After You Sand The Crap Outta Something, Paint It

The last time you and I talked, I’d taken out my I Can’t Write The Words! frustration on my mother’s silver chest by taking an orbital sander to it. And I was left with this:

Juli Page Morgan, bestselling author of Romances that Rock

Thank you all for your fantastic advice, both here and on Facebook, on ways to finish the chest! I clicked on all the links, looked at all the photos, and came up with a plan. I loved the look of the more ornate designs, but I know my limitations. Me trying to do ornate would end up looking like a roomful of drunken monkeys turned loose with a box of crayons. So I went with simplistic, which is in the range of my doing stuff abilities. And, hey – if I hated the result I could always sand it down and start over, right?

Over the past couple of years I’ve painted the walls in my kitchen, hallway and living room, and I was left with a half-dozen or so little jars of paint samples. I dragged those out, gave them a once-over, and decided to go with one called Mountain Pass. (And one of these days I’d like to have a job naming paint colors. I could use it to exorcise the purple prose that creeps into my manuscripts as I write the first drafts of my books.) I never used this color on any of my walls, but I swear it looks just like the paint that ended up in my hallway!

One coat of paint gave me the look I wanted. Since the chest is rather old, I didn’t want the end result to look spanking new, so the kind of streaky finish I ended up with was fine. Then I went to The Graphics Fairy and found a graphic of some fancy silverware. I downloaded it, used the Paint program on my computer to reverse it, and used the directions I found at the Unexpected Elegance blog to print the graphic onto wax paper and then transfer it to the top of the chest.

Juli Page Morgan, bestselling author of Romances that Rock

Easy-peasy! I have a feeling I’m going to be putting graphics on anything that’ll stand still from here on out. Next time I’ll be sure to center the design, though. 😉

Once the graphic was on, I went to work with a damp sponge and some black paint around the edges of the chest, and followed that up with some sandpaper while the paint was still wet. This was a little tricky, because my niece warned me that wax-transferred graphics will smudge if they’re not sealed, and I didn’t want to seal anything before I did the distressing stuff. So I had to be careful not to get dust on the graphic, and I had to stop myself several times from putting my hand smack on top of it as I dabbed paint and sanded.

Juli Page Morgan, bestselling author of Romances that Rock

But once I had it looking the way I wanted, I sprayed on a couple of coats of matte sealer (I used Krylon, if you’re interested; that’s what they had on hand at my local Lowe’s.) and it was done!

Not bad for my first foray, and darn good for someone who doesn’t have a crafty bone in her body. Once I find a way to steam clean the interior I can put my Oneida flatware in it instead of storing it in a plastic bin under my kitchen island.

Juli Page Morgan, bestselling author of Romances that Rock

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, it’s full steam ahead with the writing. I’m relieved to note that my muse apparently got jealous watching me expend energy on anything else, and has decided to return to the world of Rhett and Rhys. Maybe this book will get finished after all!

Juli Page Morgan, bestselling author of Romances that Rock

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