Union Jack Trunk

I have been coveting some Union Jack trunks sold here in Coco Republic.  They retail for $5000.  So coveting is where it’s going to stay.  Until I decided that I could do something similar myself.

I didn’t want something quite on that scale but I love the look of the distressed flag.  So I picked an old, but uninteresting pine box that I had kicking about:

Pine box before recycling

I masked around the top and primed it with a couple of coats of Gesso.  I decided to give this another go rather than using primer.  I quite like the old wood, so I’m going to start by just painting a flag on the top and leaving the sides. 

primed masked box

I decided to paint the flag on freehand.  It was too fiddly to mask it out, and I felt like doing some freehand painting.  So I drew it out first in pencil.

outline of union jack

I mixed up some paint colours that were slightly faded as I didn’t want bright red and blue on here.  Raw Umber is the secret to this – add some and your colours will be nicely faded and old-looking.

painted union jack on box

This still looks far too ‘new’ compared to the coveted trunk, so the next step, once the paint was dry was a good hard sand.

Sanding the top

And even after this much sanding, I kept going…. This is the point at which you need to be brave.  And it paid off:

Union Jack Box after

It looks wonderfully shabby!

distressing detail

This is where using gesso instead of primer made a difference – the sanding back gives a much better effect on the gesso as it comes off with the grain, leaving a lovely distressed effect.

Doesnt cost the earth union jack box

A fab, beachy, cool storage box.  And it was free.  Not $5000.

recycled union jack box