I thought it was about time to give you another look at some of the Old Things New projects I’ve been doing around my house.
You know I love you right? Really I do, and I’m going to prove it today by sharing with you how to create a Pottery Barn finish on any piece of furniture in less than two hours! Yup! I transformed this scratched and dented thrift store trestle table by giving it the Pottery Barn look, and I’m going to tell you how you can do it yourself!
I was smitten the moment I saw this oak trestle table hidden among the other furniture in the back reaches of Habitat for Humanity. It was marked at $24. Yes, $24! As an older gentleman (near as old as me) loaded it into my car he exclaimed over and over what a great buy it was. I guess whoever marked the price on this was a youngsta’ who thought old meant outdated and not valuable. My oldish table-loading-friend and I knew better.
So let’s get started:
I began with plain old black acrylic paint from the craft store, which I mixed with calcium carbonate (per measurements in my chalk paint recipe). Since the paint will be sanded heavily and smoothness is not an issue you could use any of the three recipes in that post.
Note: Lately I’ve been using Min Wax Finishing Wax mixed with a bit of Min Wax Wood Finish Stain to create my own less expensive dark wax. It isn’t as easy to spread as soft wax (unless you heat it up a bit which I’m not telling you you should do, but it is something I just might do), but I like the end result much better than soft wax. It buffs easier, dries to a harder finish, and doesn’t get streaky weird like soft wax can sometimes do.
We keep this table in our Seahawk/Bonus Room. Most of the time it’s set up as a library table but I can also open the leaves quite wide to create crafting or sewing space. A couple of people who have offered to buy it, even when I gave them a very pricey Pottery Barn price, but in the end I never could actually let it go.
Now while I do “heart” this sweet table of mine it isn’t near as much as I LOVE y’all! Thank you for being my friends, for letting me share my creative exploits with way too much ramble, and for allowing me to show you more pictures than you ever hoped to see.
Blessings dear friends,
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Hard words to utter, especially coming from a fixer upper kinda gal like me, but the cost of moving cross country was enormous and we were trying to lighten the load.
“Absolutely NOT!”, Mr. OTN stated emphatically. “This is a family treasure and we can fix it.”
This? A treasure?
A big hole in the seat, water damage from being left out on the porch, joints coming apart where the screws had rusted through. But he was right, it is a treasure to me. As I shared in a previous POST, this was the chair where I spent many hours as a young girl, rocking and dreaming about places far away. The rocker was in the old lake cabin my parents purchased over a half century ago, and it was old even then.
So at hubby’s insistence, along she came with us on our journey to the South.
These are Mr. OTN’s step-by-step instructions for Recaning a Vintage Chair. Though I had my doubts (the hubby has never showed much interest in being involved in my furniture hobby) he ended up having a lot of fun bringing this old girl back to life.
Materials used with links to purchase are shown at the end of this post. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase through my links.
Step 1: Remove old caning
Mr. OTN began by cutting away as much of the old caning as possible, followed by tucking hot water soaked rags down into the crevices to soften the old glue and allow for easier removal of the rest of the caning and the old wooden stays.
In this picture you can see that Mr. OTN used clothespins to tuck the rags down into the channels.
Once the glue was very soft he used a caning chisel to scrape away remaining glue, caning, and stray bits of wood. This required persistence and continued hot water soaks. To speed up the process we found my portable garment steamer to be quite helpful!
After allowing the chair to dry Mr. OTN cleaned up the remaining glue with his Dremel tool. Using the correct attachment for the Dremel is critical if you as you do not want to change the width of the grooves.
Step 2: Repairing the chair
This chair was coming apart at the seams due to heavy water damage . . .
. . . and we quickly realized that the screws that held the arms in place were rusted through completely.
Mr. OTN decided to use a wooden dowel instead of another screw for the repair. First he drilled a hole large enough for the dowel, drilling from the back of the chair all the way through into the arm.
Then he painted some wood glue on the end of the arm where it would attach to the back and also inside the hole.
Wood glue is your best friend on any woodworking project!
