I don’t have a lot of time at the moment, but I can always find time to work on my charity shop finds. When I do, I always make time for preparation, because although it’s annoying it’s also true that it saves time in the long run. So first of all, I mask off the mirror carefully and pad it with a rectangle of card to cushion it.
Then I remove the ironmongery, so I can get a good finish under it. I did try and removed the hinges so I could open up the central compartment, but they refused to budge and so I had to work round them.
The shelf where the drop catchers sit is showing the most damage. If I had a bigger workshop, or indeed any work shop, at my disposal, I would cut a new piece of timber with this as a guide, screw it in place and the cut and fit some pretty vintage tiles and cement them in place. Sadly, I don’t have the equipment to safely cutout the circles necessary in said ceramic tiles, so I have a plan B. This section will obviously need a lot of varnish to help water proof it, so I’m going to paint it with the under coat ( more of that later), then decoupage it and use several layers of varnish over the top to make it as water tight as I can. Four carefully applied coats of Ronseal will do the job.

For my under coat, I am using this paint by Dulux, which my local Homebase is discontinuing, which is a shame because this is a nice vintage lilac shade. I keep thinking ‘French Lavender’ while I work, which to mean means this combination of soft grey and lilac, and so I intend to undercoat in this, then top coat in chalk paint and rub back to expose the lilac paint underneath.

  Initially I was going to just paint the edges where I might want the colour, but as soon as I started I guessed I was going to have to paint all of it in the lilac, and actually that didn’t take long. I worked for about twenty minutes and the let it dry for an hour, the laid it down on its back so I could paint all the underneath surfaces.

This is where I left it after day one, with the lid propped open to allow it to dry. I think I’ll also need to stick a strip of felt on the edge of the compartment to soften the noise when it closes, and I want to add a little ornate knob so it can be open more easily.

Check back soon to see what happened with a second coat of paint and some sanding back, not to mention a good old scrubbing with a brass bristle brush!