Vintage furniture and hidden treasures
Second hand furniture holds a special place in my heart. As a little girl I was taken into many a charity and second hand shop by my mum who could have spent hours opening every wardrobe door and every dresser draw. Inspecting carved wood details, lifting stacks of picture frames to reveal hidden treasures and admiring worn upholstery.
All our wardrobes, draws and dressers came second hand. Beautiful dark varnished oaks, speckled mirrors with whole sides barely usable and decorative carvings. All cheaper than Ikea or Argos.
My favourite piece was one I unfortunately had to say goodbye to on one of our many (many) moves. It had a central full length mirror, dark wood draws either side and smaller mirrors above. What I loved most about it was my discovery, whilst doing a very very thorough clean I took all of the draws out to – I don’t know, clean the sides? When I took out the draws I found inside a stack of papers . . .
I was so excited when I found these and spent hours pouring over them, trying to work out what mystery they held.
When I found them we were still in ‘dial-up’ era and ‘googling’ their names online wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. So I contented myself with conspiracies and trying daily to work out what the hand writing said.
Just look at how old that stamp is!
The idea that the last time the papers were touched was back in 1939 stuck with me for quite a while. Where had this dresser been, who had forgotten about the papers, why were they hidden away?
Long after moving out and as such forgoing my mums furniture trips I have continued them myself. A few months ago I came across a cave of second hand furniture in Finsbury Park. A real gem! Like a good daughter should, I called mum immediately to let her know of my find and that I’d spotted a little coffee table I wanted for my living room. The next day she was in London and the pair of us were knee deep in dust, old carpets, chairs, table legs and wardrobes. Mum resisted purchasing anything but helped me get my newly acquired 70’s wooden table into the car.
I was told I would need to seal the top (I negotiated the price down on the understanding I would finish its repairs), and I was more than happy to get it sealed one weekend.
One weekend turned into many and before I knew it the top looked like this . . .
After a bit of a think I decided that as much as I love the natural look – I wanted to paint it! Turquoise is a big colour at the moment and it looks great in the home. That paired with the natural wood and an off white, a perfect combination.
I headed to my closest hardware store, and for anyone who doesn’t go into those places often, a couple pointers. 1. Don’t ask for a tin of paint in ‘medium’ size. You’ll get an odd look. 2. You can’t use matt paint on wood, egg shell is the closest you’ll get to this finish, now you know – don’t ask which will be the ‘matt-est’. Apparently this isn’t a term.
Armed with masking tape. I taped.
And painted coat one . . .
. . . and another coat
just look at that colour 🙂
Very happy with the outcome and love the colours. So much so that I painted a couple empty vodka bottles which I’ll use in the kitchen to hold rice, pulses, lentils etc.
Reckon they need another coat though.
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