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Antique Map Chest




A treasured piece of furniture in our home is a chest of drawers that belonged to my dear father-in-law. This sweet chest made a long road trip years ago with hubby and I to our home in Texas from dear father-in-law's home in Ontario, Canada.

We have the perfect place for it in our dining room and it is a convenient and wonderful place to store all of my table linens.  It's very dark and layered in decades of aged varnish.  After a few years of being in our home, I painted gold stripes on the drawers.

Here's the before:

Recently, I was ready for a change but didn't want to totally refinish it or change the dark exterior.  
When I ran across these George Stanley map design paper beverage napkins at Home Goods, I knew they'd be perfect to give the chest a new look!

Supplies used:
~~ Beverage napkins
~~ 2" disposable bristle brush
~~ Dark paint (custom mix)
~~ Light paint (custom mix)


The napkins were 3-ply with the top design layer and two solid layers.  I separated the design layer from the other 2 layers for each napkin.  Only the design layer was used.

Then I painted over the gold stripes with dark paint to match (as closely as I could) the dark color of the chest.



Using Mod Podge thinned with a little water, I brushed the Mod Podge on the drawer front and applied the napkins.  This was tricky and on my first attempts, the napkins tore.  But, after using a piece of plastic wrap, it worked great.  I placed the plastic wrap over the napkin while the glue was still wet, and gently rubbed across the plastic wrap with my fingers and miraculously, the napkins didn't tear! 


At this point I was so hopeful this project may actually go as planned!  Silly me!  (Experienced decoupagers will know exactly where I went wrong.)

As the napkins dried, the light background design of the napkin didn't stay light colored - the dark drawer paint color showed thru and the napkin design was barely visible.  Miserable fail on attempt #1!

This is the dried napkin on the dark drawer front - notice all the air bubbles?  That's also not the goal.  LOL!

I dried my tears and scraped the napkins off the drawer front (fortunately I had only done one drawer), and painted all the drawers a light colored paint.

Back to square one, I repeated the process, gluing the napkins to the drawer fronts.  This time, things went much smoother and more quickly.



Left a 1/4" overhang on each side which would be trimmed with an Exacto knife after the napkins dried.

After the drawers dried the design was clearly visible!  As I celebrated, I trimmed the excess and then distressed them using 1 teaspoon of Coffee Latte craft paint mixed with 1/8 cup warm water.  Just brushed the diluted paint on the drawer fronts and blotted using the plain napkin layers I had separated from the design napkins.  No waste!

When the drawers were dried I added oil rubbed bronze drawer pulls that I found in my stash - love when that happens - and she was good to go!








Love the "new" look for this treasured old piece.  Have you tried decoupage?  Did you run in to any hurdles along the way?  



 Thank you to Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. OlsonWelcome Home WednesdaySavvy Southern Style Create with Joy and My Flagstaff Home for graciously featuring this post!

 




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Comments

  1. It looks like a custom piece! Love the use of napkins too. Isn't Mod Podge wonderful? Love that stuff!

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    1. Hi, Lisa! Mod Podge is amazing! What did we ever do before discovering it? :)

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  2. Amazing makeover - I can't believe you created such a gorgeous transformation using napkins!
    Congratulations - you are one of our Featured Guests at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy - can't wait to see what you do for an encore! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for featuring my project! Will pop over to check out all the links! So kind of you to include the chest. Appreciate it!

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  3. This is really nice - I need to give the process a try on one of my pieces. Thanks so much for sharing on The Painted Drawer Link Party!

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    1. Your projects are amazing - very inspiring!

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  4. Love this decoupaged drawer project! So creative!

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  5. It looks great Carolyn. Love how you used the napkins.

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  6. What a beauty this chest is!!!...I have always wanted to try this technique....maybe I shall start small and work my way up!...Beautiful job!

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    1. I hope you do try it, Shirley - once I had the right color base, it was a lot of fun. Would love to see what you create if you try it!

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  7. Carolyn,
    This is absolutely fantastic!! Love it!! I have an old Atlas that i just may use for something like this!! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by!! I am now following you where i can..

    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. The atlas would be a lot easier to work with, Deb - thicker than napkins. That's a great idea! So good to see you here!

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  8. Love your transformation! I would have done the same thing without realizing the dark paint would show through. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial at Vintage Inspiration Party.

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  9. Wow, what a great project. I love it! Thanks for sharing at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

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  10. Very well done! This looks beautiful. I'm amazed that you figured out a secret to working with napkins. That's good to know. I saw your link at the Vintage Inspiration Party.

