Saturday, June 4, 2011

Completed Louis XIV Chest

The Sun King chest is finally finished! Since Brittany plans to take Le Roi Soleil to grad school with her I decided to tuck an inspirational quote in the top drawer. I printed "It is in difficult things that we show our virtue." -Louis XIV on cream colored card stock and trimmed the paper leaving a small border around the edges of the quote.

Top of the chest. The picture is framed in a narrow gold flake border. The red drape in the picture makes the border look wider at the top.

Decorative element on the side of the chest.

Directions for Louis XIV Chest:

Small pre-sanded wooden chest-available at craft stores
Fine grit sanding pad
Matte finish Mod Podge
Foam brush
DecoArt Americana Slate Grey acrylic paint
DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Venetian Gold
Art Minerals Gold Flakes-available at Michaels
Picture of Louis XIV
White card stock
Small stenciling brush or other stiff brush
Round paint brush-I used #2 round
White craft glue-I used Martha Stewart
DecoArt craft varnish
Jolee's Boutique Leaf Elements

1. Lightly sand the chest and the drawers to remove any rough spots. Wipe the sanded chest down with a slightly damp paper towel.

2. Use a foam brush to apply a light coat of craft varnish to the chest and the drawers. Set aside to dry.

3. Lightly sand the chest and the drawers and wipe with a damp paper towel.

4. Paint the chest and the drawers with slate grey paint. Let it dry and then apply a second coat. After the grey paint is dry apply venetian gold paint to the knobs on the drawers and the front edges of the chest.

5. After the paint is dry seal the chest and drawers with a light coat of craft varnish. Set aside to dry. Once the piece is completely dry, lightly sand it and wipe it with a damp cloth.

6. Print a 3 inch by 4inch picture of Louis XIV on card stock with a laser printer or photo copy the image. DO NOT use an ink jet printer because the ink will smear and the colors will run once the Mod Podge is applied. I scanned a picture of the Sun King from one of my books but pictures are also available on the internet. I trimmed the printed picture into an oval shape.

7. Apply a thin coat of Modge Podge to the back of the picture and center it on the top of the chest. Use a brayer or your fingertips to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles in the picture. Using a foam brush carefully apply a thin coat of Modge Podge over the top of the chest. Let it dry at least overnight (longer if the weather is humid). The chest must be completely dry. Lightly sand the top of the chest and wipe it with a damp cloth. Apply another light coat of Modge Podge. Repeat this process 2 more times.

8. Use the #2 round brush to apply a thin layer of white craft glue around the edges of the picture. Let the glue sit until it becomes slightly tacky (about 5 minutes). Apply small pieces of gold flake on top of the glue. Lightly press the gold flake to get it to adhere to the glue. The gold should stick to the glue but have a slightly raised appearance. You are trying to achieve the look similar to a carved frame. Once the glue is completely dry add another layer if necessary. I brushed glue on the flat areas and added more gold flake to get a raised appearance around the entire frame. Let the glue dry overnight.

9. Seal the top of the chest with a light coat of Modge Podge. Carefully apply the Modge Podge to the picture first, then dab it on top of the gold flake and then coat the rest of the top. Let it dry completely. Lightly sand the picture and the top of the chest. Be careful not to sand the gold flake. Wipe the top with a damp cloth.

10. Using the #2 round brush apply small amounts of Venetian gold paint to the gold flake frame. Let the paint dry. Seal the entire top with Modge Podge and let it dry. Then lightly sand the top (except for the gold flake frame) and wipe it with a damp cloth.

11. Paint the leaf elements with Venetian gold and let them dry. Position them to the right and left of the picture and glue in place. Position the leaf elements on each side of the chest and glue in place. Cover the entire chest with a light coat of Modge Podge and let it dry. Lightly sand the chest (except for the leaf elements) and wipe with a damp cloth.

Since the Jolee's Boutique Leaf Elements were no longer available at Michaels I made a mold and molded the elements from polymer clay. I baked the molded leaf elements, painted them and a glued them to the chest.