Thursday, May 15, 2014

Should we restore or plant this pine chest?

Each year we demonstrate chair caning, rush work and seat weaving at a street market (Rastrillo) organised to raise funds for charity. Last year we bought an old pine chest for €20. It is zinc lined and fairly intact apart from a piece of wood missing from one of the base rests which can be easily repaired.

It has old woodworm and has been painted white in the past although some of this is now wearing off. The pine is of good quality and I know that if it is stripped, waxed and polished it will make a wonderfully rich, handy little seat with storage for a sheltered spot on the terrace.

Alternatively, I was thinking of leaving it pretty much as is apart from drilling a few holes in the bottom and planting up with a mixture of trailing plants and accessories with the lid propped open - a sort of shabby chic garden planter. I realise that even with the zinc liner, the pine on the base will only last a few years.

I don't particularly want to use and have to dispose of harsh chemical strippers and it would possibly damage the surface if sanded down to remove the paint. I wonder if there is a green paint stripper?

The chest below was my Grandad's tool box and covered in layers of paint and varnish. I restored it many years ago and it has made a characterful coffee table for the lounge. Hmm...what to do?

Over to you....seriously looking for advice and guidance on this one. Maybe you have other ideas...What would you do?


  1. Anonymous1:45 pm

    Whilst I can see the attraction of using the chest as a planter, I think its simplicity would lend itself beautifully to a restoration for the terrace. A lot of work I know but your Grandfathers tool chest looks amazing as a result of your hard work. How wonderful to have a constant reminder that is so stunning and useful!

    I don't know of a green paint stripper, alas, but I do know of a natural wood treatment, which is excellent - Osmo. Let us know what you decide/ the finished artical :-)

  2. Thanks - It looks like the overwhelming response (Facebook and Twitter) is for restoration, so now to source and eco paint stripper.

  3. Stateside, Citristrip is a non-caustic paint stripper. Perhaps there´s something similar over here? We´ve been using a heat gun on the doors.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks Coco, I'll try and look out for that one.


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