How I Upcycled an old (Pirate) Chest Box

Upcycle Furniture - How I upcycled my old Chest boxWell its not really a pirates chest, the kids think it is, so I just go with the flow!   This box actually belonged to my late Uncle.  He used it for his tools and later on he used it to store coal and wood blocks for the fire. Yah he  wasn’t really into keeping things in good nick!  So you can image what kind of state it was in when I got it.  I had always admired it and thought it would look great brought back to life so here it is  ………………. What do you think ?

Upcycle Furniture - How I upcycled my old Chest box

Here’s some before pictures of the chest.  It was pretty battered and dirty.  There was some kind of green paint on the top of the chest and the bottom part was ready to fall out.  The metal pieces on it were all discoloured and to be honest I didn’t know what kind of state they were really in and wondered if I should pull them off.  There also was a lock screwed to the front, so this needed to come off.

Upcycled Chest project - pictures & tutorial

Upcycled Chest project - pictures & tutorialFirst up, I cleaned it  and let it air dry, then I got to sanding and low and behold it came up nice, very nice indeed.  I love the battered look of it and all the markings just added character.  I left on the metal pieces as I was sanding and to be honest the sanding took away a lot of the dirt and grime on these pieces.

Upcycled Chest project - pictures & tutorial

Upcycled Chest project - pictures & tutorialI had wanted to try out General Finishes Gel Stain and I had bought the Java stain but it was too dark for this chest so I ended up using Ronseal varnish in Medium Oak, it’s a water based varnish and I applied with it with a brush leaving 24 hours between each coat.  I used a total of 3 coats and it just soaked right in.  You can see how it was looking here with the stain going on …..

Upcycled Chest project - pictures & tutorial

VarnishI placed the handles, on either side, in a jar of Coke, yes Cola Cola for a couple of days to see if it would help bring up the brass.  I also used brasso on the metal pieces and scrubbed hard.  I kinda like how they came up in the end.

The inside wasn’t too bad, I gave it a sand and a varnish too.  The bottom part had to come out, it was too bad to save so my Dad made me the bottom part, yay for Dads! and he also put on some wheels.  It’s such a heavy box the wheels were needed.

It’s now taking pride of place in my son’s room much to his delight as he loves his pirates! It’s kinda tribute to my Uncle and a nice memory to keep.  So what do you think ?

Upcycle Furniture - How I upcycled my old Chest box

Till next time ..!

Maura x

Upcycle Furniture - How I upcycled my old Chest box

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17 thoughts on “How I Upcycled an old (Pirate) Chest Box

  1. Quinn says:

    I LOVE it! I’m so so glad you didn’t take off the metal pieces, I think they’re beautiful! I wish I had an uncle with an unloved coal box as lovely as this one!

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