Theater of Keys

Theater of Keys

Posted by DecoArt on Oct 6th 2014

This project started life as a junk shop find, it was a jewellery box keeping safe precious jewels now it houses precious keys.

Items Needed:


I started by taking out the glass panels and the mirror back. Then, I distressed it by scraping and sanding and adding a few knocks with a hammer.

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The cabinet had a drawer in the bottom which was ideal to hold a battery pack for a set of lights. I ran the cable up the back and hid it with a piece of chipboard.

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The lights were housed in a drawer made from a wooden frame cut in half with holes drilled.

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I had to fix two batons to form runners for the lighting drawer. This also had the small screw eyes fixed to allow the strings for hanging the keys.

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I wanted to create an old theater feel so I wanted to add a distressed wallpaper layered effect.

The background pattern was achieved with an embossed card with a lovely acanthus pattern then painted with DecoArt Media Prussian Blue, Dioxadine Purple, Carbon Black and Burnt Umber

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Then I highlighted it with additional washes of gold metallic and espresso metallic resulting in a very rich, subtle color effect.

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The overlay peeling wallpaper was done with washes of Prussian Blue and Quinacridone Gold and stenciled with Burnt Umber.

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I then tore and distressed it by dripping down Burnt Umber and applying Quinacridone Gold to the torn edges. Lastly, I  spritzed with the Carbon Black Media Mister.

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Then, I applied American Decor Chalky Finish in Enchanted, Vintage and Treasure to the entire outside. I used the darker colors around the edges but was overall quite random with the painting since this is the base coat.

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Once dry, I applied a layer of Crackle Medium and allowed it to dry for approximately one hour and then applied Relic Chalky Finish over the top. The cracks start to appear immediately, but it is best to leave it to dry for a couple of hours.

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Once complete I applied Americana Decor Clear Creme wax and Deep Brown around the edges. Then I buffed with a clean cloth for a subtle shine. This is amazing as it really accentuated the colours making them richer colour tones as you can see on the left-hand side.

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The screen doors were cut on a Cricut machine and then covered with Media Texture Sand and painted with Carbon Black and dry brushed with Metallic Gold and Dazzling Metallics Espresso. as was the fleur de Lys decorative border which covers the lighting tray

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The fleur de lys decorative borders were then covered with Media Texture Sand and painted with Carbon Black and dry brushed with Metallic Gold and Dazzling Metallics Espresso. These were used to conceal the lighting tray.

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The keys are a variety of very rusted antique and new ones which were distressed in the same way as the trellis.

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The keys were tied to fine fishing line and with hooks attached at varying lengths and then attached to the screw eyes.

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