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  • Writer's pictureMonika Matusiewicz

Pirate treasure box - decoupage tutorial

How to make unique Pirate treasure box out of an old wine box? Follow this step by step tutorial

Materials list

wooden box (I used unwanted wine box)

structure paste white universal primer or acrylic paint matt paints decoupage glue matt patina varnish epoxy resin rice paper brushes and palette knife sanding paper metal hardware

Day One - surface preparation

Regardless on what surface you work (glass, wood, plastic or metal), surface preparation is a very important step for the final appearance of your work. Don't ignore it :) My box was made of quite good wood, with no major damage. On the lid, however, had engraved lettering. Also I decided to remove the rope, so it was necessary to mask holes. I sanded box with  sandpaper (200 grit) before further work (remember - sandpaper is your best friend at almost every step of your work with decoupage). Then I filled lettering and holes with structure paste and left to dry completely (few hours)

The next step - sanding to achieve a perfectly smooth surface. I have started sanding using 100 grit sandpaper, then 200, and 400. The entire surface of the lid I covered with white universal primer, and then left to dry overnight.

Day two - gluing and painting

Once  dry, grind the lid again using dry sandpaper (200-600 grit) to obtain a perfectly smooth surface. It is very helpful if this step will become our habit. Brush marks are almost always visible, and you can not hide them even under few layers of varnish. So if you want  to have a good finish of your work, do not forget to buy a stock of various grit sandpaper

Now your surface is ready for decoupage. Cut the paper to the desired size. Apply a coat of glue on surface and gently lay the paper. Apply glue on top of the paper, starting from the centre to the edges to remove any air bubbles. Leave to dry.

Paint around paper with black paint, using brush and sponge to create some shadows on paper.

The lid dries, so it's time for painting the bottom of the box. This time I did not use primer. I wanted the wood grains to be visible. I used at the beginning  two colours of paint, similar to the colour of the paper - safran and saddle brown. Box was painted with slightly diluted paints to achieve tonal colour transitions. After drying, of course next step is sanding (200-600 grit sandpaper). Under the influence of moisture from the wood surface rise tiny splinters, so sanding for me is essential at almost every stage of my work.

Day three - painting

Now is the time to add a little more colours. My idea was that the background looked like an old map. I used a crumpled bag to paint irregular spots and creases.

Now it's time for stripes. Use masking tape to mark places for painting.  I used a mixture of black and dark brown paint. Immediately removed the tape. Once box is dry, paint the edges.

Next few days - Varnishing and finishing

Time for a finishing touch. I sanded sides of the box with sandpaper to add some scratches, then using fine sandpaper to smooth before varnishing. I covered whole box with several layers of  Amber patina varnish (varnish colour added depth on the orange area). Of course layers of varnish sanded in between (once dry completely) with very fine sandpaper. Don't skip sanding between layers of varnish - it's very important step in decoupage.

Now it's time to finish  the lid. I decided to use epoxy resin to give the impression of water.  Mix resin according to the instructions on the package and pour onto the lid. (I used old credit card to spread a resin on surface).

Did you know, one layer of resin is equivalent of 50 layers of varnish?  If you want to finish your work for perfect merging decoupage into surface - resin is the solution to save hours of varnishing and sanding (especially this step of decoupage takes usually few days for perfect results)

Last touch to add a some style - brass feet and small handle.

And voila! Pirate box is ready! If you like my tutorial, feel free to use it in your work, but please remember to give credit where credit is due.

All photos are Reverie-Art property and  protected by copyright. Do not copy any part of this tutorial without  permission.

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