Once upon a time, during last year’s guest room makeover for the One Room Challenge, I put an existing rattan chest under the window to serve as a makeshift window seat. Fast forward one year later, and one of our dogs made this his spot to keep an eye on the neighbors.
Update 3/28: View the tutorial for creating the window seat cushion here.
Unfortunately, he missed a few times and his claws ripped some of the rattan off and it didn’t look so hot. I started searching for a new small chest to use as a new window seat.
After looking online, I found the perfect small cedar chest on Everything But the House, an online estate sale service. After bidding, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best … and won! In looking at the pictures online, it did show a little damage, but since I planned to paint it, this wasn’t a big deal. Ha. Things are never that simple. Once I picked up the chest, I realized that the varnish was very bumpy and the piece looked way worse in person than it did online. But since it was now mine, I needed to make it work.
With a little elbow grease, and a lot of chalk paint, this pretty chest now sits under the window. It’s also a comfy spot for the dogs to hangout when I work from home. Gotta make sure we aren’t under attack by the UPS man, after all.
- Stripper (I used CitstriStrip)
- Mineral spirits
- Plastic scraping tool (I used metal – don’t do this)
- Sanding block/Sand paper
- Chalk paint of your choice (I used Annie Sloan French Linen as the base and Valspar Kid Gloves for dry brushing)
- Wax or poly (I used Valspar Clear Wax)
- Appropriate paint brushes
First, I set to stripping the existing varnish. Following the instructions on the bottle, I used CitriStrip. Warning – this was gross and took a lot of effort. The existing finish was very gummy (which is also why you should use a plastic scraping tool and not a metal one). Since I was painting, I didn’t worry about perfection but got as much off as I could to ensure a smooth surface.
After stripping, I wiped it down several times with mineral spirits to get rid of the gumminess (is that a word?). Then I lightly sanded over the whole piece to remove any last bits of varnish.
I ended up painting three coats of French Linen chalk paint to hide the various tones in the wood. Don’t get me wrong – I love natural cedar. But this piece was pretty scratched up so paint seemed like the best option.
From there, I dry-brushed some of the white paint onto the piece until it was looking the way I wanted.
I did three coats of wax (with the dogs using this as their perch, I wanted to make sure another claw situation didn’t happen).
Now, at this point, you can call it done, but I wanted to add a cushion on top to make it more of a window seat. Since this post is getting a little on the long side, I’ll share how I made the cushion on the cheap on Tuesday. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with these cute pups enjoying the afternoon sun on their new window seat. Oh, and the window seat doubles as storage for much of my seasonal decor. Ribbons, bowl filler, door hangers and more!
Shard on Metamorphosis Monday.