An old wooden chest will be transformed into a treasure chest using the simple technique of decoupage, painting motifs by hand with brightly colored acrylic paint, and giving a metallic wax finish.
The art of decoupage is a quick and simple method for updating the appearance of an old piece of furniture. Discover how to renovate a wooden chest here.
Check the condition of the trunk before you start decorating it in case it needs some basic repair. For example, make sure that the corners are solidly assembled and check that the hinges are not rusted; replace them if necessary. Next, prepare the surface to paint and decorate it, as explained in the next step.
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Remove chipped paint with a metal bristle brush. Then buff the surface with sandpaper, first using the coarse grit and then the medium grit. Rub the surface with a soapy cloth to remove grease and dust. Finish by rinsing it off with a clean, damp cloth.
With the brush, apply a coat of dark-colored acrylic paint to all the elements that protrude from the trunk’s top and sides, such as slats or struts. Let it dry. Apply, if necessary, another coat of paint in these areas so that they are well covered.
Choose two-color craft paper and cut them from the measurements on the lid and sides of the trunk. If the trunk has raised struts or slats or separate panels on the lid or sides, cut the paper into strips to fit these holes and alternate colors to give the trunk motif a more lively look. Working in areas, apply a generous layer of PVA adhesive to the surface of the trunk and glue the paper, smoothing it with your fingers to remove any possible air bubbles.
With a cutter, cut the paper to the exact size to cover along the edges of the trunk. If it has any relief elements, such as wooden blocks or large screws, make a cross-shaped cut in the paper that covers them; Carefully open the sides of the cross and then cut the paper around the screw or plug with the cutter.
Using contrasting colored paper, make small squares to glue along the lid’s strips and the sides of the trunk. Lay the squares of paper along each of the strips and glue them with PVA adhesive. Cut some paper strips to frame each square in different colors, and glue them around the squares. Once dry, apply a layer of adhesive over the trunk’s entire surface and let it dry.
Using an artist’s brush and acrylic paints in two or three contrasting colors, paint a few simple motifs, such as crosses, squares, or circles in the center of each of the framed paper squares. Let it dry.
Also read: How to Wax an Antique Furniture
Choose acrylic paint of another color and paint with the tip of an artist brush, a fine line around some painted motifs, to better define them. As you work, be careful not to smudge the lines of previously painted motifs. Let it dry.
For an eye-catching finish, add more detail to paper squares with raised gold liner. Draw crosses, circles, and wavy lines on the painted patterns and around the squares.
To give your painted wood slats a soft shine, apply a little ruby metallic wax along the edges with your fingertips. Let dry and rub with a cloth to shine.