I fell in love on the cycle to work last week. Chris had left to visit family up in the frozen north only hours earlier and my eye was already roving! The object of my desire was languishing in a pile of binbags in a backstreet somewhere off the Old Kent road and the small part of me not consumed by desire knew that this relationship could never end well. I forced myself to cycle past – but dreamt of those cute stubby legs all day.
On the cycle home the temptress was still there! It seemed to good to be true I even got off my bike to move the relationship on to a new level. It didn’t look good and I was pretty pleased that Chris wasn’t about to pour a dampner on the moment. He would have been all too quick to point out that the last thing we needed in our lives was a new chest of drawers especially not when it looked like it had already started growing new life in a kind of manky bubbly scum on its top surface – however cute its little stubby legs were. Er yes, I was talking about a chest of drawers What did you think I had my eye on? 😉
The problem was that without Chris pointing out how manky my new object of desire was I also didn’t have Chris to grudgingly help me get it home. I had a very vague idea where I actually was (my cycle navigation skills being reliant on strict routes) but I knew it wasn’t nice – a fairly sketchy estate somewhere near the Old Kent Road (all south Londoner’s shudder) and miles away from home or any friendly train stations. Chris would have hired a zipvan (after pointing out that my history of doing up shit found on the street wasn’t great) but I just don’t have the mad skills for driving a hire van in London. I also really didn’t want to put on a show for the – slightly threatening – teenagers watching by trying and failing to balance it on my bike.
With a heavy heart I cycled on and left my love behind. Amazingly (actually, looking at them probably not so amazingly) the drawers were still there when Chris returned on Tuesday
Even more amazingly – considering my poor record with doing up stuff – Chris agreed to help me get it home. Turns out he liked those little stumpy legs just as much as me.
On closer inspection the top wasn’t growing any mould. It looked as if a candle placed on the drawers had got out of control and burnt a hole through the surface leaving bubbling wax and charred laminate looking particularly unappealing. I kept imagining voodoo ceremonies gone wrong. Not helped by me picking at the volcano like wax finding unidentifiable bits of stuff that definitely weren’t the remains of shrunken heads… definitely not…
My initial vision was to put a new top on the drawers and tile it using upcycled scrabble tiles and after searching for advice online I discovered Jen Hindes farmtastic Blog. I totally love her handiwork – although I think I love her dog even more!
Once I got the drawers home I realised they proper stank – even after a good scrub and freshen up. Luckily they only smelt of moth balls (given they came from the Old Kent Road just think how much worse it could have been?!) but the smell and the scuzzy waxy volcano surface started freaking me out.
I decided to make a temporary top with a bit of plywood as quickly as possible. Anything to get that voodoo shrunken head burny top out of my life and out of my house.
My temporary fix looked ugly. Too ugly even for a temporary fix. So I created a temporary cover for my temporary fix from a treasured book that was falling to bits. It was super quick – just a few coats of PVA glue with random application of pages. To be honest it could have been at least an hour quicker but I kept getting distracted and reading the book rather than slapping the pages on- I do so love Jerome K Jerome.
When I stepped back and looked at my efforts I realised that I actually really liked the drawers just as they are! After the hand wringing of the bathroom cabinet I’m a bit shocked at my own success. I particularly like the idea that people could get distracted and caught up reading passages when they were visiting and would be inspired to go and read or re-read the book.
I’m still on the look out for scrabble tiles but I’ll need another manky piece of street furniture to play with that idea.
I’ll be honest. A few weeks later and our sitting room still reeks of mothballs but who cares when your chest of drawers looks so lovely?
Errr tbh Now I think about it I probably kinda care. Anyone got any tips for getting rid of mothballs?