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.

after4

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. 

after1

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.

sheilagh_06

Auction purchase

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

jetsons-googie

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 😉

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….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 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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Heavens Garden
DIY Show Off
  Three Mango Seeds party
Monday Funday at TWCS
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Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home Metamorphis Monday  
The DIY'ers
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A Stroll Thru Life
House on the Way A Bowl Full of Lemons
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Ivy and Elephants
The DIY Dreamer
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Creativity Unleashed Link Party
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  Tickled Pink at 504 Main Chic on a Shoestring Decorating Furniture Feature Fridays  
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Too Much Time On My Hands DIY It's Overflowing Live Love Create  
RRbutton125 TDC Before and After  

Jan 062014
 

I know.  It’s a pretty corny title but sometimes I just can’t help myself. Last year, I acquired a vintage Queen Anne style coffee table which I then converted into a tufted bench for the end of our bed.  It was my first attempt at tufting something and I was very pleased at how it turned out.  Since it was pre-blogging so I only have a few pictures. 

Before:  a basic long, narrow table

Before: a basic long, narrow table

Spray adhesive glued the 4" foam in place

Spray adhesive glued the 4″ foam in place

We love it.  So handy too.

We love it. So handy too.

 We love it!  It looks great to most people but as the DIY-er, I can spot things I should have done differently.  And I am also still considering painting the base.

For the past year, I have been helping a dear friend update and brighten her cozy downtown Toronto apartment on a budget.  (I hope to post about this in the near future.) She liked my bench so much, she asked me to make one for her narrow entrance.  With my estate sale addiction, I was able to find the perfect table through MaxSold .  Not only did I get the rectangular table, it came with TWO 2-tiered step tables for $10.00!!  Now that’s what I call a BARGAIN!

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The “soon to be bench” table

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Two of these cuties plus the coffee table…
all for $10!!

1.  Replace the top with Plywood

With my first bench the table top had straight sides with rounded corners so I used the original top.  However, with this table, you can see the table edges are not straight and not suitable.  No worries!  I had some left over 1/2 inch plywood in the garage which I cut to size.  NOTE:  I cut the plywood to the exact size of the base, with no overhang.

wood_primed

Note the plywood is cut to the size of the base with no overhang.

2.  Purchase Foam

Once I had the dimensions for the top, I purchased 4 inch thick foam that was 1 inch wider and 1 inch longer than the top.  This additional foam is important so when you are doing the final upholstering and pulling the fabric over the sides, the foam will cover the edge of the top, making it padded as well.  I have been fortunate to have found a foam wholesaler near my home who will sell to people off the street.  They cut it while you wait to the thickness and size you want.  There prices are very reasonable too.  The foam can be the most expensive part of the project.

3. Plan your tufts

You can add as many tufts as you like but remember the more tufts you have the more fabric you will need because each tuft uses a fair amount of fabric.  Like my first bench, I used 11 tufts.  Even with what I thought was good planning, I nearly did not have enough fabric!

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On the foam, mark where each tuft will go.
I drew a grid and then added a mark at each half way point.

4. Make Holes in the Foam

To make room for the fabric to be pulled down to create a tuft, it is best to create a small hole in the foam.  I learned the hard way that you CANNOT USE A DRILL!!  Using a drill, twists and gouges out the foam and could ruin your project.  Looking through drawers, I found an apple corer which did the trick!  I didn’t take any pictures but basically I inserted the corer twice to make a circular hole and pulled out the cigar shaped pieces of foam.  Brilliant!

5. Creating the Tufts with a Drill and Wood Screws

A  FEW  NOTES: 

The yellow fabric I used for this bench was thick so I did not add any batting on the top of the foam.  I did however for the first bench. Because of the thick fabric, I was unable to use buttons you cover with fabric as I did with my original  bench. For original bench, I made holes in the foam AND I drilled matching holes in the table top.   I used covered buttons and a long needle with a sturdy cord to pull the button down and through the top  to make the tuft.

Because I could not use covered buttons, I decided to use a tufting technique posted by Elisha from Pneumatic Addict Furniture.

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Drill, washers, wood screws and a skewer to help find the holes.

Once I located the holes, I used the drill to screw wood screw with washer, through the fabric, the hole in the foam and into the wood.  The washer is necessary so the screw will not go through the fabric.  The screws in this picture were too short.  I ended up using 2 1/2 inch screws.  When I was finished and I turned the top over, I found some screws went through the wood.  So all tufts would be the same, I adjusted all the screws so they would not come through the wood.

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Wood screw with a washer.

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2 1/2 inch screws worked best for 4″ foam

6. Finish the upholstering and add Buttons

I don’t have any photos of this step.  I was alone so I couldn’t hold, staple and photograph all the the same time.  I use an pneumatic (air) staple gun and a small compressor.  (I borrowed the compressor from my neighbour who rarely uses it.  He told me to keep it at my house … “off site storage” LOL.) I found regular buttons that matched and used a glue gun to attach them in the tufts.

7. Paint the Base and Attach the Top

Here  is where my indecision came in…  It took me FOUR versions to get something we both really liked and was special!

Version 1:  my "go-to" ivory homemade chalk paint

Version 1: my “go-to” ivory homemade chalk paint

Version 2:  a beachy look by dry brushing blue and gold over the ivory

Version 2: a beachy look by dry brushing blue and gold over the ivory

Version 3:  A nice "Oops" grey

Version 3: A nice “Oops” grey

I liked all of the first three versions but none really “wowed” me.  After all, the reason we have been updating her apartment was to add colour and pizzazz to a the previously dark, monochromatic space. 

Finally, she asked

“Could you paint it red“?

YES!!!!

 All I needed was a sample jar from Home Depot and 15 minutes and VOILA!

I love the red!

I love the red!

 

bench with shaped label

 We both love how it turned out.  Interestingly, in the post that inspired me to use wood screws, Elisha also painted her bench base red! 

I hope you find my tutorial clear and useful.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. 

In the meantime, I would love some suggestions as to what to do with the original curvy edged table top ???

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