I hope you're well and enjoying October. After a record dry spell over late summer, Seattle is once again rainy as of this week. Rainy, gloomy, dark and depressing -- blah! We've been lucky to get a few rays of sunlight peeking through the clouds, during which I rushed and took TONS of photos of new items for my shop. (More on that soon!)
Before the weather turned to wet, I took advantage of a nice weekend to work on a project I've had on my to-do list for ages: revamping my grandfather's trunk.
This wicker trunk used to belong to my grandfather, and according to my mom's recollections, it was given to him for his military service in the late 1940's in France. I remember this trunk well, it lived in our pantry room when we were kids. It was a yucky brown and had some black numbers and letters printed on it (my mom thinks it was for identification purposes in the military).
When Ben was born, my mom designed his nursery (see above, and more here) and made this trunk part of the toy storage. She cleaned it up by painting it white, and made a soft blue lining for it.
We took the trunk with us when we moved to Seattle a few years ago, and it has since lived in our entry staircase where it has housed grocery bags and outdoor toys.
How's that for a back story?
I've been wanting to revamp this trunk since we moved. I knew I wanted to make it much darker and veer far away from the shabby chic look. I also wanted to include something symbolic that would tie it to my grandfather somehow.
First step: I bought a couple of cans of a dark grey spray paint (with a tinge of green) and got to work outside on a sunny day. The name of the paint is Cobalt in glossy by Valspar, great quality!
Though I should make a disclaimer here: I hate spray paint. It is terrible for the environment and stinks. Can you tell from my wrinkly nose how much I hate the smell of it? Yuck! But, I don't know how the heck to paint wicker other than spraying it. It took only a couple of coats to get into all the nooks and crannies, and the trunk was fresh and new!
Second step: I decided to stencil my grandfather's birth year (1929) and his initials (JPL) on the trunk. It would be a little cryptic for anyone else, but for our family, it would hold meaning when we saw it.
For this part of the revamp, I picked a modern font (Candara) and printed each letter and number as large as it would go on a 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of cardstock. I then cut out the black to create a stencil. I taped all the letters / numbers together and surrounded the large stencil with scrap paper to keep the paint off the trunk.
Back outside, I used an old can of white spray paint to stencil the letters on the trunk. It was a little tricky to center the letters on the sides of the trunk, I couldn't quite see what I was doing, but it turned out okay.
At first, I was really bummed out about the fuzzy edges of the stenciled letters -- though that is the inevitable result of painting wicker since there are no flat edges. But then Kevin told me that military crates are usually spray painted so this tied in to the symbolism. Okay then.
I am so much happier with this trunk now. I think it makes a much bolder statement as you come up the stairs into our apartment! I can't believe it took me so long to get rolling with this project. It ended up taking just a couple of hours total (with some extra time in between coats to let the paint dry). Super easy!
What do you think of this little revamp project? How do you feel about using spray paint? I sure love a satisfying make-over project. How about you?