Friday, September 30, 2011

Pigeon Hole Something

Guess how much I paid for this ... go on, guess!
Did you say $5?
Welllll .... actually you're kind of right.

I went to an auction last week to pick up some upholstering supplies.  I walked away with some great bargains but this one is by far my favorite.
I don't know what it is, but I love it.

It was paired up with a little desk.  I didn't want the desk but 
I figured that I would just clean, paint and donate it to the church thrift store.   I put in the first bid for $5 ... no one countered.  Up for auction and sold in about 45 seconds.
A few minutes after I won the bid a gentleman asked me if I would be willing to sell the desk for $3 ... heck yeah!
A little side note here for anyone new going to auctions ... if something that you want gets sold in a bunch-lot ask the winner if they want to sell 
that one item to you.  
Chances are that they wanted only one thing in the lot as well ... it can be a win win situation for both.
So in the end I paid only $2 and I didn't have to haul the desk home ... super-fantastic!
Just look at all of those nooks and crannies!

Once I got everything home I was able to take a good look at it.  Structurally it was very sound ... the bottom and sides are made out of 6/4 x 8 lumber ... substantial I tell ya!

So yes, very solid but grimy as all get-out.  You can see in the picture below where I cleaned some of the grime off.

I originally thought that I would be able to dust it off, wipe it
down and then I would be all set to go.
Ummm yeahhhh, that didn't happen.
First thing I did was vacuumed ... not enough ... brush and compressor with air gun nozzle ... not enough ... scrub brush with murphy's oil soap ... not enough and very time consuming.

The only way I was going to be able to get that thing cleaned up was to 
take the back off of it to get the slats out. 
Each space between the wooden slats is about 3" wide ... fun to look at but not so fun when it comes to cleaning.
20 slots and 4 rows = 320 cramped corners ... nothankyou!

So I took it outside again and took the screws out of the back ... my gag reflex was working overtime that day.  Sometimes old furniture is just gross!!

The slats were removed.

Some of the paint was flaking off just from washing it so I switched to a hand sander and went to town.  
Not only did every slat have to be sanded on each side but then each one had to be wiped down with a damp cloth to remove the dust so I could move on to the next step ... staining.
I used Minwax Polyshade.  If there ever was a project that could use a shortcut, this was it!
In the picture below you can see where I compared the old
finish to the new one.
Ha, it looks like they're clapping ( probably happy that they aren't so 
dry anymore. )

And here is the finished project.  I cheated and took it outside yesterday
so the daylight would show you just how rich the color came out.

 I didn't sand the slats or the insides completely down to bare wood ... I only took off the grime and what was already loose.  
Part of me is cringing because the proper step would have been to completely remove the old finish but I just couldn't do it.  I still don't know what this thing is but I do know that it has some age on it.  
The only thing I did to the original paint was wash it.  I can't decide if it's grey or blue but it brightened up so nicely after it's bath and it's lovely to look at.

At first I thought that it is an old postal/mail slot ... but the wire on the back makes me think that's not it.
I did a search and found a couple of items that look like this
and they share the label of 'pigeon hole'.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, and I may even sell it ... but for now it's going into my work room.

I'm partying with the fabulous peoples below!

Thrifty Decor Chick

Furniture Feature Fridays

PhotobucketFunky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Redoux 504 Main 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brush Crush

I've always had a thing for paint brushes.  I love how they are just a simple tool and yet can have such a big an impact on a project.

I find that I often reach for a brush when I am trying to think through something.  I hold it in my hand and feel the bristles, twirl it between my fingers, tap it in my palm ... they help me think.

I won this fabulous brush this past spring from a local online auction.

It was in a large metal box with a bunch of other used brushes.  I couldn't make out the whole shape of it but from the little bit that was sticking out of the pile I could tell it was unique so I took a chance and bid ... I won the whole box for $3.

The handle and bristle base were almost completely covered in caked on paint.  It took a couple of hours of scrubbing and a lot of turpentine to get through it but I got most of it off.  
Once the paint was removed I was able to see three things ... 

1) the name Maendler imprinted on the handle 

2) the bristles are held as individual bunches, inserted into holes in the wood and they have a wooden wedge in the center of each hole to apply pressure to the keep the bristles in place  

3) The handle and the bristle base are all one piece     

It's a pretty substantial brush.  As a whole it is one foot in length and the bristles are 3.5" long.  

I haven't used it yet because the bristles keep shedding.  I want to learn how to maintain it first before I do anything else.   I'm thinking if nothing else, I will add glue to the base of the bristles to reinforce the wedge ... but not yet, I am hopeful that I will come across some info on it first.

In the mean time this is my go-to brush when I have to think-think-think.  I keep it in my studio because I love to look at it.

Check out this other brush that was in the metal box:  

I like how thin it is and the wear on the bristles from years of use.

Comparing them to the average 2" brush:

If there is anyone out there who knows what kind 
of brush this is please let me know  :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

There she iiiis ....

Miss Amannequin.  
Ok, this mannequin may not be as pretty as a Miss America contestant but 
she's equally plastic ... I mean ... 
she's cheaper to maintain ... no umm ... 
she has just as much talent  ... this is getting hard ...
she can pose just as well as they can ... yeah, let's go with that.

I went to an auction on Monday and while I didn't win any furniture, I did win this lovely manny for $5.

I lucked out, there were 3 posers there ... along with the mannequins ... two males and one female.  The bidding was for choice so I went as far as $10 on the first and second bid but lost both times, luckily the two males were selected first.  She was left last most likely because she was broken, so I got her for $5 ... I think a pretty good deal.

Her zipper was missing:

and she was broken in half at the waist:

Wait ... is that?

could it be?



So I took her cover off and put it in the washer while I applied construction adhesive caulk to keep her together.

Here she is showing off her selection for the bathing suit contest: 

Once she was patched up we dressed her properly and she now hangs out in my daughter's room to help with fashion choices.

If she's a good little poser then some day I will give her some legs ... until then a stool will have to do.