Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Beachy Wooden Coca-Cola Crate

I have had my eye on the Coca-Cola crates every time I hit an antique store when looking for fun and unique items for our beach cottage.  Once the dining room was put together, I felt like I needed some color on the table.  An antique Coca Cola crate would work just fine.  The only catch was - none of them were the colors I wanted.

So...I hunted down the yuckiest cola crate in my local antique store (something I could justify painting).  I came across a Double Cola crate where a lot of the paint had been rubbed off.  It was very dirty and because of the condition, it was rather cheap - right up my alley.

Old Cola Crate
Before Photo

I cleaned up the crate with a wire brush to get most of the dirt off of it and then vacuumed it.  Then I used a 10% bleach solution with water and scrubbed the crate with a toothbrush.  I rinsed the crate well and let it dry.  Once dry, I sanded the piece to remove what was left of the Double Cola letters.

Next, I chose the paint colors - the darker color for the lettering: Drizzle by Sherwin Williams #6479 and the lighter field color: Tidewater by Sherwin Williams #6477.  I purchased paint samples from Lowe's (latex satin).

Paint Colors - Tidewater and Drizzle by Sherwin Williams

I first applied the darker color Drizzle to the long sides of the crate (where the lettering was going to go).  Just to be sure I had enough contrast between the two colors - I added some black acrylic paint and lightly mixed it together and unevenly applied this - think "dark highlights".  I let this dry before the next step.

I went online and found a good front shot of a vintage Coca-Cola Crate and printed the logo on a piece of paper to the scale of the crate.  This took a couple tries.  The first print out to give me a reference point, and with a little math - a second print out to the exact scale of the crate.  Then I adhered the paper print-out to the side of the crate with temporary adhesive. 

Temporary Spray Adhesive

The idea here was to create a sort of reverse stencil.  I cut around the lettering - tedious but doable with an x-acto knife.  Then I removed the paper from around all the letters leaving the paper lettering intact on the side of the crate. 

I lightly applied the lighter color Tidewater over the top of the darker blue color (Drizzle) and around the paper letters.  I carefully did this with two light coats.  I avoided inadvertently pealing the paper letters off or getting too much paint on the brush and having it bleed underneath the paper.

I let the piece dry a bit before removing the paper letters which had been painted over (I found it easiest to kind of "pick" them off with the x-acto knife).  I let it dry all the way before doing some sanding to distress the crate; sanding around the edges and some select areas where the lettering was on the sides.

My apologies for failing to take photos here of the whole process.  I wasn't completely confident in how this was going to turn out - so I guess that is why I wasn't on top of taking photos.   I already had a back-up plan in mind if it didn't turn out - at the very least - I would end up with an aqua colored painted crate.  Fortunately, I think the end product turned out pretty well.

Beachy Wooden Coca-Cola Crate - sandpaper distressed
Beachy Wooden Coca-Cola Crate - sandpaper distressed
Beachy Wooden Coca-Cola Crate

I have had several people say I should fill the crate with something.  I have thought about seashells - too cliché for a beach cottage?  Maybe some small pieces of driftwood?  Some glass jars/bottles that I can place fresh flowers in?  I want to come up with something truly unique, but nothing noteworthy has come to mind yet.  Anyone got any ideas?

The plan is to apply a mat spray polyurethane to seal everything up.  Currently it's way too cold out to do this, so it's going to have to wait.  Overall I think the dining room is really coming together!

Beachy Wooden Coca-Cola Crate

Wouldn't a surf board look great propped up in the back corner?

If you are interested in a general overview of some DISTRESSING TECHNIQUES, see my post here which covers the use of SANDPAPER, CANDLEWAX and VASELINE.

For more beach cottage posts see my Beach Cottage page.

No comments:

Post a Comment