Mini Makeover: The Pirate Chest

I’m tempted here to poo poo the mere concept of ‘mini’ and claim (exhaustedly) that this was indeed a maxi makeover though I realise, as nothing more was required than sanding, that wouldn’t wash.

That all said, The Pirate Chest Project is one that I rather wished I hadn’t started. Alas, as soon as the belt sander zoomed its trajectory across its lid there was no real way of going back. I was committed. Either to finish… or…do the majority of the hard prep work anyway and then repaint. Something I couldn’t quite bear the thought of.
So I persevered…and when I was completely fed up… I made do.

The chest was originally bought from EBay and was covered in a black paint which smelt heavily tarry, hence its nickname. It was purchased as a double-functioning coffee table for the snug.. serving as both a flat surface for Lego and puzzle play and as additional toy storage. However its black hulk felt a little solid and energy sapping so at some (deluded) point I figured it would look better taken back to wood.

I began by coating it with Home Strip Paint Remover…a fantastic product which hungrily chomped away at the paint on our banisters many months ago….another epic paint removal project. A godsend then it proved ineffective here and resulted only in an unwanted crackle-glazing effect.

So off to B&Q I went to buy armfuls of sanding belts and sheets to fit our trio of paint-eating gadgets…the belt sander, the orbital and the triangular Mouse. The belt sander was my first tool of choice but the line it cut across the lid, removing small amounts of paint as it did so whilst simultaneously machine-gunning my legs with crispy flecks of the crackle-glazed paint, indicated that this job would take probably years. A sharp contrast to the school desk which it licked clean in what felt gloriously like progress-filled seconds (more desks still to do…..).


So I followed with a cocktail of the three instruments of paint torture before adding a fourth….a sanding block and elbow grease as I ran out of sheets for the orbital, the Mouse and, in a final frustrating flourish a sanding belt on the Mama-Of-All-Sanders got stuck and remains jammed (and forgotten) in the corner of the shed. I’ve not yet remembered to ask for S’s help to free the sheet and am 100% sure, being well versed in the Law of Sod, that I will only remember it again the next time I have a sanding project on the go which I’ll be forced, then, to abort.

About then I ran out of both energy and will ….and decided resignedly that this was as sanded as the chest was ever going to be. I coated it with some of the leftover Osmo Oil I’d used on the fence then rubbed it down with wire wool and brought it inside. The only job left now is to buy some upholstery nails and fasten in the calico lining my mum kindly made to spruce up its interior so that it can serve its true purpose more fully. A dressing up chest me-thinks. In which to store Fireman Sam’s helmet, a superhero cape and more than likely, and much against S’s preferences, a hooped pink satin princess dress to replicate the one O insists upon wearing the instant he arrives at nursery….oft teamed with the ultimate princess accessory of choice… a sword.



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