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I have an endless supply of trunks in my basement. They are very practical for storage and also act as nice decorative pieces in your home. You can even put a TV on them or use them as a coffee table. So far I have shown you two of them. And today I am here to share with you the third one.
I'm always looking to try new things with these trunks. And sometimes I get myself into hot water. Today I'd like to share how to avoid mistakes when up-cycling a trunk.
Here is a picture of one of the many I have. They all look the same. And they were all filthy and full of scratches. I was itching to get started on this particular project.
What I used:
The plan was to paint it a pretty blue color and then to decoupage some special pages I had found from the kid's school books. That was the plan!
The How To:
I went ahead and painted it with three coats of Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Soldier Blue. So far so good. Now in the past I had done a trunk decoupage with book pages. It was quite a labor intensive job. I planned on doing just a little bit of decoupaging this time. Only 10 to 15 sheets.
After I was done painting I added some of my homemade wax. I wanted to protect that trunk and let that beautiful blue color shine!
Look at the photo below do you see how uneven the surface is? Remember that.
You can see what a beautiful sheen it has on the top with the wax.
But then I had a change of heart. I thought I would try my hand at stenciling after I received this one from the DecoArt Paint Company. They have lots of designs to choose from but I wanted to try out this one which is a Greek key. A girls gotta pay homage to her roots. ;)
I took it out of the package, all full of excitement and got my paint brush ready in anticipation. I had my colors all picked out too. It was going to be amazing!
And then I realized that I had waxed the trunk.
Hmmm... wax is used to protect the paint and seal it in. If I painted the stencil would it stay on the trunk or just slide around into a great big mess? I had come so close to amazing!!
I should have thought of this before adding the wax to the trunk. I hemmed and hawed and agonized over this for days. I went on facebook groups and asked their advice. I even had dreams about the stencil design dripping all over my beautiful trunk. I honestly don't know what happened to me this time, maybe it was the excessive heat.
It was a rough week of procrastinating. But finally I bit the bullet and just went for it. I figured if I mess up, I mess up. It is my fault for not sticking to my original plan. But these things happen and we have to go along with the flow. Of course that is easier said than done.
I taped the stencil onto the trunk and then using two brushes, one to actually put the paint on, and the other one to push down the stencil, I went full steam ahead. Remember that photo above, the one I told you to remember, the one with the uneven surface of the trunk? Yes, that is why I had to hold down the stencil. It was like painting on hills.
Of course the right way to do this would have been to use one of those great spray glues; then there would have been no need for me to push the stencil down. And of course I had to dive right in and pick a tough one. I just went with it and kept on pushing the stencil down and dabbling the paint on.
A little bit about the paint. I took DecoArt Metallic Bronze and Antique White and placed them side by side, I would dabble on a bit of the first and then the second and sometimes the two would mix so I'd end up with a new color.
I had become fearless I tell you! After all I had already messed up!
Could it possibly get any worse?
As I dabbled along all those Greek keys the color started to change. In some spots it was bronze while in others it was white and in between it came out a peachy color. And because of the aforementioned hills on the surface, I ended up with various intensities of color.
Was I going to let that stop me? Of course not!
I even did some key work on the bottom of the trunk.
A little color on the hardware and some wax on the straps.
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And my trunk was finished!
Here you can see the variations of color and and the differences in intensity of the paint. I like this look very much. It is definitely different from what I've ever done.
It has been over a month since I finished this project and I am delighted to say that I have abused the surface of the trunk and it still looks great.
No chips, no paint coming off, no more problems!!
What did I learn from this project?
Make sure to have a plan before starting your project!
Make sure to stick to the said plan!
Make sure you buy some glue spray!
And when all else fails, just go for it!!
I want to thank the lovely people in my Facebook group who offered their help for this traumatic time! If you need any help for your DIY projects or are looking for a community of like minded people join us here.
I hope you can learn from my mistakes so you won't have to suffer my fate! I think I was very lucky this time around. Those DecoArt Americana acrylic paints, combined with the milk paint made this project work! I love how it turned out.
I guess good things can come from mistakes after all!
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I'm Mary and I recently moved to New York from beautiful Greece. I like to re-purpose and up-cycle anything that is old or looks like junk. Join me as we use our creativity to spark some life into old things. And do it frugally! You will also see lots of photography of my Greece and New York.
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