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.
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.