Re-purpose to Craft in Style, Part 1: Finding the Perfect Piece

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I am the antique lover in the family. I hate to see anything made of wood tossed aside. The older the piece, the better.

When creating my dream scrap room in the den, I went on a hunt for a table. I wanted something old and solid. Instead of going with the scraproom staple, white, laminated particle board, I wanted to give new life to something that was once beautiful.

I went to my favorite antique store and found nothing.  A friend and I walked the entire place and didn’t see anything right for the space, so we went outside to regroup. We went back in, and described to the owner what I was looking for. He immediately grabbed 2 other people, gave everyone a tape measure, and we split in different directions. Every few minutes someone would call out that they had something, and they came up with 4 great options. All pieces that I walked right past without a 2nd glance because I was looking for something big.

The winner was just 4 feet wide and piled with stuff. I was skeptical, but when he cleared it off and pulled it out, I was amazed. It was a dining room table that tripled in size by the time he was done! Sure it had some scratches & was pretty dusty, but I knew it was the one. It just needed to be stripped back to bare wood & stained.

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When you are out looking for any piece for your home, don’t be afraid to dig in & get your hands dirty. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, and the people that work with antiques really know how to re-purpose those old pieces. Ask for help. As you will see in coming posts, I did not really change my table as much as I gave it new life, but it is OK to alter a piece. Each piece you find a use for is 1 less piece in a garbage dump!

This post is split into several parts. Hopefully this post helped you see the value in old pieces. The next will cover stripping the wood, followed by staining.

Happy antiquing!

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