I brought home a few wooden totes … tool caddies … garden trugs … berry baskets … I don’t know, what do you call these things?
Regardless of what you call them, I purchased three of these while out thrifting and my picker Sue found the 4th for me (the lime green one).
Last weekend I gave all four of them a much needed makeover.
I’ll start with the smallest one.
The previous owner had given it a sanded down, distressed sort of look. Either that, or they had sanded it in preparation for painting, but never got around to the painting part. I’m not sure which.
But it was quick work for me to add a couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, sand just the edges to distress …
and then add a transfer from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels.
I finished it off with a coat of clear wax. It was a super simple makeover.
Next up is the one that Sue found.
That was quite the bright lime green, and it was filthy dirty. If it weren’t for those factors, it wouldn’t have been bad to try and save that original chippy paint on this one.
But no, it wasn’t really salvageable. So I decided to honor the original green … just tone it down a bit. I mixed up a custom blend of Homestead House milk paint in Upper Canada Green and Sweet Pickins milk paint in Patina. The resulting color is that sort of jadeite, vintage, 50’s kitchen, everyday green.
I added a bit of an old prima transfer from my pile of scraps.
When painting over an existing color (especially one as bright as that lime green), always keep in mind that it is going to show when you distress the edges.
This one is also finished with clear wax.
Next up is the bare wood version.
Since this was bare wood, I decided to give that DIY Dark & Decrepit a try. I wasn’t going to leave the stained, dark wood as the final look, I just wanted to create a base that would show under the paint when I distressed the edges.
In typical quandie fashion, I totally forgot to take pictures along the way to illustrate my process. Jeesh, you’d think I’d be better about that by now. But I get focused on a project and then I just keep going. Since I don’t have photos, I’m not going to go into detail on using this product. I’ll have to do that another time. But suffice to say, it worked quite well for my purposes here (although it would have been better had I wet distressed those edges rather than sanding).
Once the Dark & Decrepit was dry, I mixed up Sweet Pickins milk paint in Patina and added three coats. Once that was dry I sanded it with 220 grit to smooth out the surface, removed the dust with a microfiber cloth and then added some of the Whimsical Wonderland transfer from Dixie Belle.
I wrapped the transfer all the way around the tote.
I have to admit, this look is a bit outside of my wheelhouse. This transfer has some very bright colors. I will say that putting it over the Patina did tone it down a tad, and so did sanding over it lightly with 220 grit paper after it was applied.
I also like the worn aspect that sanding over the transfer gave me.
So, although the bright colors aren’t quite my style, I still think this turned out nicely and will appeal to someone who likes a more colorful look.
By the way, I topcoated this one with Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.
I saved my favorite of the four for last.
I often see this style of wood tote referred to as a berry basket.
This one is a bit rustic. And it needed a better color, for sure. So I pulled out one of my favorite greens, In a Pickle from Sweet Pickins.
Using milk paint on this piece resulted in some awesome chippy-ness.
I couldn’t help staging it up with those fabulous dishes I picked up while thrifting last week, and of course some strawberries.
I already had one of those green jars. I use it as a photo prop all the time. So when I saw another one while thrifting last week I had to snag it.
Initially I was thinking I’d sell it on, but now I think I might have to keep it for further photo staging. Is two better than one? What do you think?
FYI locals, I brought all four of these in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week along with a bunch of other goodies. So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I recommend a shopping excursion to Stillwater.
So, which one is your favorite?
The smallest one?
The one Sue found for me?
The brightly colored one?
Or, like me, is the chippy green one your favorite?
Leave a comment and let me know.