He inserted the dowel from the back of the chair through into the arm, trimmed the dowel flush to the back of the chair, added a little wood putty and sanded it smooth once it dried.
I stepped in here and cleaned things up a bit, using bleach on the black stained areas before painting the chair with two layers of paint. I used a Behr (Home Depot) clearance paint that we found in the garage of our new home (a no name paint) followed by a Behr knock-off of Annie Sloan’s Provence mixed according to my recipe for Home Made Chalk Paint.
Step 3: Caning
Mr. OTN began by cutting the caning to size plus 2-3″ of overlap. He then soaked the piece in hot water for approximately 30 minutes.
The tools he used for this part were clothes pins (a substitute for caning wedges) and a rubber mallet.
He pounded the halved clothes pins into the grooves in the chair, being careful to keep the cane as straight as possible.
Just like stretching a tapestry he put a couple of clothes pins on one side (back), stretched the cane taught, and put a couple of clothes pins on the other side (front). He did the two sides in the same manner.
Strips of wood spline are used to hold the cane in place. Mr. OTN cut four lengths to size, angling the cuts so they would match at the corners. Then he soaked the strips in hot water for 15 minutes to make them easier to work with.
He applied a generous amount of wood glue in the channel and laid the first piece of spline in place.
Next he pounded it down with a rubber mallet. Once the strip was firmly in place he removed the clothes pins. Make sure and remove the wedges before the glue dries.
Here is the second strip in place. Notice the nicely mitred corners 🙂
After adding spline to all four sides, Mr. OTN trimmed off the excess caning as closely as he could with sharp scissors . . .
. . . followed up with a box knife to trim off stragglers, and a sand paper block to smooth off rough edges.
And now, here are a few pictures of the final reveal!
Thank you Mr. OTN Cutie, for the wonderful job you did on restoring this family treasure. YOU are my treasure 😉
Links to caning supplies (not linked are common supplies such as scissors, rags, small paintbrush, rubber mallet, drill, sandpaper, etc.):
“Gold, pure gold.” THOSE were the thoughts in the mind of the creator of this old mirror of mine.
Okay, maybe not pure gold but still, I believe that in the beginning the creator of my thrift store mirror had every intention of making this mirror quite beautiful. A mirror to be displayed and admired.
(Keep reading to hear a little secret about this mirror 😉
Eventually she was purchased and probably did have a stint at living life as the mirror she was created to be. Then time passed and, as often happens, circumstances for this mirror didn’t turn out as expected. Life happened. Lots of life apparently as this mirror eventually became a lady most colorful. And not in the best of ways. I was so excited when I saw this mirror sitting on the Goodwill shelf with the $4.99 price tag that I added it to my cart in a heartbeat. The checker though! I could tell by the look on her face when I placed it on the checkstand that she was a bit surprised that anyone would dole out their hard earned money for such a hideous piece.
A painted lady, gaudy in iridescent purple, blue, and green, hiding the gilded beauty of what she was originally created to be. I get that. I believe that we are all created with unique gifts and talents and the potential to be what God designed us to be. Life circumstances can change us though, shut us down, make us fearful to pursue God’s intended path for our lives.
Some of us seem to push through to fulfill our dreams early on in life. Others may need a lot of healing to get back on the right track (that’s me, a late bloomer). Unfortunately some may never get there because they have no one in their lives to see through to the beauty beneath and walk with them toward their full potential.
I decided that I would not take this mirror back to her former glory because she wasn’t the same mirror. She had many layers now and, though they were indeed gaudy, I didn’t want to hide them completely.
I began this project by toning down my colorful mirror with a few coats of homemade cassein paint that I learned to make in the online painting course Farragoz, The Art of Patina. This simple-to-make paint creates great texture!
After that was nearly dry I painted the mirror using my Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe with latex paint that Home Depot custom matched to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint’s French Linen (taken from my ASCP color card).
A dry brushing of a lighter color Homemade Chalk Paint (a Home Depot match to Annie Sloan’s Old White) followed next.
