Mar 132014
 

I seem to be drawn to pedestal tables.  They are pretty, don’t take up much space and can be used in various rooms.  In my recent on-line auction haul I picked up a slew of side tables…EIGHT to be exact.  Included were two small matching  mahogany tables from Bombay Company.  When I got them home,  they not only needed the tops refinished, the legs were wobbly and needed to be glued.  The gluing part is not issue.  The issue is how to clamp them!

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Yup! We still have snow!

Have you ever tried to clamp a tri-legged table?   There are ways to do it but it can require bar clamps, blocks of wood and  numerous other devices I just don’t have.  And there was no way I was going to stand there for an hour and press the legs into the slots. 

So I got creative.

First, I used a spare plastic syringe we have for administering a drug to our dog, to help squirt the glue into the gap.

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The tip could have been smaller but it did help to get the glue into the gaps.

Then for the clamping!  How about
ELASTIC BANDS??!

I rummaged in the kitchen for thick elastic bands which I then stretched and wrapped around the legs to pull them inward. 
I still stood there pressing for 10 minutes or so and

IT WORKED!!!! 

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The legs were not super loose so the gaps were small. 

For the second table, I placed a tray with a full can of wax on top of the overturned table and that worked even better!

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The full can supplied just the right amount of pressure.

Perhaps this makes me look a bit unsophisticated and lacking in the tool department
but I make up with it in
ingenuity!
Have you ever tried to clamp tri-legged pedestal legs? 
Is there a way I didn’t find or think of?
Should I be embarrassed for my lack of tools?

Stay tuned for the transformation I have planned
for these little beauties! 

It is another adventure into experimentation and
I think the end result will be

Nicer Than New!

Joan

 

 

 

 

Mar 082014
 

In the furniture lot I recently acquired via an on-line estate auction, there was a very simple pedestal table with a white and grey marble top.  The top had light scratches on it but what bothered me more, was the discolouration and stains. 

So of course I consulted the ever so wise GOOGLE and found I should mix up and apply a POULTICE.   That’s right… kind of like a “mustard plaster” for marble.  Regardless, it made some sense to me.

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Stains in a circular pattern

I mixed Hydrogen Peroxide and Plaster or Paris into a paste with the consistency of peanut butter.  The peroxide is a whitener and the P of P is an absorbent into which the stain is drawn.  This info came from the Marble Institute website.

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Mix up a poultice to the consistency of peanut butter

The poultice is then spread on your marble and it is covered saran wrap.  They suggest it should be left to dry for 24 to 48 hours.  Here is how it looked.

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Spread the poultice out like icing.

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Covering it with saran wrap allowed me to spread the poultice a bit more evenly

After 24 hours, I removed the saran wrap and let it dry for another 24 hours.

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Dried another day without the saran wrap.
(Looks like the surface of the moon LOL)

When I removed the dried poultice, I noticed a slight overall improvement.  The website indicated it could take up to 5 or 6 applications to draw out most of the stain.  I applied THREE poultices and I have to say the stain appeared to be 80% gone and the overall colour of the marble was whiter.

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After THREE poultice applications.

Sadly, I was unable to get out the scratches with a baking soda mix or a rub with extra fine steel wool.  When dealing with  vintage furniture, you can only take it so far.  And a few fine scratches show character and age. 

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To remove these scratches, I would need a professional polisher.

Even though I could not remove the fine scratches, I did seal the top with a marble sealant I had on hand  for my bathroom vanity.

So now that the top has been dealt with, it is time to look at the base.

I considered going safe with a grey and white finish. 

after2

The top is sealed and shiny.
Here are a couple of “Oops” samples I could try.

But Agh!  Too safe

The table is conservative and needs a new “look”. 
RED?  I wrapped it in red Christmas ribbon and it looked like a Valentine table. 

Then I looked at the can of “Maxi Teal” used on my “Mission: Colour ” foyer table and thought …ah that is more like it!  Or the “Buxton Blue” from my dining room buffet.

