Not quite in love

I’ve wanted to paint my hope chest for a long time. No, not change the color. Just add a bit of interest. My original thought was to use flower designs from the rug. Ultimately, though, that seemed too modern for this antique pine chest.


I got a better idea when we found a drawer full of paper patterns in my father’s workshop.  He kept scraps of documentation about everything he ever made. Hearts were one of his favorite motifs. He used them in and on furniture, in jewelry and belt buckle designs, as small cedar cutouts to tuck in with woolens, and as the background for the family name on his custom-made lamppost.


The heart with the squared and pointed bottom is too big for this hope chest. I could resize it fairly easily, but I like the plain heart better.  It matches the copper tag he put inside the chest’s lid when my parents gave it to me for Christmas a few months after I’d gotten engaged to ManRay.


I tipped the chest on it’s back and used a red marking chalk/crayon stub I found on Dad’s workbench to draw the outline. Painting was a bit nerve wracking. I got a big drip on the wood with my first dip into the paint. Ack! I had visions of total disaster, none of which panned out.


Two coats later, here it is!


Oddly, I’m not so sure I like it. I’m having second thoughts about that big, bright “target” right in the middle of the living room. ManRay has convinced me to give it some time before I pull out the sandpaper and black paint. Maybe I’ll tone it down a bit with some dark wax. What do you think?

2 Comments on “Not quite in love”

  1. I love it. The problem might be just that it looks too new on the old chest. Black wax might help that. When I see the beautiful things you make, I know that your father’s gift for making a thing of beauty, for finding beauty where no one else sees it, is alive and well in you. Suzy has it, too. And Joel, when it comes to carpentry, and Elisabeth and Rachel. But It reminds me most of him in you.

    • janeray says:

      Thank you, Cynthia! I think of it as having a redemptive eye, which is also a horrible fault when you save anything and everything “that might be good for something someday.” The consensus of opinion was “tone it down”. Next post!