Last of all I used a clear soft wax to seal the layers of paint, pressing Amy Howard’s Dust of Ages into the crevices while the wax was still somewhat tacky. Have I told you how much fun this stuff is to work with? It comes in a large 10 oz. jar which should pretty much last me forever. For ordering info you can click on the picture below.
Now for the little secret I told you I would reveal: This mirror, underneath all of it’s Old World charm, is plastic! Yes, PLASTIC. Who would ever guess?
For more furniture painting ideas and techniques please check out my Pinterest board, and follow along if you like. To enroll in an awesome online painting course where you’ll learn to make your own paints and be guided through the process of learning several different finishing techniques please check out the Farragoz link here (or on my sidebar).
“For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb . . . My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery] . . . Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, [could I count to the end] I would still be with You.” Psalm 139:13-18 The Message Bible
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
And just in case you were wondering . . . it is never too late for God to redeem the wasted years of our lives.
You are loved so much!
Three sisters from the same parents. How could we all be so dissimilar while at the same time so alike? How could remembrances of our childhoods be so different? I guess, given the age spread, it isn’t all that surprising.
Sister #1 lived through the lean times.
Sister #2 was there when they were “movin’ on up!”
Sister #3, well, everyone said that she was just plain spoiled though that simply isn’t true!
One thing we had in common were two parents who cared a lot about appearances and looking their best. I once heard my dad referred to as “Dapper Dan” and my mom almost always wore a dress and heels, even into her 80’s when she struggled to remain steady on her feet. There she was, my mom and her walker, heading down to dine and dressed to the nines!
In addition to dress, my mom was a collector of things that made the home I grew up in a place of beauty. When you tour my home you’ll see some of her treasures on display.
So here’s the deal with the three sisters. Our parents taught us strive to look our best too but we pull ourselves together in very different ways:
Sister #1: Traditional style, think Ralph Laurenish. Her look is fairly casual and she loves color. Red is her go-to color.
Sister #2: Elegant style in the vein of Jackie O! She loves to dress up in designer clothes and rocks it in black and white.
Sister #3: Rustic Glam style – Pretty much a jeans girl but she likes to dress her jeans up with pretty tops and layers of jewelry. Blues and greens are her favorite colors – to match her eyes.
Now, can you tell me which sister I am? A lot of times the way we dress our homes is a reflection of the way we dress ourselves. Take a look at a few components of my dining room below to see if this gives you a hint of who I am.
Antique oil painting
Traditional damask wallpaper
Painted and distressed china cabinet
A shabby ruffled tablecloth
Vintage frame turned chalkboard
As I pulled this dining room together with the oriental rug, the chandy, the buffet, the hutch, the wallpaper, and all of the other elements of the room it began to feel . . . FANCY. Too fancy for me (not too fancy for my husband because he loves fancy)! So to make it feel more ME . . . you guessed it, I’m the more rustic glam of the three sisters . . . I added a few rustic elements to the room.
One of these elements was the two oak cabinet doors that I had hanging around in my garage. I thought they would be the perfect foil for the fancy-schmancy crystal wall sconces that I intended to hang on either side of the oil painting. This is the process I used for liming the doors:
Can you see how these two doors tone down the elegance of the crystal sconces and the room a little bit? Now we can have a fancy dinner and still act like our quirky, funny, crazy selves.
Along with the crazy fun friends we seem to be drawn to.
This is the first time I’ve used liming wax and I love how it settles into the grain of the wood. That’s the key by the way. Liming wax works best with open grained hardwoods such as oak and ash.
I’ve added links below to the products I used on this job in case you are interested in purchasing any of them. As my statement says at the top of the page, any purchases through links on this blog help us keep the lights on here at Old Things New but do not cost you any more than buying directing through Amazon.
I do hope you enjoyed my little guessing game though y’all probably had me figured out from the get-go! Next up on the blog I will be sharing a tutorial for the Ruffled Linen-Look Tablecloth that I made for my dining room table.
Blessings until we meet again 😉