I tried a coat of BM’s Buxton Blue and it didn’t impress me so SW Maxi Teal it is!

It is so cute now and the teal adds the pop of colour I was looking for!

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Before … blah

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After … definitely not blah!

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It’s snowing outside but this little vignette makes me think of spring!

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Spring is on it’s way!

table vignette

If you use the table, you can’t see the scratches!

My new squirrel looks happy!

Have you ever tried a Marble Poultice to remove stains?

The technique wasn’t 100% effective but for a $20 table and paint I already owned and love,
I think the little table looks fabulous!

Perhaps even

Nicer Than New!

Joan

 

 

 

Mar 042014
 

A few weeks ago, I posted “Do YOU Have a Designer’s Eye?” describing how my interior designer niece spotted a special little table,  in a dark photo of a bunch of tables, in a garage.  She was very excited when I told her I had indeed acquired said cute table and would be happy to give it to her.

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Auction purchase

From the moment I picked up this table,
all I could think of were the house
the Jetson’s lived in. LOL

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The Jetson’s

Sheilagh, my niece, loves Mid Century Modern for it’s clean lines and simplicity and also because many MCM pieces were well constructed from real wood.  This table is no exception. 

Sheilagh and her husband have only been married a couple of years and they also purchased a lovely but small home.  In other words,  they do not have room for big pieces of furniture AND they are on a tight budget.  The latter must be extra difficult when you are a designer with designer tastes!

I took a peak at her Pinterest “Living Room” board and quickly realized why she spotted the table.  Here are a few of the tables she had pinned as her “perfect” coffee table.

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Image from Yahoo … no Price

I became perfectly clear, why she spotted this little table in the dark photo!  But unlike the tables above, our little table is ORIGINAL, Canadian made by a highly regarded manufacturer and it is much much CHEAPER! 

Given her decor and her plans for a new sectional sofa, she knew EXACTLY how she wanted the table finished.

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Walnut stain and cloud white supports and legs.

What do you think?  Personally, I LOVE IT! 

She and I both have a love for walnut finish so there was no argument there.  It could have been all walnut but the white really modernizes and brightens the look.

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I love the contrast

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The white brightens the look!

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Here is the top when I purchased it…

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And here is the top now!

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The top and shelf are just gorgeous!

I am so happy to help someone so artistic… it’s quite flattering!  The best compliment came from her husband.  Sheilagh showed him an “after” picture and he thought it was another of her designer table “pins”!

This table is truly Nicer Than New!

Joan

 

 

Mar 012014
 

Last week, I shared my latest estate sale purchase of 8 side tables.    Once I got them home, I was able to have a good look at them.  Every piece was in relatively good shape.  The previous owners  obviously liked mahogany and the classic look similar to furniture from Bombay Company.  Some pieces were in fact from Bombay Company but others were of indeterminable sources.  Below is the photo of one of the lots I picked up.

set of 3

Three Tables:  Marble topped pedestal,
tiny with a tray pull out
and a vintage open shelf with drawer.

The marble topped table has some faint stains and I am currently trying some techniques to remove them.  I will post my success or failure at a later date.  It is a very sturdy table and I think cleaning up the marble and painting the base will make it very special. 

The square table is teeny tiny!  It is very Bombay Company-ish.  It has a little tray that pulls our for drinks or these days, a smartphone LOL. 

The side table is quite interesting with the open part at the top and the drawer at the bottom.

Now, the last table, the one with the open shelf and the drawer is the HIDDEN GEM!  The burnt-in label inside the drawer said KINDEL, Grand Rapids.  From previous research, I became aware Grand Rapids Michigan, at one time in history, was the furniture capital of the US and was nicknamed “Furniture City”.  Of course I checked out e-Bay to see what Kindel pieces were out there and I found numerous larger pieces all commanding some major dollars!  But none like my little piece.

table open drawer

Kindel Furniture Company Side Table

table drawer

Dovetail joints on the drawers

table accent

Pretty Fret work on the top

table back

Lovely detail on the top.

