Vintage Silverware Chest


Today, I am sharing DIY that I did a couple of weeks ago on a vintage wooden silverware chest that belonged to my husband’s parents. My mother-in-law originally purchased the box more than 60 years ago with a stunning silverware set that our family still use to this day. Over the years the the silverware became housed in the oak hutch in their dining room and the chest made it’s way into the garage. A couple of months ago the garage was finally emptied for a massive weekend summer garage sale and the chest was unearthed, everyone was happy to part with it except me……. The everyone included my husband, who rolled his eyes at me, when I said I wanted the chest and that I would “fix it up” and “restore it”. I have a lot of projects that I am going to “restore” and I am using that word rather loosely and vaguely – that can mean anything from a complete sanding, refinishing and oiling or a light sand, paint, distressed finish and waxing for a piece……..and I have a lot of pieces!! Anyway this “piece” was a light sand, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, sand to distress and then a clear wax coat.

I use Annie Sloan Pure White on any project that I want white, I know there are other shades and “cream and antique” are nice but there are just not for me. Now I am no expert at painting furniture but I am reasonably talented at ‘googling’ and Dini from Dini & Co where I purchase my paint very patiently answers all my questions. Dini actually usually runs classes twice a month where you can learn all about painting with Annie Sloan. I love the clear wax finish, I have read a few reviews where some of have struggled with the application and buffing but with Dini’s guidance I haven’t any had problems at all.



The chest was pretty scuffed up and the stained finished was fading and had rubbed off in many areas, it had also been through temperature variations from the freezing cold of winter and humidity of summer for close to 50 years in garage so the original finish  was also very powdery to the touch even once the coat of dust from years of sitting had been cleaned away.  I removed all of the inside lining which was beyond restoring. There are tongue and groove joints at the back where the top attached to the base of the chest, the glue that was in them had all perished so when I opened the chest they completely came away in 2 separate pieces, I then sanded the inside of the chest to remove the old glue that was left behind after removing the lining until smooth. I applied one coat of Annie Sloan to the inside of the chest, after drying I fitted the top and the base of the chest back together (I applied a little glue into the joints for a firm hold and let it dry overnight) the next morning I lightly sanded the inside of the chest and gave it a second coat of paint. When completely dry about 3 hours later I did the first coat on the outside of the chest. I applied a second coat the following morning and when dry I very lightly sanded the entire chest inside and out, next I distressed some the corners and edges before wiping down and then applying a coat of clear wax and buffing to a lovely sheen. The chest is actually for my daughter to keep all her treasures in and will be placed on the top of the dresser in her bedroom. It seems that my husband and I are raising a ‘girly girl’ that has a penchant for bangles and pretty necklaces for when she is a ‘grown up’.



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