Transforming An Old Chest With A Simple Painting Technique

I have had this chest since I was about ten. I have never had a great place for it in my house and it doesn’t exactly scream cute and trendy, but I can’t part with it. I finally decided to add some paint to this chest and move it from being tucked away in the basement to a focal point in the sunroom. It is amazing the transformation you can make with just a little paint.

Chest before

It is always a tough decision for me to decide exactly how I want to paint something. Since this piece is pretty much a box with not much detail, I thought this would be a fun piece to try something new on.

I saw this picture of flooring and loved it. I know it is flooring, but I thought it could look sweet on a piece of furniture too. Why not give it a try, right!

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For the main color, I had my heart set on mint green. I have wanted something in my house mint green for awhile now. I just love the color!

I don’t have a fun paint name to share with you so you can run and get the paint color. I actually mixed the paint myself! You should really give it a try, especially if you have several paint cans hanging out in your storage space like I do. I spent $0 on this project by using existing paint I had. You heard me! Tip Make sure that the paint you are mixing has the same base, like Satin or Gloss. Also save those cool whip containers, coffee cans or butter tubs. They make great mixing containers to save your paint in.

mint green paint

Once the chest was all mint green and lovely, it was time to try out the herringbone effect. I did a test run on a scrap piece of wood, which I would suggest doing so you can get the hang of it.

How to create the herringbone grey wash effect
Supply List: Frog Tape is a must (the green painters tape). This tape does not bleed through. It is kind of amazing!! You will also need two different sized small arts and crafts brushes along with paint and water. I used dark grey paint and antique white.

The first thing I did on my chest was divide the top in four sections so I could separate out each angle that creates the “v shape. I then taped off the section with the frog tape. (You can get the idea below in the pictures)

Once taped off, the fun begins! I used a watered down dark grey paint and a watered down antique white too. Make strokes of different shades of greys light and dark at an angle. Use plenty of water. I had two different sized brushes that I traded off with. I don’t think you can mess this part up. Just keep applying more paint and water to get the desired look that you want.

Wait for your paint to dry and remove the frog tape. Then tape off the new section and start all over again, but going in the opposite angle to create the “v” Tip don’t rush the paint drying. It HAS to be dry before you move to the next section. If you put tape on wet paint, your tape will not stick well and you will most likely peel up the paint you just put down.

water painting the top

Here are some close ups of what the effect looks like dried. When it is all finished make sure you put a couple of coats of poly on the top to seal it up. I am using mine as a coffee table so I put on four coats just to be safe.

Chest_detail detailThis chest is now used as a beautiful coffee table and game storage in my sunroom. The best part is I spent nothing on this transformation. Let me know what you think!

Chest_view 1 Chest_another view

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Just in case you can’t remember what it looked like before. Here is a side by side comparison.

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Have a great week, Moxies! Stay tuned this week for more tips on how to save money on paint.



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