An old wooden chest make-over


What a find! The moment we saw each other, we both knew we had a great future together! “He” was a bit of a fixer-upper, but as it usually goes, it worked out at the end. Meet my latest project – the wooden chest.


He wasn’t much to look at. Rectangular, misunderstood (why such a masculine piece was painted white…), chunky. Yet with substance, character and a story to tell. A great piece to work with, a true find. It was painted quite roughly as you can see, the main purpose for the job probably being its preservation. Wooden chest3

As well as being “a bit of a fixer-upper”, the item also proved to be a bit of an introvert. It was very difficult to get to its inside. The metal rim that hemmed the lid doubled as a finger guillotine.  A big “no-no” in my mummy book.


Very sturdy and built to last, I knew there was something beautiful hidden under all those layers. With the help of my sander, it was discovered that under the white gown, there was a military uniform – dark grey. Probably more fitting to this piece, however under disguise hid beautiful weathered distraught wood. Sanding also revealed some other details, like the screws in the sides.

It was love.

My sander could not handle the two layers, so I got a friend (thank you, friend!) to help with a more heavy duty sander.

Wooden chest2

I loved the wood grain we discovered. It had to be preserved as genuinely as possible, so I used clear matte varnish. In the photo it looks still fresh, but once it dried, it looked a little more weathered, a little more worn.

The end result is just perfect. I love what I got to discover.

This piece is special for another, sentimental reason. It was built by a very special person – person no longer alive, but a person leaving a legacy. Ian Ross, thank you, for this and much more.

Wooden chest1

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Before and After – Pink Vanity Table

Blog thumbnail - DIY Pink desk

This is great! I am doing what I love doing, and others pay me for it. Who would not love that?

This is yet another DIY that I have been commissioned to do! Why not?!

My lovely sister-in-law mentioned that she wanted to do something with her girls (my nieces) bedroom. She mentioned she had some old furniture there already and an old bed and lots of pink carpets and curtains.  We talked about a few ideas, and decided to start with the girly vanity table.


The piece itself was a beautiful quality vanity table. It was covered with stickers, but that came off quite easily with some sanding.


Sanding the table and then a coat of undercoat lifted it up and definitely covered some imperfections and covered well its real age.


Initially, I picked a lighter pink, but after some deliberation, we settled on the hot pink, which I made by mixing some of the colours I’ve already had.


Some hand-made tulle flowers have done a good job braking up the solid colour beautifully.


I did have one problem with painting the mirror. Even though I’ve used duct-tape, some paint has leaked under the frame and looked very messy. I had to improvise a little and using a glue gun, stick a ribbon all along the inner edge of the frame. Ended up looking intentional and beautiful!


Very girly!


Zara Home had a large selection of handles, and these ones stole my aspiring designer heart!


Little touches make a big difference.


Here is my little one playing with her cousin’s vanity table.


If you liked this post, and like to see other DIY ideas and do-overs, check out my other posts:

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DIY – Coffee table

Blog thumbnail - DIY Coffee table3

Since we got married, which was not that long ago, only seven (blissful) years, we’ve bought four coffee tables. Three of them were from Ikea, and one from Elinas, a DIY center. Not all were the cheapest version available, so an average of two years per coffee table seems a little too short. Fair enough, I’ve got two baboons, who eat with their feet as much as with their hands and my daughter who is a toddler – what do you expect? The tables face a fair amount of “wear and tear”. First thing that usually “went” were the edge strips that cover plywood. With Ikea coffee tables, it was also the surfaces, that first changed colour, then got scratched, then swell up. One of the Ikea tables eventually broke into two halves – yes, that happens!Coffee table

This is my recent DIY Coffee Table – I have great hopes for it! Finally, I gathered enough courage not to buy a coffee table from Ikea. Sure enough, on one of the local “Buy, Sell, Swap” sites, I found this little table for sale. From the photos sent to me, I could tell that top was laminated plywood, which I hate oh-so-very-much, but the base and the legs looked like decent type of solid wood. So I bought it, looking forward to some creative D-I-Wifing.


It was clear that the top panel had to be replaced with something more durable and eye pleasing. Removing it was not hard, it was attached with screws from the bottom, no glue. I am pretty sure it was handmade by someone. The legs are very similar to the wood used for veranda roofs in Cyprus – nice sturdy logs!


At a DIY centre, to my utmost delight, they sold wooden panels that were just perfect size for the base – I did not even have to use my saw! Quick sanding, couple coats of white primer (it’s not too shiny) and it was done!

A table that responds to all our needs – and hopefully will withstand corrosion that comes with the territory!


Make it and love it!

If you liked this post, perhaps you will also like these:

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DIY – Painted picture frame

A while ago I drove past a curtain shop closing down sale, and in the window display they had these frames being sold off for as little as 2 euro! They weren’t antique, or possessed some other hidden value; they weren’t even solid wood (I think its mixture of plaster and wood).

Big photo frame2

For me though, as a D-I-Wife, anything that can be painted (and at a reduced cost), is a welcome find. I love how a coat of paint can change the object’s character to fit your home perfectly.

Big photo frame1

The old frame was too tacky and too outdated, but full of potential.

Big photo frame

Two coats of “greeny” paint (I always have white paint for wood, and change tints simply by adding some acrylic paint. Trick is to mix enough for both layers.)


I did have to take the frame to a specialist and purchase glass and mounting board, which cost me 12 euro, but even when all the costs were added, I think some 15 euro is an excellent price for a picture this size and hours of enjoyment. 🙂

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