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I recently visited a wonderful antiques, collectibles, and gifts store named Wisteria Cottage. It’s wares spread through two cottages and spill out onto the grounds of this beautiful park like property. A few days later I received a call saying that I had won a $25 gift certificate. I could hardly wait to go back and choose my prize but alas, the store is only open one weekend per month. (In the future I will blog on some of my favorite places to shop, including Wisteria Cottage, but for now you can look them up at http://wisteria-cottage.blogspot.com/).
So, with gift certificate held tightly in hand I drug my husband shopping last weekend and what treasure do you think I chose? I could hold a contest but I’m sure you would never guess!
After looking at yard art, rustic items, fine antiques, Americana . . . I couldn’t get past the old ironing board that the owner, Sharon, pulled from a back room. It was just like the one my own mama used when I was a child. What is so compelling about an old ironing board? All I can say is that it made my heart happy. Every week my mother had her ironing day. She would stand at that board lovingly tending to her family’s clothing while singing old Gospel songs along with the radio.
Just looking at this old board I could almost smell the crisp linens pulled off the clothesline in our backyard and in my imaginings, I breathed into my lungs the starch-scented steam rising off the top of the board. I could hear the radio announcer say, “This is the Walk Through the Bible Radio Program, with Dr. J. Vernon McGee”, and the music begin to play, “How Firm a Foundation . . .”
Needless to say, that ironing board came home with me that day. So now, how do I justify money spent (even gift card money) on an old ironing board? I believe it has GREAT potential! Here are just a few ideas:
How do you like it as a library table? I think it is stunning as a display piece for some treasured antique books and my mama’s little night light. She bought this lamp in an antique store when I was a child and painted it white. She was a painter too!
Or how about using an old ironing board next to a dining table as a buffet or sideboard?
Sure, dishes can get heavy but probably no heavier than the pressure of my mama’s strong arm on the iron as she pressed out the wrinkles in my dad’s cotton shirts. And if she was feeling a little angry . . . I’m sure she vented her anger by pressing even harder!
Lastly, here is my ironing board turned plant display stand, under the eaves of my porch. I think it is quite lovely!
As you can see, I painted my ironing board turquoise, the very color that came to mind when I saw it standing there with it’s red metal crossbars. The legs I’ve painted a crisp white.
(This was my second experiment with homemade chalk paint – Recipe #2 of 3. I will be sharing all three recipes, with pros and cons, in an upcoming blog, so stay tuned!)
So, now that I’ve shown you the great value of owning an old ironing board what will I do with mine? As I said, I knew it would be turquoise. I also knew it would hang on my laundry room wall as the inspiration piece for my laundry room re-do (a far, far in the future project!).
Let me assure you that this ironing board will NOT be staying on the wall! Though I rarely iron anything at all, I have decided to junk my old tabletop, half-sized, pressboard ironing board (maybe one of my girls will want it) and I will use the real thing! I think I may just learn to enjoy time spent ironing. Anyone know where I can find a radio station that plays old Gospel music?
What about you? What things have you seen the hidden potential in and what ways have you given old old item a new purpose? I’d love to hear your restoration story 🙂
I’ve been asked this many times. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is not the same as Chalkboard paint (which I also love to use). It is a paint made specifically for painting furniture, floors, walls, etc. It creates a smooth, velvety finish that, when sealed with the Annie Sloan Soft Wax, lends a gentle glow to your furniture. I am in LOVE with this paint! Keep reading and I’ll tell you why . . .
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has revolutionized furniture painting for me. With this paint there is no stripping, sanding, priming, painting a first coat, waiting for days for the paint to cure, sanding again, painting a second coat . . . for anyone who has refinished furniture, you know the time-consuming nature of it all. NOW . . . with this wonderful medium . . . all I have to do with that shabby little piece I picked up at the neighborhood garage sale, is dust it off and start painting!
One coat is usually enough to cover. The paint dries quickly and can be sealed the same day with the wax, which comes in either clear or dark, to give it a more aged appearance. There are a wide variety of colors available and they can be mixed to make custom colors. It is really all about experimenting until you get just the look you want.
For this piece I combined Arles and Antibes Green. I was a little worried about what my husband’s reaction would be to such a vibrant color right in the middle of our living room, but when he came home from work he absolutely loved it!
Part of the beauty of chalk paint is in it’s versatility. In my experience, every piece of furniture seems to call for a different finish. While one item may be just perfect with the silky smooth effect achieved with a coat or two of paint and clear wax, another (like the piece above), seemed destined for the use of a sanding sponge (this paint is so easily distressed) and dark wax, to end up looking like a much cherished piece of furniture. Most of the time I prefer furniture that has a little bit of an aged and distressed look. I believe that there is great beauty in imperfection.
Next, I replaced the old cracked leather chair covers with Sunbrella indoor/outdoor fabric. It is wonderfully resistent to spills and stains. I LOVE the whole restoration process. I love the quiet time alone with my work and my thoughts as I contemplate my own life and second chances; I love seeing things transformed before my eyes; and I love the beautiful end result. So rewarding.