Apr 062014
 

Some pieces are just not meant to be painted.  Or are they?  There are occasions when I  paint a piece of furniture and post it on this blog and someone will comment that I “ruined” the piece.   I too am guilty of this thought.  Just recently, I saw a very unique mid century console on Craigslist where the shop had “ruined” the piece with an ugly shade of brown paint and was still asking an very high, typical MCM price.  Regardless, HEY! it’s furniture and the owner can do as they please.  Life’s too short to worry about someone else’s furniture.

Back in October, before winter hit us hard, I shared with you a lovely rocking chair I had acquired.  It came to me with a damaged cane seat but everything else was in amazing original condition.  There was evidence of a repair on one leg and it was obviously old but very well made and still VERY sturdy.  Not a wobble to be found.  Upon examination, I found a very faded label indicating the chair was manufactured by Heywood Brothers, a prestigious, prominent furniture manufacturer in the US.  A bit of internet research indicated the Baltimore plant operated  from 1897 to 1921 so I believe this chair is a true 100 year old “antique”.

However, it was really dark and dated.  I really like to paint things to bring them to life.  I started out really wanting to paint it but I just could not.  Somehow, it seemed like an easy way out! 

I posted a blog post asking  readers what to do and it was pretty unanimous that I should leave it in original state and get an estimate.  So I did.  The assessment said, if I kept it in an original condition, with a new cane seat, it should sell for $200 to $400 in a good market!  WOW!

I have replaced  cane seats before so that did not faze me.  I began removing the old cane and it was not easy!  I had to resort to nail polish remover to break up the glue which sadly disfigured the wood around the opening. 

Last week, I FINALLY got around to finishing it up.  Before tackling the cane seat, I did some light sanding and stained areas that were worn and needed to be stained.  Then coated the piece with varathane.  In the end, the transformation was way easier than I anticipated and the result is beautiful…

BEFORE
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Isn't she beautiful?

Isn’t she beautiful?

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AFTER

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I love the richness of the wood finish.

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The pressback design is gorgeous!

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New cane seat

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I feel as if this is how it looked 100 years ago!

I would like to stain the caning but most articles suggest leaving it natural. 
I will let the new owner decide… IF I sell it LOL!

Do you love it! 

What was I thinking when I wanted to paint it!??! 

Yes it may not be to many people’s taste but there is beauty in keeping it original!

 

I still love to paint furniture giving it NEW LIFE  but perhaps sometimes we should consider giving it its OLD LIFE back again!

 

Have you ever changed your mind after being determined to paint something?
Or have you regretted painting something and wished you have restored it instead? 
I’d love to hear from you!

 

This piece gives me goosebumps, as if I “SAVED” it somehow
so it can continue to live a long life! 

 

Is this piece NICER THAN NEW? 
DEFINITELY!

 

Joan

  8 Responses to “Keeping it Original”

  1. You made the right choice it is beautiful!!!

  2. You definitely made the right decision!! I have many old oak family pieces in my home and I would never dream of painting them! The oak grain is lovely and the dents and dings are testaments to it’s journey through my family. I love your beautiful rocking chair.

  3. I love this piece and you redid it so perfectly. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  4. You did an amazing job!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  5. I love this! I refinished an oak wash stand for a friend and it turned out so nicely. I agree with you, deciding whether or not to restore a piece is a matter of what shape it’s in and what look you’re going for. You did a lovely job on this!

  6. Stunning! I love the contrast between the light cane seat and the rich stain on the rest of the chair. Beautiful work!

  7. I think you did the right thing by not painting it. It is really beautiful. Great job on the new seat, too. Thank you so much for sharing this at History & Home this week! -Dawn @ We Call It Junkin.com

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