Between ministering to the sick, my DH has been suffering from man flu, and keeping the home fires burning this weekend, I managed to find time to alter a wee set of shelves, originally intended to display thimbles and tiny decorated plates I think, found at a car boot sale for £1; from this dusty and unpromising state:
Gorgeous, isn't it. It's pretty and perfect for storing all those little pots of goodies I had stacked in a fairly random state around my workdesk.
Stage-by-stage here's how it was done.
Washed down with soap & water, then washed down again with sugar soap; and finally rubbed down with sandpaper and wiped over before applying white undercoat. Apart from the white undercoat which was what left over from the recent kitchen makeover, the paint used came in tester pots which all cost £1 or less from a well-known DIY store. My aim was to try to create a faux distressed and worn look ... nothing like really testing myself at the first attempt :) For this I needed several layers of paint colours and my choice was, in order of application, raspberry pink, taupe, antique white and, because I ran out of the latter, the final coat had to be cream - all the paint is matt finish.
The first coat was an all over application of the raspberry, then, after the paint had dried, I daubed the taupe on in a random fashion - I hadn't a clue whether this was going to work but as the shelves cost peanuts I had nothing to lose by giving it my best shot. I let that dry and then smeared Vaseline Petroleum Jelly around corners and any areas where I thought there would be signs of wear and tear, like the edges of the shelves.
Next stages were to apply two coats of antique white. You can see the petroleum jelly has already started to create the distressed effect I was aiming for.
Because the two layers of antique white didn't give me the complete coverage I was looking for I applied a layer of cream ... this worked better than I thought it would as the cream looked even more aged and less pristine. After letting it dry I rubbed the shelves down, and where the petroleum jelly had been rubbed in, the top coats rubbed away to reveal the raspberry colour, and some of the taupe, underneath. Once I was pleased with the amount of raspberry/taupe paint showing and the effect I had achieved, I sprayed it all with Spray & Shine high-gloss varnish, which not only gave it a nice sheen but will protect the paint from further, unwanted, wear and tear.
The final stage was to add a bit of decoration. I toyed with the idea adding flowers, butterflies, flourishes, etc., but in the end decided that less is more and just stamped a couple of bees, a miniature Lavinia stamp, on the top front panel using VersaMark and gold embossing powder, together with a sprinkling of the gold embossing powder along the upper edges here and there ... unfortunately, this last doesn't show up very well in the photos. Job done!
I spotted these wee display shelves at a car boot sale just lying on the ground, unloved and unwanted, and initially dismissed them ... thought they was ugly and probably hard work to prettify. So I left them and wandered off to check out what all the other car booters had to offer. However, they clearly made an impact because it wasn't long before I was thinking they would, with a little bit of tlc, make great storage for all the little tubs of card candy, ink pads and button jars I had lying about, so I went back to snag them before someone else saw their potential :)
And, I'm so glad I did. I'm really chuffed with the finished piece, it's pretty and functional ... and anything that helps keep my stuff organised is good with me. It was also a lot easier to alter them than to write up ... the only thing that took time was the drying of the various coats between applications. I'll be keeping my eye open for similar pieces as altered they would make great gifts.
Right, I'm off to give DH some more chicken soup ... got to get him fit and well again. Hope you are all well and, despite the rather dismal weather, that those of you in England had a good holiday weekend.