Excuse the dust… those photos were taken at the auction site.  My house is a bit cleaner ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Kindel Furniture website allows you to send in the pattern number found on the back of chests or dressers along with a photo.   I did this last week and a few days later, I received this reply:

Here is what research could find. Some of our older records are incomplete.  We used to file everything by hand and then we had the fire and lost some. We are working to archive all info that we have and put it on discs but we are not complete yet.  This item is from The Colchester line which was produced from 1936 to 1949. The only cost we found was for $20.50. I do not know if this was net or retail.

Bessie M. Christian, Relationship Manager

Isn’t that interesting and fun!  So basically this piece is 70 years old, give or take a few years.  I don’t think I will paint this one!  It is in amazing condition for 70 years! 

I love researching mid-century pieces.  So many of these great furniture manufacturers have closed shop both in the US and Canada.  I suppose rising wages and foreign competition took it’s toll.  Sad really but still very interesting to look back and see what they were making at their peak!

My problem is:  What is it worth? 
I fear it will not be too much but most definitely more than the $20 I paid for it! 

What do you think I should ask? 

Sadly, I don’t have a spot for it in my home….

By leaving this piece as it is, I think it will still be

Nicer Than New!

Joan

Feb 262014
 

A few months back I posted about my addiction to on-line Estate Sales.  Recently I vowed to myself I would NOT BID on anything until I clear out much of what I  have.  But OMG, I don’t seem to be able to control it!  Is this an indication of some sort of disorder?  I fear it may be!  Regardless, I bid and acquired 8 side / occasional tables for $160.  Hmmm…. $20 per table may not be profitable in the end but, ah they were so sweet! 

When I look in the garage and my workshop, I think I should change my name to “Side Table Joanie”!!  I have far too many side table / bed side tables to work on!!  I fear I am a hoarder of sorts but according to the MAYO Clinic, I am not!  Apparently, I am more of a collector

It’s important to note that hoarding is different from collecting. People who have collections, such as stamps or model cars, deliberately search out specific items for their collections. Collectors often categorize their items and carefully display them. Hoarders, on the other hand, will save random items they encounter in their daily life and store them haphazardly in their homes or surrounding areas.
Mayo Clinic website

Well that’s good news!  Back to my latest stash….

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Most of what I acquired this past weekend is very much the Bombay Company style and some pieces are from there.  The previous owners obviously liked the look.  Everything needs attention of some sort.  Maybe not the best bargain but they all have great  potential!

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Four tables: 2 matching pie crust, one drum and one shelved.

The two pie crust tables and the shelved table are from Bombay Company.  Their furniture seems to hold some of its value due to their practical size and classic style.  Still, don’t people get bored of mahogany?  I do.  So maybe a mix of wood and paint.  We’ll see.

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half moon

Half Moon Console table.  I love these tables.

This is another piece from the Bombay Company.  These demi-lune tables are so classic and practical.  Lots of potential to add some real interest to an entrance or hall.  It could even be a small desk … a laptop station.

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set of 3

Three Tables:  Marble topped pedestal,
tiny with a tray pull out
and a vintage open shelf with drawer.

The marble topped table has some faint stains.  I am currently trying a technique to remove them.  I will post my success or failure at a later date.  It is a very study table and I think cleaning up the marble and painting the base will make it very special.  The square table is teeny tiny!  It is very Bombay Company-ish.  It has a little tray that pulls our for drinks or in these days, a smartphone LOL.   The side table is quite interesting too, with the open part at the top and the drawer at the bottom.  I love the fret work at the back of the top.

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Do you think this was a good haul for $160? 

Was I compulsive or smart to snatch them up? 
I would love to hear what you think? 

Regardless, they all have great possibilities and this is a HOBBY / business so …

Can I make them

Nicer Than New?

I think so!

