Many, many years ago – close to 35, I think – my father made a cedar-lined hope chest for me. It was designed to be upholstered so that it could function as a seat as well as a cedar chest. My intention at the time was to needle point a cover for it so that it could be finished. For reasons that I no longer recall, the needle point cover never got made and the chest never got finished.
|Filled and sanded, my old cedar chest |
awaits a major facelift.
Until recently. Today, in fact.
A while back I was looking at it, thinking that it really has been useful over the years, but that it needed a facelift. It was battered and scarred and more of an eye-sore than it needed to be. I determined to re-vamp it and finally get it finished.
I had a notion of what I wanted to do with it, but before I could start, I needed the fabric to upholster the seat. My first thought was: contact my sister! She’s an avid quilter and so, I reasoned, probably spent a good deal of time in fabric shops. I shot off an e-mail explaining what I wanted and why and was rewarded a couple of weeks later with about 20 photos of potential fabrics to choose from. I also learned that there was a difference between a fabric store and a quilting shop. While both sold fabric, fabric stores sell all kinds of fabric whereas quilting shops sell fabric more specific to the interests of quilters. Who knew?
|The amazingly gorgeous fabric my|
sister found for me!
Anyway, my sister did make her way into a fabric shop one day and obliged me with some pretty spectacular choices. But photo #8 was the instant winner!
E-mails were exchanged. Arrangements were made. Money was forwarded. And, eventually, the fabric arrived in the mail. The project could finally begin.
|Each colour took only a few minutes to|
apply, but each layer took a day.
The next order of business was to choose paint. I took the fabric to the hardware store and began the tedious process of matching the colours: green, yellow, orange and red. I found four that I liked and were fairly close and ordered them. A few hours later, I was loaded up (as was my credit card) with all the bits and pieces I would need to get things happening.
I must digress…
Once I knew what fabric I wanted and was waiting for it to arrive, I sanded, filled and sanded the hope chest in preparation of the real fun.
|It took two weeks to get to this stage.|
The bare wood required primer. So that’s what I started with. Two coats over two days followed by two more days of curing passed before I could start painting with the colours. There was still one more thing to do, though. I had to tape off the stripes. There was no planning involved; I just started taping off areas as the mood moved me. I felt that random thicknesses and spacing would be more fun than measuring it all out with precise widths. I had no idea what it would look like or how it would turn out.
|This is what the cedar chest looked like|
before the transformation.
As the days passed and the roll of painters tape slowly dwindled, the transformation took shape. It was a bit of a wearisome process with all the waiting and patience that were involved. I prefer not to have to wait and be patient, especially when I’m excited about something. And I was excited about this. I wanted it done, already. I wanted to see it finished. But paint has its own pace and will not be rushed.
At least not without consequences…
Nothing dire, or terribly dramatic, I’m afraid. I just got a little too eager after the painting was done and plopped the top onto the box to see what it looked like put together. The result was pleasing and so I left it in situ overnight. Unfortunately, the paint was still tacky and the lid stuck to the bottom and so I was compelled to do a few touch-ups. Sigh…
|My semi-successful attempt at|
In the meantime, I set about upholstering the top. The only other thing I have ever upholstered in my life is a foot stool that I made in grade nine woodworking class. It was more or less like wrapping a present and I figured that doing the top of the hope chest would be an approximate reprise of that, only on a slightly larger scale. Let’s just say that it isn’t horrible. I mean I can live with the results. (I kind of have to now, anyway.)
I left the touch-ups to dry for two days. After that I couldn’t stand it anymore and I set the upholstered top in place. There were still a couple of things left to do – put the hinges back on and attach the handle, but I was distracted by other demands that life was dishing out and was forced to leave those for a few days.
|The finished cedar chest ready for public consumption.|
So today, after digging two fence-post holes, weed-whacking, plant shopping and plant planting, I decided to finish the hope chest. Guess what?
Yep the touch-ups were still tacky and the top was stuck to the bottom again. Sigh…
One day I will re-touch-up the freshly damaged touch-ups. As long as the lid is closed no one (but us) will ever know.