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« The Importance Of Nutella To Home Renovation | Main | A Pinteresting Spare Room »
Tuesday
May082012

The Benefits Of Accidentally Purchasing A Second-Hand Furniture Store

If you've seen pictures from our house tour, then you'll know that along with three floors of shabby Victorian gloriousness, a turquoise bathroom, red bedroom and so on, we also acquired four cellar chambers crammed with vast amounts of random items left behind by the previous owners. "Sure thing", said I (naturally keen to ensure we weren't left standing around outside the house on moving day with a lorry full of furniture while the sellers frantically finished clearing the basement), "we're quite happy for you to leave any DIY products behind - wood, paint, tools and so on - if that would make it easier for you to get the cellars cleared".

Hmm. I'm not sure how the collection of ornamental walking sticks, commode, sinister plastic pig, mouldy garden furniture, mouldy ancient old fridge freezer that the seller tried to flog to us for £100, mouldy old shoes, filthy flip-top dustbins (at least ten of them) and so on, strictly qualify as 'DIY products' - but amongst the piles of tatty old rubbish, there exists a large amount of second-hand furniture. We needed a dining room table - a cursory inspection of the cellar revealed an old school desk (complete with graffiti) that, with a bit of sanding and some sturdy paint, is now nicely installed in the breakfast room. Chairs? Man, we have any number of battered old chairs. Bookcases? Take your pick - do you prefer retro metal or wood-worm effect?

So when I needed a couple of side tables for the spare bedroom, I wandered down to the cellar, dug out a couple of wooden stools, sanded them down, painted one pink, and the other one yellow.

Lots of people have said lots of things about painting wood - whenever D*S posts a furniture make-over you can pretty much guarantee that someone will complain within the first five comments about the heinous crime that is painting over wood - my view is that while I would never paint a gorgeous wardrobe made from reclaimed oak, or a stunning antique mahogany sideboard, too right I'm going to paint over a couple of cheap battered old stools found in my own cellar that would only have been tossed out otherwise.

I didn't bother to prime them, and I also didn't use wood paint - I just used regular emulsion from a couple of left-over sample pots. If the stools were going to be placed in a high-traffic area (read: within reach of enthusiastic toddler who views the entire house as her art canvas) then I'd have done them properly, but they're just going in the spare room so I figure they'll be fine for now.

Next spare room project - curtains! I have 6 yards of glorious yellow and white fabric from all the way across the Atlantic, and I'm not afraid to use it to create fully lined curtains with invisible seams. Rock and roll, man. Rock and roll.

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Reader Comments (6)

I love those stools - I've painted several pieces of wooden furniture and I know not everyone agrees but it revamps something I may have otherwise have given away and make it useable again. Well done you!

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJay

The floorboards in your spare room look great - could I ask how you finished them? We're looking to buy a Victorian flat, and while I love the idea of original floors I'm less keen on the way the varnished pine boards typically seem to have turned quite orange with time.

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I'd love to have a basement full of second-hand furniture (even with all of the junk) - I'm jealous! And I completely agree with the idea of painting wood furniture - not every piece is an heirloom and some look even better painted.

Heather - they're currently just the bare sanded boards with no stain or varnish at all. I hate the orange varnished look too - I'd rather have freshly sanded boards any day. We are going to give them some colour though - at the moment I'm experimenting with various Osmo and Fiddes oils. You could always sand off the old orange varnish and put down some lovely clear Osmo oil - it's magic stuff, as tough as Ronseal and looks stunning.

May 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterSimply The Nest

Jan - yeah I complain about the cellars but secretly I freaking love them :-)

May 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterSimply The Nest

Nice to see you've started blogging again Alice, and also what the hideous red bedroom looks like. I never realised how much hardwork decorating is till a few weeks ago and we don't have to plaster anything, so good luck with it! X

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJayne Y

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