Been debating about posting this for the last few days, but I think posting may bring out an understanding that many may not have for those of us that repaint furniture.
For seven years I was a divorced mother of three very active boys. Remember the van commercial of the mother that drove from one activity to another? Well that was me for many years. The first and second (boys) are two years apart and the second and third are 14 months apart. So we had a lot of crossover in activities. Thank goodness for my family they were my rock when I needed it.
Being THAT single mom, you learn to cut back and THRIFT for your home. My first thrift purchase, I will never forget, was a dining table for only $30 and it was a Lane. It was different than anything I had seen, very sturdy and most of all my small family would fit around it. Since I was crazy running from pillar to post with the boys activities my Mom offered to take it home with her and refinish it. She too was a single mom of three. The next time I laid eyes on it, it looked brand new. Instantly loved it and my Mom for taking the time to do it for us. (She is always the best). I still have the table, unfortunately it is now covered in some of my craft pieces but it is still a part of the family.
Over the years I have bought several dressers, side tables, lamps and what nots for our home from thrift stores because money was tight. In fact all of the pieces I have bought are still used in our home or the boys new homes. I guess that’s why I got into repainting or repurposing furniture. The boys are all very independent and out of the house and I had nothing to keep my personal life busy. I did remarry in 2008 to a man (I call him The Huny) that is a do it yourselfer too. The Huny, well he handles the mechanical side of things. Which compliments my artistic sid very well.
So now that I have given you some background as to how I got into this business/hobby of mine I will get to the point of this post. (Sorry I digressed a little).
The other day I was “fluffing” one of the booths we have in a local store and a customer comes in and begins to look over a primitive piece we refreshed.
Insert story of this piece:
I loved this piece when I saw it (white granite top not part of the piece); it had great bones, sturdy and heavy. It was dirty, grimey with pieces and parts missing along with a few nicks and dings. We still saw the potential in it. It may not come out as it once was but it would be just as good.
I immediately started cleaning it (I use vinegar and water to clean my pieces, nothing more). Oh what it revealed; was beautiful Tiger Oak wood (sorry no pics of the after cleaning, I’m really bad about that). I removed the hardware and part of the door piece and the last half of the back of the middle cubby and started sanding everything and every where. I kept thinking what could I do to salvage this piece to re-stain it. With all of the chips and nicks most of it couldn’t be refinished. So I saved what I could for staining and then painted the rest.
Now back to the original story:
I spoke up “This is my favorite salvaged piece.” She agreed it was pretty and that she loved the wood. We talked a little about the design for storage and what not. She then says
“If I purchase it I will strip it and stain it, like it originally was.”
I will admit instantly I was taken back by the statement and thought did she just tell me that? Instead of being offended and blurting out my feelings of how dare you! I said. “Oh I so wish I was able to do that for this piece but there were so many nicks, dents and chunks missing on the body we applied filler in many of those places for it to have a clean refreshed look when it was painted. The top and the drawer front were the only two places we could stain since we could sand to remove any bad blemishes.” Needless ta say the piece didn’t go home with her.
I know that some people will repaint a great piece to change it up in their décor and that is perfectly fine. However, I buy pieces that need a lot of repair and some of that repair does not hide well with stain. So the next best thing is to paint it. I do not buy cheap, poorly put together pieces. Most of us in the industry will not buy a piece of furniture unless it is well built; dovetail assembly, heavy, sturdy, etc.
So when you are looking at a piece of repainted or repurposed furniture just know we did the best we could to bring it back to life in some form or fashion. Just because it looks good painted or repurposed now; could mean that it was a broken down piece before.
Checkout some of our pieces on our Facebook pages