As you may know if you’ve read my About page, I’m a jazz singer (karenlake.co.uk) and at gigs I sell our cds. For a while I’ve wanted somewhere to display them properly so they can be seen throughout the gig so have been on the lookout for something portable I could upcycle.
After a particularly useful rummage down Mum & Dad’s cellar, I was ready to start work on an old pine stool I remember from childhood and an old wooden office invoice tray from Mum’s old office.
I started by cleaning them up & painted them all with a couple of coats of Annie Sloan’s Graphite chalk paint, which is a lovely dark slate grey. Her paint’s amazing as you don’t need to sand the items to key them. I like to do a thorough job but everyone likes a shortcut!
I designed some appropriate wording for the box on the free design software, Gimp, working with a font called Skinny Chick. I printed it to the actual size then using white carbon paper underneath, traced the lettering onto the sides of the box. These were then filled in with the fantastic Posca pens in a blue, then green colour. It has to be said it’s a bit tricky drawing onto matt paint with them. It tends to clog the nib a little so it’s best to accept this annoying fact, and pretty often keep giving the pen a shake and gently drawing/wiping the sides & tip of the nib on a bit of scrap paper. This keeps the flow a bit smoother & more evenly fluid. Otherwise the air will be blue!! Yep, speaking from experience. Another good tip is to let the pen ink (it’s more like a paint tbh) dry fully in between coats, and especially before waxing , or you’ll find it’s very easy to smudge/wipe the design off! I’ve done this before on another cupboard and wasn’t at all happy…
Last but not least, I finished with a few coats of Annie Sloan’s antique wax on the stool & box. This gave it a gorgeous understated dark sheen. When I first wax over a design in Posca pen, I’ve found it’s useful to dab it on rather than wiping. Dab it then leave it to dry, you should then be able to wax over it all as normal and it should stay in place ok – still be careful around the design though just in case!
I feel very happy with the result and have sold quite a lot of cds from it since so it obviously does the job!