It’s amazing to me what a throw-away society we live in. I see it all the time in my MCM groups on Facebook. Pictures of gorgeous solid wood furniture, thrown out with the trash. Completely salvageable and not to mention beautiful pieces left on street corners, alleyways and in dumpsters. Luckily, there are folks out there that value the old, and can see the sometimes hidden potential. I can’t say I’ve been dumpster diving before…but I have great admiration those that have. I’ve seen some really stunning pieces saved and given new life by some of my fellow MCM fanatics.
While I tend to find my treasures in thrift shops, (my city is considered wine country, and its overrun with rod-ironed Tuscan fever. Yikes) I almost feel a duty to regularly frequent said shops to “save” neglected pieces. When I take a break from stocking my store, or looking for something for my own home, I feel as though somehow I’ll be missing out on something. (That might also be considered addiction…but who’s judging!?)
In recent weeks, I’ve found some pretty serious treasures that just needed some good old-fashioned elbow grease. In fairness, I can see how someone might have passed them by; either too busy to bother, or maybe they just didn’t know what they were looking at. You’ll see why I’ve been busy – but not busy blogging. I’ll bust these out into separate DIY tutorials later…but for now, here are some of the things I’ve been working on:
PROJECT 1: Bar Cart Revival
-So this piece was Nasty McNasty. Cobwebs, worn finish, scratched glass from being used to hold flower pots outdoors…
I kept the glass, just cleaned it up a bit and refinished the frame with some gold spray paint. Voila! We are so HOLLYWOOD!
PROJECT 2 – Dorothy Thorpe Roly Poly Glasses
-These guys were simple…they just needed some time spent polishing them. Come on now… who wouldn’t do a little work to have these beauties at your bar?
PROJECT 3: Arne Vodder Teak Drop Leaf Desk FOUND!
-This desk was dull and sad-looking. He had some white water stains, what looked to be a burn mark, and just needed a facelift. Challenge accepted!
I’m not tooting my own horn, here. This is just what I love to do. I’ve learned that despite whatever others might tell you, wanting to improve things and make them beautiful again is not a shortcoming, it’s a gift. The best part is that these projects are relatively simple. You just need a little time, maybe some caffeine and some tenacity. Next time you’re in need of something for your home, consider hitting your local thrift stores; recycling and reusing. Try to resist the “immediate gratification” we’ve become so accustomed to. The amount of pride you will get out of bringing something unwanted back to life again is worth the wait (and the elbow grease).
One thought on “Elbow Grease”
Wow! That bar cart was an amazing find and you really brought that desk back to life!