February 20, 2018

Intervention Needed!

The To-Do list has more crossed out items than items still to do, for the first time in years!

Really hard stuff is looming ahead. Easy-peasy first, I have a couple of boxes to mail to Massachusetts today, then it's on to demo! I promised myself I'd demo the shower and tub area in the front bathroom.

 Not sure if I want to tackle it right now or give myself some down time. Somewhere in the far recesses of my mind, though, I remember Grandma saying something about idle hands being the devil's playground, and I do have a new addiction. Sanding and painting furniture is my newest love. Bathroom might have to wait while I feed the monkey on my back!!!!

Even the surprises and challenges of painting furniture are exciting.

First I painted a couple of old tables for the living room. That was fun.

Moved on to an old, old vanity that I have had for at least 35 years. The wood isn't the best quality but it is solid wood. It has hand cut dovetail joints, beautiful locks on each drawer, an old mirror that has a couple of spots where the silver is missing. I know the piece was built prior to 1870. The handles are copper but when I took them off to sand and paint the drawers, I discovered older holes from the original handles.

I sanded down all the sharp edges from years of bumps and bruises but left most of the distressed edges and gauges. The color is Little Whale from Fusion Mineral Paint. Little Whale is one of colors made especially for toddler rooms. (I have mentioned my issues with authority, right? Toddlers-smoddlers, I'm putting this in a room for old people...The Guy and me!) It is the sweetest of blues I have ever seen. Reminds me of a blue that older people used to call "Eleanor Blue".

The handles are cool. PBR 's Antique Roadshow personnel and dedicated collectors of antiques will probably get the heebie jeebies from this, but I cleaned them up, just a bit. Yes, I know. Never clean antiques!  Add it to the list of 'Never do's" that I've done and get over it!

I have a collection of skeleton keys, but none of them work the locks, though a couple do fit in the key hole.

 I aged it just a little by lightly sanding some of the edges and waxing with light, then dark wax, but I didn't want to get too carried away. I figure that it will get worn and scraped on it's own living with the Guy and I and the troops that come in and out of the house.

Next, I painted The Guy's bureau. His mom says it's way over 100 years old. His dad had it forever and he got it from his dad. Frank's dad died when Frank was just 18 (oldest kid of 10). He's had his dad's dresser for more almost 50 years! So, when I've discussed with him, over the years, about painting it (and OMG did it need to be painted) The Guy always insisted on white.
"Always been white, will always be white. Paint it white or don't paint it!" He rarely puts his foot down, but when he does, he means business.

White it is! He didn't say anything about the knobs though! Surprise! He likes them! He is actually very happy with the results and thinks his dad would like it.

We had to glue a couple of the drawers back together on his dresser. Even dovetail joints need new glue every hundred years or so!

There are three drawers behind the doors. Whoever built it was super diligent. Each drawer has a floor built under it and each is on wooden rails. The Guy's grandpa was a carpenter (built sets for movie studios) so maybe he built the cabinet. It is a fine piece of furniture.

The last project was a large chest of drawers. I bought this at a garage sale about 15 to 20 years ago for $35. The man I bought it from built it himself. This is the most solid piece of furniture I've ever owned.

First thing I loved about it was the secret drawer inside a drawer. It slides way back, out of sight. Great place for old letters, cards, memorabilia and those 'special' trinkets my grandchildren have discovered on our walks.

Secret drawer for treasures!
This dresser was the challenge to beat all challenges.

I bought new knobs for it, thinking it would be as easy to change as any other dresser in the world! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

The carpenter built the sturdy drawer bodies out of solid knotty pine. Then he built a knotty pine facade for each drawer. He drilled a hole in the facade, mounted the drawer pulls and countersunk the screws. He then screwed the facade to the front of the drawer. I cannot replace the pulls without dismantling the front of the drawer. Each facade has 6 screws holding it to the drawer body!

How to paint without painting pulls? I unscrewed the pulls but it was a tough job and he apparently glued the screws in place because two of the pulls won't tighten all the way. The screw turns as I twist on the pull and there is no way to stabilize it.

When the bug hits me, I will dismantle the drawers, replace the pulls (not that I don't like Lions, I just like whimsical more than hardcore traditional), then reassemble the drawers. In the meantime, I like it. Body is Homestead Blue ( a dark teal and drawers are Little Whale, matching the other little dresser across the room).

 Would you believe that I'm jonesing to paint more furniture? I'm addicted!

 I painted the little bench while I was waiting for paint to dry on dressers.

Maybe I should borrow my grandson's truck and make a Craigslist run!!!

My grocery list for this week:

Sumo Oranges
Painter's Tape

Heaven help me!


  1. Nicely done! Everything looks really eye catching. Painting furniture is so much fun. I've done that to a few pieces around our home and given them a fresh look - and given our home new (updated) furniture that didn't cost much beyond some paint :) I've been in slow motion since the beginning of December, but since we spent the entire 2017 moving, cleaning, painting, rearranging, and on and on, I've earned that right! LOL Come early spring, it's back to the list of projects waiting to be tackled.

    1. You worked hard preparing a whole house to live in, plus you prepared a house for sale, packed, moved and unpacked! You totally deserve some downtime.

      It is exciting changing the look of things with a bit of paint. My favorite part is that most pieces are found articles from our garage or super deals from a garage sale.

  2. You do lovely work, Toni. All your pieces look great.

    1. Thank you. It's exciting to see the changes!

  3. Sounds like you've found a new PASSION!

    1. That's it! A new passion.

      My sister-in-law is suggesting we transform other pieces, together with another sister, and sell them at a consignment store. Might make a nice little income.

  4. Replies
    1. I love sanding! Watching rough edges soften. Wish I could sand a couple of people I know!!!!!

  5. You were seriously productive!

    1. Hard to get me started, but once going, hard to stop me!

  6. Oooh the little bench is fantastic!!!! I love it! And the dresser...the hidden drawer....your pieces are great Toni, you've done a great job on all of them. There will be a lot of demo and reno work in my future when we buy our "fixer upper" hopefully in a few years. I know I'll have a lot of motivation at first...but too much down time makes me put things off! I love your shopping list!!! :)

    1. Thank you about my little bench. It was such an after thought but it is a bit of an inspiration for the guest room. After I'm done with the guest-bath, may do the guest room in a beachy-theme. We'll see, I'm prone to whims and who knows how many more will come flitting by before I get there!

      Down time does impede that get-up-and-go process for me, too. We'll keep you motivated!

  7. Years ago one of my hobbies was refinishing old furniture. Bringing old wood to its original state and then refinishing was very rewarding, and the chemicals also gave you a nice buzz, I almost "ruined" some valuable antiques, by restoring them to their original beauty, but I wised up just in time. Not that it matters much, when I am done with these pieces no one in my family will want them. Kids today refer to beautiful antiques as "Brown" furniture. It is a rewarding hobby though.

    1. It is so hard to leave worn pieces alone and not feed the urge to make them "new" again! I do have a couple of pieces that I will not mess with.

      I have a 'sausage spindle' rocker that is at least 200 years old, a drop leaf desk and two tables that are valuable. I can almost hear them yelling 'leave me alone' when I walk through the house with sandpaper or a brush!

      My daughter loves the rocker and has called dibs on it when I give up the ghost. The drop leaf desk goes to one of my granddaughters that always loved going through all the little drawers when she was small. There is a large bookcase that is going to my daughter and I'm sure all the rest will be sitting on the driveway behind a large Yard Sale sign!


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