It’s the thing I dread most at every estate sale. I’m negotiating the price of a furniture piece with the estate sale worker, and they casually ask, “What do you plan to do with it?”
I take a deep breath, smile a big smile, and respond, “I makeover furniture. I am going to refinish and sell it.”
GASP! Instantly, the worker casts their eyes down at me and all kindness drains from their face. I become to them one of those cheap dealers just looking to make money and ruin precious aunt so-and-so’s antique treasure.
Or, they don’t ever ask the question, but say something like, “I am just so glad it’s going to a good home.” That’s almost just as bad . . . the shame doesn’t come from them, but builds up inside of me as I feel obligated to tell them I plan on making money on this piece.
Ughh. I really do dread it. I know I shouldn’t care what estate sale workers think of me, but I do! I want to shout, “I am a nice person! I am a pastor’s wife for crying out loud! Don’t look at me like I am an ax murderer or child abductor! I just paint furniture!”
Any other dealers out there get what I’m saying?
There is a culture of people who really do despise the painted furniture movement, and honestly at times I don’t blame them. Some absolutely terrible things have been done to beautiful pieces by people who shouldn’t be allowed to pick up a paint brush (see some examples of what I’m talking about here).
But I’m not one of those people. I promise I am not going to paint grandma’s china cabinet a bright turquoise with gold stenciling on it. I will make over this furniture in a way that is tasteful, elegant, and adds to it’s charm.
Why have I climbed up on this soapbox? Well, I’m getting ready to work on my next major dining table makeover and I am remembering the shame I had to endure when I purchased the set back at an estate sale in October.
It’s a beautiful Duncan Phyfe style table, complete with a leaf, table pad, and 6 sturdy chairs. I don’t have a picture of it because it is literally buried under a pile of other things in my garage, but it looks basically just like this one (of course without the new paint job):
When I buy furniture at an estate sale, I always try and scoop up the pieces left over at the end of the sale that nobody wants. Usually they are damaged, need some minor repair, or already painted some other wierd color.
The pristine condition, high-quality antique pieces at estate sales never last until the end of the sale–they always go early on to people who want those pieces just as they are. So when I come in at the end of a sale and negotiate a price for furniture nobody wants, I think I should be seen as a hero rather than an evil villain who is out to destroy culture, history, and everything our country holds dear.
If I don’t buy these leftover pieces, they will wind up either in the dump or a thrift store. If they wind up in the thrift store, they will likely go home with somebody who just wants cheap furniture and doesn’t care about the possible beauty of the piece, and who will most likely continue to beat it up and damage it more until it does eventually wind up in the dump.
That may be a slightly overly dramatic . . . but you get my point.
My goal in purchasing this old furniture nobody wants is to restore it. To make it appealing to the average person again by updating its look and returning its charm.
So please don’t give me that look of shame . . . After all, it is just paint and can always be taken off!
For this new Duncan Phyfe set, I am planning on going yellow on the base and chairs, either using Fusion Buttermilk Cream,
which is a warm, pale yellow, or Fusion Aubusson–a yellow with cool undertones.
The tabletop I will re-stain, and I think that will be a beautiful contrast to a pretty yellow base.
I’m hoping to start working on it this week. I have two other big furniture pieces in the hopper as well, although I think I am going to hold onto those for the my Vintage Market Days booth space coming up in May.
I’m excited to try out some more Fusion colors and use my new paint on a bigger project. And I’m really excited as I think about all of that waxing I don’t have to do . . .
If you haven’t tried Fusion yet, you can order it online here from me!
Tester size pots are only $4.99, with shipping $3 for the first tester and a $1 for each one after that. I really think you will love it.
Thanks for bearing with me as I ranted some today . . . I feel better and am ready to get started on that dining set!