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    1. Oh my - your painted items are gorgeous! Thank you so much for your kind words!

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  11. I love it and I'm pinning it!

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  12. You must feel so great that you stuck it out! The chest is just lovely. Great job! Will pin to my DIY board!

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    1. Hi, Kim! Believe me, as I was scraping and removing the napkins the first time around, I seriously thought about throwing in the towel. But, I'm kinda stubborn and considered it a personal challenge! LOL! Thanks for pinning my project!

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  13. Absolutely LOVE this makeover, and super cool that you were able to do it with napkins, of all things! Thanks for sharing it a the Vintage Inspiration Party - I'm pinning it to our party board on Pinerest here - https://www.pinterest.com/knickoftime/vintage-inspiration-party-features/

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    1. Thank you so much for featuring the chest, Angie! Love your blog and weekly party. So kind of you!

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  14. Congratulations, Carolyn! You're being featured again at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home. Stop on by on Thursday evening (myflagstaffhome.com).

    Jennifer

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    1. How nice of you, Jennifer! Thank you again and I really appreciate it! Will be at this week's Blog Hop! Have a great week!

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  15. I've been seeing your Antique Map Chest all over social media these days and just had to pop over to say hi and tell you how much I love it! You did a fabulous job!

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    1. Hi, Marie! So glad you popped in! Thanks so much - it was quite a learning experience. :) I just subscribed to your wonderful blog!

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  16. WOW! This turned out so great. I absolutely love the fact that you used napkins, something I would never think of for furniture. I'd love for you to share it on our link party actually, this is one I would love to feature. I haven't used Mod Podge yet in my crafting but I really want to, there are too many things to do with it!
    Sam // www.diyjustcuz.com

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    1. I just linked up to your party and subscribed to your blog, Sam! Looking forward to checking out all the great shared projects at your party. You'll find Mod Podge to be super easy to work with. I just used it to seal a natural leaf cone tree ... Really fun to work with too! :)

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  17. What a beautiful piece! Thanks for sharing your techniques @ #OMHGWW linky party this week.

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  18. This turned out amazing! I just used modge podge on my first project but I've never tried anything so big as a dresser before... your napkin idea was GENIUS! So smart and it looks stunning! Such a great transformation on a sentimental piece! Thanks for linking up with us at Welcome Home Wednesdays! Can't wait to see you back next week!

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    1. Thanks, Betsy! Loving the party at Welcome Home Wednesdays!

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  19. Love the new look and it will be featured at Wow tonight. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Hello Carolyn!! Just popping in to let you know your post has been picked as a feature at the Welcome Home Wednesday Link Party! Stop by tomorrow to see your feature and link up!

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    1. What a nice surprise, Lisa! This project was very special for me and I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too!

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  21. Stunning, and to think it's with napkins! I have a piece of furniture I've been debating on how to paint it, but never thought about decoupage. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. This was my first furniture decoupage project, Carol, and I learned a lot! LOL! If you give it a try, I'd love to know how it turns out. Have fun!

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  22. Really turned out fabulously! I have decoupaged before and your first time is always scary. Especially when you see bubbles. Love the napkins you found for this project! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Jann! It was truly scary - the bubbles wouldn't go away and the longer I tried to work them out, the worse it got. LOL! The plastic wrap was the key for me. Without it, I may have given up. Thanks for popping in!

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  23. I really love this thanks for sharing. I am a new blogger too. I'll be looking for you on fb.

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  24. Love the transformation. I'm so surprised that you could do that with a napkin. Very clever! Who would have thought? It's beautiful.

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    1. It was quite the experiment, Susan! I had recalled seeing tissue paper used for decoupaging, and I just loved the map napkins and had nothing to lose - except time. LOL! Thank you!

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  25. Hi Carolyn, just hopping back to let you know that I will be featuring you at Share Your Cup this week. Love this!
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thank you, Jann!!!! Very nice of you and I'm so glad to share the fun of decoupaging with others. Have a great rest of the week!!

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  26. Hi Carolyn! Just wanted to let you know if you didn't realize already we featured your project on the Welcome Home Wednesday link up! www.diyjustcuz.com/whw-link-party-4/

    Thanks for being awesome :)

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    1. Thank you for the feature! Love any time I can share this project with others! And, your blog theme is just too wonderful - each time I visit, it just makes me smile. Thanks again for the feature! :)

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  27. Absolutely love this idea. And yes, it usually takes a few hurdles before a final product is completed.

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  28. Carolyn, I just love this! It was a brave thing to try and it looks fantastic. Love the artwork above the chest too.

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