I Ruined It! {and Then Made It Beautiful}

5 Materials
4 Hours

The creative process is one that doesn’t always go as planned. That was the case with this cedar chest makeover. I thought at one point I had ruined it, but I kept going, changed the direction and really love how it came out.

I wanted to share the thought process behind this makeover, because I get emails all the time saying “I’m not very good at this…”, “I think this one is a fail…”, etc. Trust me you are not alone, everyone who does anything faces frustrations from time to time. Sometimes if you just push through, it may come out even BETTER than expected.

First: Paint your base coat

I had an older chest painted in Basil green milk paint and decided it needed updating. So I painted with 2 coats of Dixie Belle's In the Navy to completely cover the old color. 

Next: I applied Dixie Belle Mud (or spackle could work also) over the stencil to get the raised stencil look. I applied it with a plastic spatula and peeled the stencil off. Then let it dry. 

Take note- the thicker the application, the longer it will take to dry.

Now paint the base coat again

As I painted I began losing some confidence; what had I just done?! I just kept going with  . My creative process was seriously being tested.

I distressed it and then...

I hate it! It looked spotty, more like a mistake than intentional. I painted right back over it.

I then decided to wax and top coat

To add interest, I applied Dixie Belle (water based) black wax with a chip brush. Then used Satin Top Coat for the soft sheen and seal to protect the raised stencil effect.  

I really do like the end result now!! Lesson here is trust the creative process as you may be pleasantly surprised!

Follow the failure turned fabulous here

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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2 of 8 comments
  • Val
    on Aug 29, 2019

    I'm thankful to you for sharing this, the outcome was worth it. You did a lovely job.

  • Donna Ohanian
    on Aug 30, 2019

    Here they are in “ smeared mess” status after using Valspar Crackle paint. Like you... very glad to have them looking good now.

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