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Have you ever had a project that started out small and wound up snowballing? All I wanted to do was organize my wrapping station. Simple, right?
I have a little wrapping paper cart in an alcove on our upstairs landing. I had always wanted one of these carts and was very excited when I bought it several years ago.
But I save every little ribbon, gift bag, and scrap of wrapping paper. So over time, the wrapping cart got jam packed. Things were getting lost or crushed in the drawers.
So I decided to organize it. And then I figured that while I was at it, I might as well do something about that color. I must have liked the reddish-brown color when I ordered it, but now I can’t remember why. The color didn’t work with the creams and golds of my home office just across the hall.
Painting the Cart
That dark color would be hard to cover unless I used chalk paint. Chalk paint requires very little prep work – even priming isn’t usually necessary.
For more on my chalk painting experiences, including the best application tool I have found, see this post.
I used a buttery cream color called “Bavarian” by folkArt. It still took about three coats to cover the cart.
And it looked nice. I should have stopped there but instead I discovered “Metallic Gold” chalk paint, also by folkArt. A metallic chalk paint? I was very intrigued and had to give it a try.
Chalk paint is wonderful for creating distressed finishes. So I painted over the Bavarian on the drawer fronts with the Metallic Gold and then distressed them with steel wool. Then I added a few brush strokes of the Bavarian and distressed the drawer fronts again. Finally I added a few brush strokes of the Metallic Gold and distressed them one last time.
I finished off with a coat of the folkArt Clear Wax following the instructions on the label. Of course, with drying time, all of this took several days. And all for a wrapping paper cart.
And this is what I got.
You might have noticed the hardware that I added to the drawers. When I finally finished the painting, the drawers looked too modern for the finish I had created. So I needed a little more old world charm. And I do love the fleur de lis knobs that I found for $2 each at a salvage shop.
I also picked up a handle for the large bottom drawer for $2.
My long-suffering husband, Chris, installed the hardware for me.
It did turn out to be a fun and girly look for the wrapping paper cart.
But I wasn’t done.
I found a cute wire basket at a craft store and spray painted it with Rust Oleum “Gold Rush Metallic.”
Attached to the side of the cart, it is attractive – and perfect for holding gift bags.
A Fabric Liner
Then when I put everything back together after painting, the little compartments in the top tray still needed something. I had come this far, so why not? I lined them with a whimsical calico fabric.
But I needed to add one last thing.
A Wall Cubby
To add more storage to my wrapping station, I found a small Pottery Barn wall cubby at a thrift store.
I painted it with the same paint treatment as the cart drawers and covered the corkboard with a fleur de lis burlap.
Now it holds tissue paper, gift tags, and lengths of ribbon – anything small that might get lost in the cart.
For the time I invested, I should have chosen a furniture piece worthy of the effort. For this modern piece with such simple lines, I should have stayed with my original plan, which was to paint the cart and the wall cubby with the Bavarian and add the basket. Period. Instead I was led astray – dazzled by shiny things: The Metallic Gold chalk paint.
At least this wrapping station is unique – and more organized. And now it’s finally time for me to step away from this project.
Not that this experience will stop me from trying the Metallic Gold on more worthy pieces.
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