Old Is New Again
With a few dollars, a little “elbow grease”, and a can of paint, you can transform a thrift store find into a treasure. If you need a piece of furniture and can’t seem to find what you are looking for at a price you can afford, we have some encouragement and an idea you might try.
Recently, I found a mid-century dresser, in questionable condition, at a local thrift store. It was solid wood, well made by a brand name furniture manufacturer, most likely some time in the 1950’s. And, it was perfect for the project we were doing… updating my 13 year old grandson’s bedroom.
My daughter Sara, and I had checked at many furniture stores and websites looking for something stylish, well made and large enough to hold his clothes but not too expensive. That turned out to be a nearly impossible task. There were dressers out there that were a right size and well made, but they were REALLY pricey. And there were dressers that were well priced and a good size but they were so cheaply made they wouldn’t have held up for long, so weren’t really a good buy after all. Then there were dressers that were made well and were affordable but they were about half the size we hoped to get. So finding what we wanted was proving to be more difficult than we had imagined.
Driving past the local thrift store it suddenly hit me, “Why not see if we can find an old dresser, and restore it? How about looking for an actual mid-century piece that might be in rough shape but affordable, and make something old, new again?” Next thing I knew I had pulled into the thrift store parking lot and was entering the store. There, amongst some stacked up furniture of all kinds was just what we wanted. The style and size of the dresser was exactly what we were hoping to find and the price was certainly right, at $49.99. But it got even better when I learned I happened to be there on a day when there was a 50% off sale on all furniture.
So in a matter of a very few minutes it was loaded in my car and I was headed home so Sara, Jeremy and I could get to work. Sara removed all the hardware, which turned out to be solid brass, and polished it. (More on that in another upcoming post).
The dresser was sanded down using an electric hand held sander. Then it was given a coat of primer. When that had dried, the first of 2 coats of a satin finished paint was applied. Again the dresser was lightly “sanded” with a very, very fine steel wool to remove any imperfections and leave a very smooth surface on which to apply the final coat of paint. We chose a mid-toned taupe gray paint that fit with the style of dresser and looked nice with the polished brass hardware.
When it was all done, we were very pleased. For very little money, and a modest investment of time, we had transformed something many would have called “junk” into a treasure. Something old was indeed “new again” 🙂