I wanted to create another painted crate artwork, similar to my Norman’s Kill Dairy piece. And after searching through eBay, I found a farm crate from Honeywell Farms in Jamaica, N.Y.
No problem… all I had to do was purchase the crate, have it shipped to me, knock the boards apart, wire it up, hang it on the wall, and all is good.
Because when I received the crate …
I ran into a bit of an issue.
Here’s a shot of the crate when I received it.
Yes, I know the crate came with paint smears on it. Yes, I saw the paint smears in the photos that were part of the eBay auction. But I figured I could wipe off the paint and leave the advertising on the box.
No dice. If I tried to sand off the drippy paint, it would certainly remove the original advertisement. And all I would be left with is a wooden box. Nertz.
Hey, maybe I can just exhibit the panel, paint smears and all… no. It’s bad enough that it looks like some pigeons gobbled some paintballs and had diarrhea in mid-flight… nah.
But I had an idea.
A quick trip to Ballston Spa and my local Curtis Lumber store. Yep, I needed to chat with Curtis.
An attendant greeted me. “Welcome to Curtis Lumber, how may I help you?”
“Hi, can I speak with Curtis?”
“Curtis isn’t here right now,” the worker said.
“Okay, can I speak with Curtis then?”
“Curtis is on a break.”
“Well, I guess I can speak with Curtis then.”
“Sorry, Curtis is helping other customers.”
“Great. Well, then let me talk to Curtis.”
“I’m Curtis, how may I help you?”
Curtis looked at the crate, and gave me some ideas. He suggested I use a stripping chemical called Kitzit, one that could dissolve oil paint, which he deduced was the grey, drippy paint on the crate. “Apply this with cotton swabs to the paint,” he said, “wait fifteen minutes and gently wipe off with a terry-cloth white towel or a plastic bristle brush.”
I bought the supplies and crossed my fingers. Yep. Chuck is now working with hazardous chemicals. Let the fun begin.
I poured some of the stripping material into a small cup, and dipped the cotton swabs into the mixture. A few dabs here and there on the crate, some wipes here and there …
You know I was nervous about this. I only get one shot at this.
But an hour after my initial work on the crate…
I achieved this result.
There we go! I got most of the battleship grey drippy paint off the crate, with minimal damage to the advertisement (I also picked up a can of Rustoleum sky blue paint for any touch-ups, but I felt no need to open the can).
I removed the nailed galvanized metal strips on the corners, and bashed out the two wood slats that make up the advertising panel. And after a few rubs with pine cleaner and soapy water …
Now I have this.
Smooth. I’ll add some wood planks to the back, coat the front with paste wax, wire it up and hang it on the wall.
This is fun. I’m seriously getting into this recycle upscale crafty-crafty stuff.
Big time fun.