Somehow, when I moved into my new place, my bedroom became a graveyard for cast off and hand-me-down furniture. A case in point. Most of the furniture in there has really seen better days, and as soon as I have the time I will get it all repainted and updated.
One of the items that I have struggled to part with is this: a rather sad looking, beat-up old blanket box. When I left uni I ended up living with my brother and a friend in a rather tumbledown basement flat – what it lacked in mod cons it completely made up for in warmth, ambience and good company. When we left there, I took this old blanket box with me. That was 2004, and I’ve lugged it from home to home, storage, to two more homes, and finally to my new apartment. I think after 9 years of me procrastinating about it, I think the old blanket box has definitely earned some attention!
When I moved in, my bedroom was painted red and cream, and seeing as they are the colour of the curtains I already had, it’s stayed that way. The curtains are patterned in a faux velvet damask, which I thought would make a good stencilling motif for this project.
I bought some sheets of stencilling acetate (£3 for 2 A4 sheets) and traced a few of the details from the curtains, and cut my stencils. I used a leftover piece of underlay as a cutting mat (which is also very useful for pinning threads to when weaving!) Cutting the stencils was much easier than I expected, and I was also left with the relief patterns, which I’m sure I will find a use for at some point.
I sanded the box down and gave it a good scrub; then I varnished it with rosewood-colour quick dry varnish. Then it was time to start stencilling! The paint looks quite pink in the pics – it is exactly the same shade that’s on the bedroom walls (in fact it’s the left-over emulsion) but it looks pink here. The pics below help to illustrate the joys of furniture restoration when you live in a shoebox and the only outdoor space you’ve got is a metre wide and 2 metres long. And people wonder why there’s paint on all of my carpets!
There was a fair amount of to-ing and fro-ing with this – each stencilled image needed 3 to 4 coats, so I would say the whole paint job took 2 full days. I also embellished the detail on the front with a little bit of acrylic paint. Finally I varnished the whole lot with some clear quick-dry varnish.
Et voila! The battered old blanket box has a new lease of life! I’m really happy with how it turned out.