Joan

Feb 202014
 

It seems as though all of North America is having particularly cold winter.  We in Toronto have not been without our fair share of ice and snow.  I could gripe on but do you know what?  Let’s just get on with it!  My husband and I were avid skiers and embraced living in a colder climate long ago.  All you need to do is dress for it and winter can be the most amazing time of year.  Note I said “amazing” NOT “favourite”!

So when lst Saturday proved to be a beautiful and sunny day with near freezing temperatures, I took my work outside.  The back and south facing side of our home overlooks a ravine and it quite lovely.  So I dragged my work table (which is actually a dog grooming table ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and stripped and sanded a couple of pieces I have been DYING to get to!  The north facing, unheated garage just doesn’t do it for me so there I was stripping and sanding … IN THE SNOW!

Here is the first table.  I found this last summer on the FREE section of Craigslist.  I was a bit disappointed to find it was not actually a “quality made” table.  In fact, I think it was originally from Walmart.  But what can I say?  It was FREE!  The finish on the top was thick so I needed to strip it. Did you know chemical strippers are not affected by temperature?  Actually, I think it was easier since it did not dry out!    I only stripped the horizontal parts because I was going to paint the vertical parts.  The oak veneer was quite lovely.

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Oak veneer with solid frame… Walmart special!

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Yep! We read the conservative Globe and Mail and yes! there is a report about Putin and the Olympics. GO TEAM CANADA!

I also started working on the Mid-Century Modern table my designer niece is coveting.  This too will have a stain and paint treatment.  Stay tuned!  t reminds me of the Jetson’s … man that must date me!

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Solid Birch. Canadian Made. Mid Century Modern! LOVE!

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Top is a mess but no fear!

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There is grain under the mess!

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WOW! I cannot wait to see this finished!!!!

The moral of this post is:  JUST DO IT!!!! Get  outside and love it when the sun is shining!

(Not recommended when the sun is not shining.  Then it kind of feels like WORK!  LOL!

 Stay Tuned!

These pieces will soon be

Nicer Than NEW!

Joan

Feb 092014
 

A few weeks back, I posted a “Chess Anyone” table makeover where I took an odd sized table and turned it into a games table. 

This is the “before” picture:

original

See anything interesting?

The round table in the middle was the table I made into a game table. 
Now I want you to take a very close look at this picture. 
Does anything immediately jump out at you as being interesting? 
Come on!  Seriously… be honest!

Well, when I published this post, my niece Sheilagh, a certified interior designer and amazing quilter, emailed me within minutes

All Sheilagh wanted to know was, when I purchased the tall round table, did I get that weird little table in the background?  The one with with two tiers and the angled legs????   So much for my amazing post, all she could see was a potentially fabulous Mid-Century Modern Coffee table! 

I did indeed acquire this table at the same time and it truly  is the treasure of the lot!

Up here in the Great White North (Canada) we have had many amazing furniture manufacturers.  Canadian-made really means something especially if you are looking at Mid Century Modern furniture.  And this piece is no exception. 

I love researching furniture origins.  This piece was built by Snyder Manufacturing in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.  This city is not far from Toronto.  It was in business for 114 years! and closed in 2004.   Imagine!  114 years! 

When Heywood-Wakefield was making its name in the US, Snyder was doing it in Canada. 

Back to my estate sale purchase, YES I did get this cute table and soon it will belong to Sheilagh AND she has the plan!  Who  am I to argue with an designer!

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Snyder Mfg Table: Mid Century Modern!

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The top needs work!

 Stay tuned for the transformation!

In the meantime, check out Sheilagh’s quilting talent at
Lay It On Me Baby!
for extraordinary Quilting talent!

Tell me honestly… did you see the table? 
Did it look special to you?
Do you love MCM?

 

I Do!  and would love to hear your suggestions!
(but you know I need to go with the Designer!)
Regardless
It will be

NICER THAN NEW!

Joan

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You may find me linking at these great parties.

Not every week and not all of them. Be sure to watch for me!

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