Friday, August 26, 2011

A New Lease On Life

Bringing an old girl back to life instead of sending her out to pasture.  We all deserve that don’t’ we?  That’s how I think of beautiful old furniture.  Pieces that (UNbelievably) some would throw to the curb, destined for our already overloaded landfills.  Pieces that, like ourselves, were treasured & cared for by someone who loved them.  Beautiful, and speaking so elegantly of their time and place.  Some were used well, some were not.  In life we have facelifts, in furniture we have restoration.  One in the same I’d say.  I’ve spent many hours bringing some “old beauties” back to life with a bit of sanding and paint (okay all you traditionalist – stop cringing!), and lately I’ve been learning the “art” of total restoration.  I will show you a few of my “painted ladies” and my first ever complete restoration.  Painting is no sissy job for sure as I have learned.  But total restoration is a whole other ballgame (i.e., HARD LABOR!).  But with the help & guidance of two people who are perfectionist’s, I am learning.  My good friend Hepcat and Big Daddy, my husband Michael.  One (Hepcat) a master of his craft, & both perfectionist’s.  One telling me the “how to’s” of technique & products, the other providing a helping hand and making sure I do NOT slide or take short cuts in order to get there faster (a quack for a facelift or a skilled plastic surgeon??).  So, here are some things I’ve brought back to life with a few coats of paint, and my crowning glory, my first total restoration of a gorgeous set of tables from the early 50’s.

An old European wicker bassinet we found at a rummage sale that was structurally sound but in need of a coat of paint & TLC

Miscellaneous pieces of bedroom furniture from garage sales

Some VERY worn out, tired old white wicker we thought would be so elegant in glossy black

And my "Crown Jewel" ~ Before and after
The top of the coffee table was dark & gnarley with water marks & cigarette burns :- (

Here she is - stripped bare bones naked!

Done!  Well, almost - I cheated - I still have to put the final coat of finishing wax, but you can see the beautiful wood grain pattern that was hidden before.  (The white dot & shading are shadows outside).  This is the result of 9 hours of sanding and three coats of tongue oil applied over three days


  1. Just an FYI Big Mama, the "tongue" in tongue oil is spelled "tung".

    Big Daddy

  2. Thanks for the correction Big Daddy (and you're going to be sorry you called me BIG mama!). It was so funny when I went to OSH to buy this stuff & I asked the two young people at the info counter where to find it. They both gave me a blank look & looked at each other as if maybe I'd been grossly misplaced from Walgreen's oral hygene isle! They finally called the store manager. Luckily he was an older fella & took me right to it. But anyway, it's good to know the proper spelling so I don't embarrass myself further :- )

  3. Great site!! Looks like you are having lots of fun. I will check in here now anf then to see what youre doing! SKYE O-O

  4. WOW the coffee table looks amazing! The wood grain on it looks great. You did an amazing job. I might have to ask you for some techniques :P.

    Keep motivated for the other pieces. My best advice is just to keep going and don't wait to finish the others.

    Great blog as well. I love the dog in the sponge curlers.

  5. Skye! My ol pal! Thank you so much for stopping by & I hope you'll stop in again. And again & again :- ) I miss you dear friend & I hope to have things here that will be fun & interesting so we can have some fun together, like the "old days" :- )

    Hepcat! And thank you too! It means a lot to have my sweet friends here. And believe me, I am definately going to keep going on those tables because I love them so much and now I'm really excited to get them done and put those gorgeous new lamps on em! BTW - just give a call anytime I can give you some pointers ;- )


  6. I love the way this has turned out. Cant wait to see the rest of them. Keep up the good work.