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Grungy Green, Gray and Rusted

This Basset mule chest was rather unremarkable, but I picked it up for $15, solid wood, and in relatively good condition. I kept this in my inventory for some time, with no takers, so it became mine to play with.

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Materials List:

2. paint in

  1. Spanish Moss

  2. Dried Sage

  3. Sand Bar

  4. Collard Greens

  5. Midnight Sky

3. Patina Paint in:

  1. Iron

  2. Bronze

  3. Green and Blue Patina Spray

6. Wax in Black

  1. Tobacco Road

  2. Black Magic


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All of those drawers spoke to me. I saw that it could look like an old, avocado green 1970’s, industrial and well worn filing cabinet.

With my inspiration in mind, I chose Dixie Belle paint in greens and grays to create my look. The top was in poor condition, full of scratches and pock marks, so rather than sanding them out, I chose to take it down to the bare wood with stripper and sanding.

It then got all body damage sanded out, a good cleaning with Dixie Belle White Lightning Cleaner, and all hardware removed.

That batwing hardware is NOT coming back!

Step 1. Stripping top, cleaning body, removing hardware.

With all of our prep work done, the body got a base coat of Spanish Moss. I then used natural bristle brushes to blend in Dried Sage, Collard Greens, Sand Bar, and Midnight Sky. A spray of 50/50 white vinegar and water caused the paint to drip and separate, in line with our grungy inspiration.

Step 2. Base coat, blending, and vinegar/water spray.

The final step was staining the top. I initially used a weather wash stain, but decided I wanted a darker look later so I streaked on a water based Gel Stain in Tobacco Road and Black Magic.

I used a mini bbq basting brush (yes, you read that right!) to apply Patina Paint in Iron and Bronze at random. The blue and green sprays caused dripping and started the corrosion process.

2 coats of Satin clear coat for durability and 2 coats of Flat Clear Coat for a smooth, dull finish gave me the look I was after.

I added Black Wax for shading and tiny hints of Finnabair Patina Paste in a bright turquoise as an accent.

Step 3. Staining top, Patina Paint, clear coat.


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