearing and no need to wax or varnish. 

One litre of this paint is €40 but I only used 1/3 of the tin on this bed. 

I gave this bed three coats and prepped it with cleaning it with sugar soap. 

This was hard work as you are on your knees painting and I had pins and needles and a numb bum painting this one. 

The wallpaper.

This is were I splurged. 

I’m almost embarrassed to say how much it cost but I justified it because I saved so much and worked so hard on painting the furniture. 

Okay here goes, one roll cost €69, holy god. 

It’s from b&q and I have been wanting it since start of the year and couldn’t find a better wallpaper. 

The accessories. 

Now I was thrifty also with the finishes and I also did a diy job on this ikea mirror. 

This mirror was I think €30 but it was black and just wasn’t fabulous enough. 

I painted it in the autentico paint and have it 3 coats. 

With an old make up brush I dry brushed some gold paint to give it and antique look. 

A little trick! 

I am going to hang this on the wall (waiting on the man to come home and hang it) and have it facing the feature wall so it reflects in the mirror almost looking like its a picture. 

The chandelier. 

This was €28 from Harry correy and it is a lampshade. This room is a smaller room so a big fancy lightfitting would sit out of place. Also as its a shade it’s simply to put up were a lightfitting you need someone with electrical know how to fit it for you. 

If you do fancy a chandelier you can get fabulous ones in second hand shops and on second hand sites. 

Frame your pictures. 

If you love an expensive wallpaper but can’t afford it then another idea is to get a sample and use it in picture frames. 

These dunnes picture frames are €4 each.  

My total cost. 

Annie Sloan paint €27

Autentico eggshell paint €40

Wax and varnish €24 (loads left in pots)

Wallpaper one roll €69 

Light shade €28

Ikea mirror €30

Elbow grease €priceless.

Total €218.

Please let me know if this post has inspired you to do a little diy and tag me in all you pictures over on Instagram.


My next mission is to transform my upstairs master bedroom so il keep you posted. 

Thanks for reading. 



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