I love Wednesdays. Know why? Well it’s not because of some silly talking camel that’s for sure! San Diego now hosts one of the largest nighttime swap meets ANYWHERE! So after work I slipped into my chucks, grabbed my messenger bag, counted out some loot and scooted off to the Q. I gave the man my money and a coupon for admission and $1 later, I started walking “the grid”. I immediately found a couple of really cool items, like this vintage tweed French of California makeup/traincase. Not all the vendors were setup yet so I ended up walking the acres TWICE. No problem…I love looking at everything twice, just to make sure I don’t miss any awesome treasures! Yeah I know…OCD! As I was making my way back on the second round I came across a lot of junk and jewelry and stufffff.
I don’t normally buy lots of jewelry but I was drawn to this shoebox of trinkets…all tangled and looking full of potential so I made an offer on the entire box! I also grabbed a couple of fabulous cast iron skillets and a few more trinkets. I have learned to give myself a budget whenever I go picking anywhere and I’m proud to say I actually stayed under today – I spent less than $100! BUT…there were two items that I spied today I wish I could have and would have made an offer on, oh well cest la vie. Once I start sifting thru this shoebox though, I’m certain I’ll feel pretty good about todays pickins. Speaking of shoebox……I really have to go now. I have yet to check my booty of loot to see what’s in there and it’s driving me crazy right now! So, I’ll come back tomorrow and tell you what I find, what it’s worth and where you can buy it =)
Once I decided to take the plunge and open a consignment booth at the all new Antique Village mall, I figured I’d better start treasure hunting. I drug my boyfriend down to the Santee swapmeet one weekend and as we were cruising through I saw this cute little black dresser. It had three drawers, ugly handles, and one drawer that was badly cracked in the front along the bottom.
It sure didn’t look like much and my b.friend took one look at it and one look at me, shook his head and said “it looks like a lot of work to me”. But I was sold on the piece with its super cute size and detail…I just knew that if I “updated” the shabby chic paint it would be fabulous. So I bargained with the seller for a mere $7 and loaded it up!
I got the treasure back to the workshop and started stripping it right away. This was my first real refinishing project so the whole idea of using chemical solvents to remove alllll that black paint, was a bit daunting! Once I got a small area cleared though I realized there was some mighty purdy oak underneath! This was too good to repaint! I decided I must strip it down and restain it!
After only a couple of days and LOTs of sanding … I had it all stripped down to the raw wood.
The fish scales and fluted side columns lent to its endearing charm…
After using the chemical stripper to remove the top layers of old paint I chose to use a 60 grit sandpaper to bring it down the rest of the way. Then I used an 80 grit and finally 220 grit. I filled in the cracked/broken piece with some wood filler several times and continued to sand it down to blend the filler with the surface.
Once I had it all polished out and smooth I put the first coat of Minwax Golden Oak stain on it…wooohooooo!
The stain was the perfect shade and it brought out the grain. I did the standard 2 coats of stain and then finished it off with 2 coats of Minwax Semi-Gloss Polyurethane.
After all that hard work, the hardest part was actually finding new hardware! I hadn’t ventured out yet to find original antique hardware yet so it was back to Home Depot to look for something simple and understated (and cheap). I found some nice burnished black copper handles that fit the piece nicely.
Got the whole piece finished in about 4 days and took it down at the shop. It sat there for several weeks before I finally decided to put it on sale. After marking it down to $99, it sold right away!
Once my b.friend saw how nice it was all refinished, he’s hardly questioned my opinion on the “lotta work” pieces since!