Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Secretary Rescue Mission

This is why I'm doing this for a living. This is why I deal with blisters and bruises, skinned knees, and paint EVERYWHERE.

        The paint, seriously, is everywhere. Aside from being forever on the backs of my forearms, where I always forget to scrub, it's all over my driveway, my kitchen floor, in my hair, on the backs of my calves, and I tracked some into the dining room.  But it's still worth it, still completely worth it.

        This sorry sad little secretary limped down my driveway on Monday evening. One of my favorite pickers, Johnette, brought it to me unannounced, as she was visiting a friend that lives down the street. The price was right, but the condition was, shall we say, challenging. The top and bottom backboard were off, the fitted interior had come unattached and was rattling around inside, the lid was barely hanging on by one hinge, there were missing drawer pulls, and the fretwork was busted. Structurally though, it was fine. It was made by Maddox around 1940, and is solid mahogany, so I figured I should give it my best shot.

          The first step was to see if I could repair the lid that had cracked when someone had tried to repair the left hinge by forcing screws through that were too big for the pre-drilled holes. I glued and clamped the crack and waited with baited breath. The clamping worked perfectly though, and then the rest was a cake walk. I swapped the pulls out for pretty cove pulls, painted the case and interior, and then just took loads of pictures cause I'm basically in love with this secretary.


A Sweet Antique Cupboard

I got this cupboard well over a month ago and had to stare at it for a while before I could decide what to do with it. It's antique c.1900, solid oak, and very well built, with excellent dimensions that would make it useful in just about any room. I've painted the case in a soft sage green, and the interior in a deeper shade of green. The piece had an odd make-do top that wasn't original so I removed it and replaced the top with a much prettier solid pine one. Finally, to give the piece even more zip I did a bit of subtle decorative painting on the door.  I've staged the piece as a drinks cupboard, but it could be just as pretty in a bathroom, or as a little storage or media cabinet.

A Handsome Antique Solid Mahogany Desk

I just adore this desk, in fact I'm sitting at it right now while I write this blog post, looking out on the garden and guest house in the summer sun (I love love love my job!). The desk is solid mahogany with an intensely dramatic mahogany veneer top. It's sturdy as a rock and beautifully built. I'd date it to about 1910-1930. I sanded, stained, and sealed the top, because my God, it's so gorgeous. I painted the case in a custom mixed cornflower blue chalk paint, distressed, and sealed with dark wax. I left the drawer pulls in their original patina, but applied a dark wax and buffed them, just to brighten them a bit. It's a great large desk, perfect for a person who likes to craft, or spread out, or, if you popped casters on it, it would make a killer kitchen island, as it's finished on all four sides.

A Pair of Cottage Side Tables

These side tables didn't start life together, though they're both made by Lane and were both made sometime around 1970, so they share many stylistic features. I like the idea of slightly mismatched side tables in a cottage environment- so much more character. I painted both in a custom mixed antique Shaker yellow, and sanded, stained, and sealed the tops in English chestnut. I swapped the drawer pulls out for burnished copper cup pulls. They'd be so perfect to add a dash of color to a living room or bedroom!

An Antique China Hutch in Blue

First, sorry it's been a week since I posted! We've had a spat of bad weather here in Connecticut and I only like to photograph pieces on sunny days. On the plus side, I got lots of things done yesterday and I have loads of new pieces to share with you!
         I bought this gorgeous antique bow front china hutch Monday morning and got right to work on it. I adore the elegant curved lines and the dentil molding across the top. I painted the exterior in a custom mixed cornflower blue and the interior in a custom mixed hazy pale blue called 'Sunday Morning'. I highlighted all the detailed wood work on across the top and waist molding with the lighter color, giving the piece a fresh Swedish country look. The pulls are original but recolored, and I swapped the boring knobs out for pieces with a little more character. The piece is dated on the inside of the case, February 21st, 1951- so that's pretty neat too!