April 19, 2015 by Terry
I was so excited when I was asked if I could do something with this antique blanket box. It was covered completely with a crushed green velvet material that had faded and seen better days.
I could hardly wait to strip it and see what it was like under all that fabric … as I ripped into it I realized that the green velvet was not the only fabric on this piece! Turns out there were 4 layers of material that had been covering this poor little box. This is what they looked like…
Left to right: the original in a pretty robin’s egg blue embroidered silky material, then came a fleshy colored nylon of some sort (yuck), then a plain green followed by the crushed green velvet with odd looking trim.
I really quite like the original fabric and think it was probably rather pretty in it’s day all dressed up in this pretty print.
So what does this box look like now?
After I removed the lid and all the material, I scrubbed the wood with steel wool and a wire brush to remove any grime that may have soaked into it over the years. I guesstimate this box is at least from the early 1900’s as the top cushion is made of horsehair and straw. I left the upholstery nails in it for some visual interest and a little of the wool from the padding it was wrapped in is still stuck around some of the nail heads. (sort of an Restoration Hardware feel…)
After a good cleaning I applied a very generous coat of hemp oil and the wood sprung back to life… Absolutely beautiful and I just love the look of the tongue and groove joints!
I did not have real grain sack to upholster the top with so I created my own out of bleached drop cloth and MMS Milk paint. I upholstered the top and then used frog tape to tape off some stripes. I mixed up some Artissimo Milk paint to a rather runny consistency and applied it with a brush to the fabric. I removed the tape right away to reveal lovely grain sack stripes. I then used a stencil and dry brushed lightly over the stencil to get the “No. 1”
This little box looks so chic now… no more tacky fabric covering that gorgeous wood! I reattached the top with the old hinges and the hemp oil has absorbed completely. I thought I may have to wipe off the excess but there wasn’t any, it had very thirsty wood indeed!
Yet ANOTHER piece I have fallen in love with that isn’t mine! :)
I know it’s owner will love it for a long time :)
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