Monday Makeover… Chinese Camphor Chest

Painted wooden chest

I mentioned that we had been given an old Chinese camphor chest last week and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

awful paint job

As much as I would have loved to strip it back to wood and stain it a dark red or black the thoughts of getting into all those little nooks and crannies was enough to make me break out in a sweat!

Painted chinese chest
Someone else painted this!

Instead I opted for painting it with an acrylic satin black. It took 2 good coats to make sure I got all those little specks of white but it wasn’t as tricky as I expected.

I then gave the inside a coat of a lovely dark purple I mixed with a touch of red – I was inspired by the Pantone colour of 2015, Marsala – I was originally thinking red, but I’m happy with how the ‘marsala’  turned out. You can even still smell the camphor though it.

Usine marsala paint

It was a million times better than it started off, but there was still something lacking…

Then it smacked me in the face. It needed glamour. It needed panache. It needed… GOLD!

I dry brushed the tiniest amount of gold paint onto the top centre panel and it made all the difference. Now you can see the beautiful carving and it’s got a lot more of an oriental feel to it. It has gone from a painted disaster to something quite stunning!

Chinese camphor chest

I know that there are plenty of people who will be shouting at me for painting this piece and I totally agree that it was probably better before it was touched but after the white gloss it came with I had little option!

Some of you might have noticed little white flakes around the inside rim? Well apparently even when acrylic paint is touch dry it isn’t actually dry, dry! The lid had fused to the base and Mark had to force it open! I was loosing light fast, so decided to go ahead and take the shots before it was completely dark and I had to wait another few days before I was home in daylight! I will, obviously, touch it up before it goes on sale!

Hmmm. Does it need more gold?

Nikki x

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