Antique Chest: Tools to Turquoise

I had the urge to go hunting for treasures one day a few weeks ago. So I went to a favorite thrift store, walked in and saw a man bending over a large, old wooden box right in front of the cashier. I was crestfallen, gasped, and said, “Oh no! I’m too late!” You see, in addition to bun feet, curvy legs, and Italian 60’s furniture, I also love boxes. And this was a very cool one, a chest, with many old tools inside. The man straightened up, and I noticed his name tag. Name tag! He worked there! He told me that the chest was just brought in and they had just priced it. “Sold!” I said. To me.

In this chest, when I got it home, weere so many amazing things from the past–a vintage task light in a cage, hand drills, wooden handled screwdrivers, Ford Model T tools (pliers, socket set and screwdriver), a hammer set of three sizes with matching heads, early wrenches, a blue painted oak level, large tin snips, lots of metal files, solder, and many other items that indicated that the former owner was very, very productive.

But the really nice thing about this chest is the condition. The inside was totally unfinished, surprisingly clean, and had a sliding tray that rested on ledges inside. However, someone had taken the original lock off and put an ugly galvanized padlock loop on it that was causing the trim to split, as well as more modern galvanized handles on the sides. I cleaned it up, removed the ugly galvanized hardware, sanded it just to get the rough parts under control, stained the lid and trim, and washed it with my favorite turquoise so the wood and grease stains still showed through.

And now it’s gorgeous. It doesn’t belong in a garage anymore. It belongs at the end of a bed, or in front of a sofa, with books on it. Maybe books on auto mechanics or woodworking!



This humble chest went to the Vermont lodge of a high-end home builder. What a great fit for this terrific piece.
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Antique Black and White Striped Bookcase: Bun-Footed Bounty

I have this thing for bun feet. Just like curvy table legs, they tend to attract my attention. Sometimes almost single-mindedly so. I recently bought a disaster of a dresser just because it had great feet. I assumed the rest would be just as great, but I didn’t really notice the rotten construction until I got it home. I’m going to have to save the drawers and hardware and junk the body. But that’s another post. Back to the feet that drew me to this piece:bun footed bookcase before

Look at them! Adorable and round; they have such presence, and promise. My dubious husband looked at them and noted, “They’re cracked!” And I said, “Yeah, isn’t that cool?” Really, you can’t ask for a cooler antique feature than cracks in the feet. Of the furniture, of course. But, further, the other elements of the antique piece worked so well with the feet: the drawer, hardware, scrolling, and wood–worn, dinged, scratched, and perfect for paint!

bun feet

Now look at them! Polished, distressed, and really, really, cute. Along with the rest of the bookcase. By the way, the shelves are cracked, too. Bonus!

bun footed bookcase front

bun footed bookcase stripes

bookcase pull

Can you imagine this warm, witty piece in your study or den?

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Faux Bamboo China Cabinet: Ick to Idyllic

I always wanted a piece of furniture in faux bamboo. Hollywood Regency, it’s called, and can look very glamorous in the right setting. So I have kept my eye out in my thrifting adventures for just the right piece. So, imagine how fun it was to find, in a yard sale, a very simple, almost completely perfect, although very dirty, faux bamboo china cabinet. When I walked up to look at it, the old guy immediately slashed the price on it in half. I took that as a yes!

bamboo china cabinet before

Everything was original to the 1960’s piece. All three glass shelves had the plate groove. All the pulls, lights, drawers, hinges, everything, worked great. Nothing to replace or repair, except the electrical cord for the lights inside. Ripe for paint! Of course, I thought, it has to be black, to me the most elegant of Hollywood Regency colors. So that’s what I did.

bamboo china cabinet front

It took forever, but I made believers out of my husband and several friends who were more than a little dubious. I could used my spray gun to get the smooth sides, but there were so many touch ups because of the textures. When the hardware got clean, it had a warm, copper tone to it, so I chose copper for all the hand-painted bamboo joints. Light glints off them in a wonderful way, giving the cabinet lots of interest.


bamboo china cabinet top

Check it out in my Etsy shop. (SOLD)