A Little Elbow Grease

Finding pieces to reimagine is nothing short of heaven for me. The thrill of the hunt is like rocket fuel for the soul.I know, I sound a little over zealous but it's a natural high and I am always chasing it. I love coming up with a thousand ideas for how I'm going to paint it, add something new to it, or take something away; figuring out how to make it beautiful and functional. Sometimes a piece will fall in my lap unexpectedly. On most occasions I am excited to get a new project in my shop, until this guy showed up.

At first glance I was extremely excited to get this awesome piece. Right away I saw the history and the potential to add a beautiful chapter to its story. I'm always searching for furniture like this. Older things are usually well crafted with quality material. You can tell when someone has put thought into what they were creating, whether it be an individual or company; but, not everything can stand the test of time as I learned when I got my hands on this piece.

The top of the chest of drawers was loose and need to be secured. My first attempt at pulling a drawer out was not as smooth as I'd hoped it would be. My thoughts were, "Okay, that's normal. It's an old piece - it's not unusual for the drawers to stick." Now on to the second drawer. I pulled with a little more exertion. It gave a little. I gave it a little more effort until I found myself placing my foot on this thing to get a little more leverage. Finally, it gave. Victory was mine! The last drawer gave me almost no trouble, but I knew by then this piece was not going to have the perfect ending.
I moved on to the casters. They where not in  good shape and two of the wheels had fallen off completely. More hope had been dashed as I was looking forward to keeping the piece as close to its original state.  I ended up having to pry all four wheels off.
I went back to the drawers to see what shape they were in and if they could be repaired. I'm no expert but I take pride in my self taught ability to make minor repairs to furniture. Unfortunately, after examining the drawers and having one drawer fall completely apart (AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!), I gave up on this being a fully functional piece.  I resolved to make it pretty on the outside.  
Now for the fun part, PAINTING! I'm a huge fan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, especially her color pallet. I have a small collection of her paint, but anyone who is familiar with the brand will know, it can get a bit pricey. Not to mention, I always have trouble picking a color at the retailer only to later see how someone used the color I didn't buy in the most genius way. Instead, I decided to mix my own chalk paint. With a few colors from my paint collection and a bit more material ( I will explain how to mix chalk paint in a later blog), I was able to match almost perfectly the color that I wanted. After mixing my paint, I applied three coats to get a solid finish. I lightly distressed it, then went over it with some steel wool to give it a smoother texture. My final step was to add a finishing wax. To complete the piece, I added these simple brass knobs I salvaged from another piece.
Unfortunately, it was not a perfect ending being that the piece is not functional. I placed the drawers back in the chest, but unless you want to play tug-of-war on a daily basis, this piece is for show and not storage.  I was excited to get this piece, but upon further inspection I believed it was a lost cause. The lesson to be learned here is that there is always a way to accomplish your goals. It takes a little creativity, a little patience, and a little elbow grease. It may not have come out exactly the way I wanted, but I still love the end result.
When picking out items for the vignette, I wanted to go with rustic and natural pieces.
I love this beautiful demijohn. It will fit in any type of decor, and the antique short ladder added a bit of rustic charm.
This cement pair adds a bit of dimension to the decor.
This plant stand rounded out this decor quite nicely. I love that it can be used indoor as well as out.
I love succulents. They complete the scene for me. I came across this lovely antique teapot. I thought it added a nice touch.
These handmade arrows by TableScrap are new additions to our store. I am in love with it's rustic simplicity.
This dresser is currently for sale. A reminder, this is not a functional piece and is purely for decor. I feel it would make a beautiful addition to any space.
Also available for sale:
Demijohn (comes with a wood crate)
Antique Short Ladder
Cement Pair
Metal Plant Stand
Succulents and Pot (not available online)
Wood Arrow
Visit us in our store at 419 N. Hamilton St in High Point, NC
visit us online www.rhenovations.com
(at this time we are not shipping. In store pick up only)


  • WoogeBoth

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  • Rhonda

    The piece is beautiful! Who needs function????

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