What the Duck?

Happy Friday!!!  This week was a long one for me - who else feels like Thanksgiving was forever ago and yet Christmas is still so far away?!  Lord help me.

Ok, so in an effort to keep my expenses down, I've been trying to get more potential furniture flips off Craigslist's Free page.  However, that's not always that easy:

1.  Free postings go fast because, well... they're free.  And people know a good deal when they see one.  

2.  Often times people that post to the free page are just trying to alert the general public to a curbside takeaway.  There have been a few times that I have driven around looking for some random trash pile only to find someone must've been in the neighborhood a couple moments before me and has picked the pile clean.

3.  When Craigslist users are aren't trying to get any money out of their junk, they aren't always the most reliable communicators when you contact them to pick something up.  

4.  Finally, I find that many people treat Craigslist's Free page like an online trash can.  You'll have to sort through a lot of trash to see the treasure and more often than not, you have to be able to look past a piece's first impression to see its potential. 

But if you're able to handle all these hang ups, sometimes you can get lucky.  Which brings me to the duck...

I was actually going for the Mid Century Table in the craigslist ad pictured above, but was not quick enough.  {No wonder, MCM is like instant gold in the furniture world}.  The user ended up being a StyleMutt reader {I love when that happens!} and was happy to arrange a pick-up for the box trunk as my consolation prize.  The trunk was cute - the ducks a little weird for my taste, but there was potential.  Let's take a closer look:    

Now WHAT was I going to do with you oh gilded box of winged glory?

My instinct was to start by painting it.  To my surprise, the wet paint made the surface bubble!  This meant that the design was not laminate but some kind of paper!  And paper can be removed...

I took an exacto knife and scored the edges.  The duck paper was glued on but I had some handy household items that would loosen its grip.  I saturated the paper with equal parts fabric softener and water {an old wallpaper removal trick} and the paper started to detach.  Bonus alert: the fabric softener makes the whole process smell divine!  

After several hours of scoring, pulling up shreds, and scrubbing off glue residue I had an exposed particle-board-composite box to play with:


I was inspired by Chelsea's recent instagram pic of this impromptu table.  I love the white with the natural blonde wood.

What's that you say?  You're not following StyleMutt on instagram?  Well good thing that's an easy fix!  

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Ok, back to the naked box...


I taped off a harlequin-esque design and began to paint with a latex-based paint. 

I didn't originally intend for a distressed finish, but I think the fabric softener saturated wood was acting as a seal to the wood in some areas.   So as I went, I distressed the areas where the paint wasn't adhering.  I didn't even need to use sandpaper - just a wet paper towel while the paint was still wet.

After painting it, I was left with a neat little storage box.  By just adding some unfinished wood tapered table legs, it became a cute little end table.


I kept the brass trim a little messy to match the distressed paint finish.

And unfinished legs with brass feet.

He's the perfect height for a low lying IKEA couch or just as a bedside table.

Thor likes it ;)

Box Trunk Side Table now available for sale.
15.5"L x 15.5"W x 23.5"H

If you are interested in this piece or a custom order like it, please email cate@stylemutthome.com.