Crafty Project 341: Reviving Charity Shop Find.

Sunday is the day for odd jobs, relaxing and hopefully some time out doors (for me at least). I like to try a crafty project every now and again, just to justify my bursting tool chest crammed with clamps, screw drivers, wood varnish, sandpaper and the like. I had just the previous week liberated 3 small wooden cube from one of Arundel’s charity shops for a bargain £3.50, sturdy under weight and just in need of a new look. The weather was with me so I un-folded a piece of PVC on the patio in the sunshine and got to work.

So want to see how I got from start to finish?

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I did think about doing some decoupage inside the cubes, a pattern to draw the eye in and add interest but after looking at the selection of papers, scraps & napkins I had I decided to keep it simple. Two colours: both from Annie Sloan and left overs from my more active furniture painting days (had to drag the plastic box from the shed that the paint was hiding in) French Linen on the outside & Aries – with a little Old Ochre mixed in for the centre. They all needed a good stir and a little water to thin but seem to last forever, especially only working on little projects like this one.

I started with a good scrub getting rid of the dust, dirty and old brand/price stickers, then worked at the edges & corners with a light sandpaper block. I like softer corners rather than crisp edges, just a personal preference, it also adds a bit of texture for the paint to attach to.I also pushed a little filler in to some old mounting holes on the backs just so they wouldn’t suck up any paint. I ended up with very dusty red hands, but it was effortless and gave me an idea how well the colour was going to cover.

Which is why my next step was a thin & rough base coat of white chalk paint just to give me a lighter colour for my colour to go on. I slapped it on, I’m not one for neatness, keeping in mind I am going to be layering up washes of colour rather than a single thick layer. This helps with wear during use, hopefully no small knocks will take you back to the original dark tone.

Another quick sand down taking away the brush strokes and wearing the corners down a little more before I added the main colour smokey grey/brown thats a great mix of soft and crisp. I actually did two layers, both washes to build up the colour and adding a grain with light brush strokes. Ending up with all 3 cubes, grey on the outside and white inside.

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Now for the shock of colour, not sure if I have ever used Aries before or why I had it floating about but think it worked in the end. I attempted to mask up the edges but my quick brush strokes lead me to touch up with the Linen again before all was done. When taking the sandpaper to the inside of the cubes I was a little softer but still exposed little flashes of white that I actually ended up enjoying.

Once I got them inside, after a quick clean up in time with the setting sun I got a chance to take a good look. Selecting a few newly acquired trinkets to test them with I think the day was a success! Because they are independent of each other, there are several combinations to stack them in, or can be used one at a time. It didn’t take much from start to finish but think it was quite a transformation.

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