Online Sellers ~ Grab This When You See It!
A consistently good seller are these little humpbacked dresser chests/trinket boxes or “pirate boxes”, as I sometimes call them. (The 2nd to last one I had on Etsy sold the first day.) The one I am about to show you took a little longer probably because it had a few issues, but it’s also sold.
When I see these, I always grab them, but it is rare to find a perfect specimen. There’s nearly always something wrong with them. Anything from missing or loose chains on the sides, missing feet on the bottom, torn veneer, missing catches, missing tacks on the edges. I’ve seen it all, but I snatch them anyway. Any of these problems can usually be fixed or modified. Most of the ones I’ve found have been at thrift stores.
You can see this has some minor issues…scratches and mainly the missing catch on the front. Luckily it has the chains. There is a bit of missing veneer on the side. And the red lining has a problem. Looks like old scotch tape inside. Maybe it will come off.
Old English Scratch Polish is my best friend when it comes to refurbishing wood and hiding scratches….one of the tools in my arsenal I always have. I never paint these boxes because I figure they are for a man or boys. Do men like shabby chic or farmhouse style? Not sure, but I know my man doesn’t. No painted or distressed for him, and certainly no pink roses or shabby chic!
Seeds Wood Dressing is another product I love. I found it at an estate sale. It’s great for bringing out the luster of wood.
You can see what a difference Old English makes, and I haven’t even used Seeds yet…no more scratch and the place where the missing catch was has been minimized.
Since I’m not painting the chest, I can’t fix the missing veneer with wood filler, so the best I can do is minimize it with brown paint or glaze. Old English won’t fix this. Luckily it’s only a small area.
The main problem of the box is what to do about the catch. Whatever it had folded over the edge, and I know I don’t have anything like that in my stash.
Here are the possibilities I came up with for fixing this~
- a narrow stretchy belt with a silver buckle and a horse head on the top
- a fairly large gold knob
- a small brown plastic knob
- a bell-shaped pet tag (in fact, I have about 500 of these, which I found at the back of a vet’s office when I was looking for small boxes, and it hasn’t come to me yet what to do with them. I’m taking advice.)
- a round silver button
You’ll never guess which one I chose, so I’ll reveal it further down…
I really liked the look of the belt! But I didn’t like that the buckle was vertical. Just didn’t look quite right.
Here’s the gold knob…nice, but too big.
Now I thought this combo was a great idea! I was impressed with myself. If only the pet tag wasn’t green and in the shape of a bell! Green I can fix, but a bell? I don’t think so. It would be easy to fold over the edge, but the brown knob is sorta boring. I could paint it gold, but nah, wasn’t doing it for me.
So that leaves the silver shank button….YES! It looks nautical…sort of like a ship’s wheel, ya know. I liked it and the shank was shallow so it would sit flatter.
Only a teensy bit of Rub n Buff next….
By the way, I don’t worry about the bottom catch on these boxes. I rarely find them with lock or keys. Obviously, whatever I put on the box isn’t going to connect or loop into the catch. People mostly use these as trinket boxes, and probably won’t lock them, so it’s not a concern.
So let’s discuss the red interior before the big reveal….
I wasn’t sure what the stuff was inside, like old hardened scotch tape that was very stubborn. I simply couldn’t get it all off. I went at it very gently because I sure didn’t want to get into replacing the lining.
And here’s the finished result with the button, Seeds Wood Dressing and a bit of Tung Oil….
it looks sooo much better now, wouldn’t you agree?!
What do y’all think? Did I make the right choice on the catch replacement?