That oh-so-outworn phrase 'shabby chic' will, after this first post, not be mentioned again! I don't believe that painting an old dresser and 'distressing' it makes it anything other than shabby - certainly not chic. There's no reason why you shouldn't paint it of course but do it well - perhaps add painted decoration in that old French manner. Over time it will receive knocks and bumps, the paint will become rubbed and it will take on an aura of being aged - because it is!
Everything was new once. If you look, for example, at some old textiles - when new the colours were vibrant and brash but the effects of time and light have transformed them into softer tones infinitely easier to live with.
Anyone can go out and buy the latest thing, it takes more thought to look for those older pieces loved throughout time which fit comfortably into your home and don't stand out in their brash newness.
|From My French Window|
and Linen sheet used for a Curtain