Still trying to figure out how to change my background to a custom background. If you know how...please do share your know how. Thanks.
Here is a reprint of one of my first posts. Enjoy.
Last year my husband's grandmother passed away (she was 104!!). She had lived in her home since 1944 and the home still had most of her original furniture. Unfortunately for the last seven years of her life she had 24-7 home care and the aides were less than kind to her furniture. Before this, I had never restored any furniture before. I figured...how hard could it be?
This was in the bedroom where the aides stayed. The top was covered in water ring stains, and there were papers and I don't even know what else stuck all over the top. I originally planned to paint it an off white. I started by sanding the top. At first I thought I could just use some sandpaper. Within minutes I realized I needed an electric sander. While I sanded, I wore a mask...can't stress the importance of this (for the first half hour I didn't - major error in judgment). As I sanded the piece down which was stained so dark it almost looked black in person, I realized it was solid mahogany (which explains why it weighed so much). There was no way I could paint this piece anymore. So I decided to completely sand it down to the bare wood and stain the piece. It took me an entire day to sand the piece down (now while that sounds like a long time, I was so psyched to be restoring the dresser that I was shocked when the sun started going down).
The dresser sits proudly in my great room. On top of the dresser I have displayed other treasures I found at my husband's grandmother's house (with the exception of the birds and the bookend).
The lamp was a mess when I found it. I carefully cleaned the bottom and bought a new lampshade. The books are first edition from the turn of the century. My husband didn't want me to take the piece initially since I didn't really have a plan on where it would go. I knew I couldn't let it go to the junkyard. I'm so glad I took it.
Here is my grandmother-in-law's favorite chair. The bottom cushion was destroyed so I bought a new piece of foam thinking I could reupholster it. I decided that I didn't want to ruin the piece (it's hard to see in the picture, but the legs were scratched up quite a bit).
I had a professional reupholster the chair in a neutral fabric (since I wasn't really sure where it was going...this is it's second location so far that I have tried out).
Here was her china cabinet (a picture of it in my grandmother-in-law's dining room). As you can see there were deep scratches all over it and the shelves were especially scratched.
I didn't want to sand the piece down (now knowing how long it would take I wasn't so ready to do it again). But I couldn't put it in my home looking that way. So instead I took stain on a old white t-shirt and lightly rubbed all over the piece. I couldn't believe that it took away all of the imperfections. I'm sure someone out there who knows how to do this is cringing, but it worked for me. It did take almost a week for the piece not to feel tacky, but now it's perfect (it sits outside of my son's room in the hallway and displays his built lego sets). (I am considering spraying it an off white and using it in my daughter's room instead...what do you think?)
I did the same rubbing technique on this chair
...and this side table
This table was in the worse shape of all. The top is inlaid leather. The surrounding wood was very bad. I sanded down to the raw wood the entire top and stained it as close to a color on the legs as possible. The legs I did the same thing as above just rubbing the stain over the piece which filled in the scratches. This piece also had rollers on the legs, but only two had them left. I tried to hunt down new roller feet, but couldn't. So I removed the remaining two and the table is now stationary.
My favorite before and after, unfortunately doesn't have a before picture. It was the only dining chair still intact (the rest were literally in pieces throughout the home). It was a very dark wood and the fabric was 40 years old and in bad condition. This is what I made of it:
I completely took the chair apart, added new batting, new fabric and nailhead trim. I got the inspiration to take on this challenge after reading a tutorial on Centsationalgirl.com. She is amazing and is really my inspiration for not only this project but for this entire blog. So thank you to her.