Have you see those new facebook sell/buy/trade groups? I belong to about four of them. 2 weeks ago, I ran across a free antique buffet on a Facebook group. Didn't think I had any hope of being first in line, but I was! This was the type of piece I'd been secretly wishing for, but didn't even pray for, as these don't typically just show up in re-finishable condition where I live.
My 9-year old son and I drove out to the boonies after church, and managed to muscle and shove that thing into the back of my SUV with about a quarter of an inch to spare. We got out of there quickly when the guard-goats started showing up, and drove home with spider eggs, webs and all.
It then sat on the front porch (yeah, we redneck up in here!) for a week. Of course, a week is nothing in DIY land. My husband and I finally brought it to the back yard so I could start working on it about a week ago. This thing was in pretty harsh shape. The veneer was crumbling into dust, parts were missing, and it was overall just nasty dirty and infested with incubating spiders. But, it had dovetail drawers, original hardware, and excellent bones. I knew I could make it beautiful.
|Dirty & nasty, sitting on my front porch.|
|Redeeming factor #1: Original, solid brass hardware.|
|Redeeming factor #2: Dovetailed drawers!|
First step? Hosing it down with bug spray! I used the new Raid kill 'em all spray in the auto-trigger bottle. This stuff is awesome, and even kills flies (which are everywhere in Central California in the summer). Once that was done, I gloved up and just pulled out all of the nasty before giving a good scrubbing with Simple Green and Mr. Clean. Overkill is better than under when it comes to spiders, right?
I mixed up a quick quart of DIY chalk paint using a can of oops paint I pilfered from Dad's stash and some unsanded grout. I had originally wanted to paint the frame white and stain the drawers, doors and top, but man did that cherry veneer bleed like a stuck pig! I ended up with HUGE neon pink spots all over the place. On to Plan B I suppose.
|This was my original vision: white frame + stained fronts and top. Bleed happened.|
Plan B involved two pots of sample paint in Valspar Stonemason Grey, a gorgeous blue-gray color. I mixed them into chalk paint, and started brushing.
|Valspar Stonemason Grey|
Pretty, no? But I wasn't getting good coverage, and I wasn't about to head back to the hardware store AGAIN. Then I remembered I had a whole quart of My Color by Pantone in Cloudburst that I had won in a blog contest a couple of years ago. I mixed the Cloudburst with the Stonemason Grey, and ended up loving the color. Pantone paint is self-priming, has excellent coverage, low VOC and cleans up with water. What more could a girl ask for?
I decided to spray the sides of the drawers in a light blue color called Slate Grey by Rustoleum. Keep in mind, I've had most of this paint lying around for a couple of years, so, you may not be able to find the colors!
While the paint was drying, it was time to assess the hardware. It is solid brass, and has a beautiful wheat pattern with rope detail. It was pretty tarnished, and I knew I didn't have any brass cleaner. I figured, white vinegar gets out pretty much anything so, I might as well try it.
It worked beautifully, and with a minimum of toothbrush scrubbing!
|Yes, one of those cabinet pulls is bent. I still love it. It just shows the age and use of the piece, which is fine by me! Besides, we all know that nothing stays perfect in a house full of boys...|
Once the frame was painted, I started sanding down the top. Turned out that only the lacquer was crumbling, and the veneer was in near-perfect condition under all that mess. I sanded it all down smooth, and left the "age spots" alone. I stained the top in my go-to mad-scientist mix of Ebony, Golden Oak and Dark Walnut stains by Minwax.
Once I brought this beast into the house, I had to find a place for it! I'd always envisioned my oak bookcases up in my room (painted white, with a stenciled back of course, but that will have to wait) in sort of a library configuration with my desk/table. This was the perfect opportunity to do so, and would leave me with the best spot in the house for my new/old lovely.
I muscled both 7-foot solid oak cases upstairs, by my lonesome, on two separate days. God and I were worn out after the first one, but the second went quickly after a day of rest! I transferred everything up, and now have a nice place for my "office" things, as well as prettily styled shelves in my room. SCORE! And, to keep things real, here's a shot of the progress:
|Dog beds, DVD's and junk, Oh My!|
|Why yes, I do have two different candles on those sconces. Don't judge.|
And here she is, all styled up and gorgeous in my newly airy entry!
|The light in this area sucks. I had to open the front door to get enough to keep the flash off!|
|Pretty drawers and fluted columns.|
|See the "age spots"? I love an authentically aged piece.|
And one more, just because I love it so much I smile every time I glance it's way, and run my fingers lovingly over the surface when I walk by:
House On The Way
House On The Way