Monday, July 28, 2014

"Henry" the Problem Child

One of the perks of my business is that I get to meet new people - whether I'm buying a piece to repurpose or selling to clients for their home. I met a wonderful lady named Lisa who was running an estate sale a few months ago and while we were chatting she indicated that she had a few "things" in her garage I might want to look at.

My jaw almost dropped when I eventually got to see her garage - she had the most amazing treasures! I was giddy with excitement and started piling furniture in my car almost as fast as she was uncovering pieces in her garage.

And that's how I met Henry. Lisa had an very old antique dresser that she had started working on and just ran out of steam. It was in great shape structurally, but just needed a little TLC on the drawers.

I was excited because she had already "bondo-ed" (is that a term?) and primed the top. Since the top had been primed, I knew it wouldn't be a candidate to restain the top. So I opted to paint the top in GF Lamplight Black and the body in ASCP Emperor's Silk. I waxed the body in both clear and dark waxes, and used a lot of Brasso and old-fashioned elbow grease to spruce up the hardware. I was so pleased with the result:

Henry went crazy on my Etsy shop with views and started trending on Google, but unfortunately, I hadn't sold him. So Lisa offered to take him to her booth space for me. As she was waiting to load him in her truck the day before her sale, she texted me and said, "You better come get Henry, there's a problem."

The spot on the top that had been filled was bubbling after being out in the sun! We were perplexed as to why it was doing that. I asked her what was originally wrong with the top. She said it looked like it had been used outside as a potting table and she suspected it was some type of machine oil. Apparently, the heat from the sun was causing the "oil" to rise to the surface. I was relieved that we caught it before she took it to her booth because we would both have been embarrassed.

I took Henry home and started sanding the top and gauged out the original bondo to see the source of the problem. The oil had penetrated all the way through to the underneath of the top. (Of course, I don't have pictures because I wasn't a "blogger" then.) I tried every concoction known to mankind to get rid of the oil. My husband and I took turns sanding, and then I tried an Oxyclean mixture to bleach it. The oil did eventually rise and we immediately sanded it off but it just wasn't getting the whole spot.

So Gramp's Workshop came to the rescue. My dad popped the old top off and built and routed a new top out of beautiful oak. The oak was too pretty to paint so I restained the top with GF Java Stain and applied several coats of poly. And with that, Henry was back on the market.

I sold him to a lovely couple who needed it for their beach cottage. After the cost of the new top, and donut bribes to Gramps, I barely broke even.  Consequently, I've learned a valuable lesson about suspicious stains on furniture and now take that into account when repurposing a piece.

I'm just happy that the problem child went to a good home and is hopefully behaving himself there.

 photo signature_zps552cb1e1.png

I'm joining:

Metamorphosis Monday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Furniture Feature Friday
Twirl & Take a Bow


  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous chest, Beth. You have a knack for knowing what colors and shades to do things up in. Good lesson learned, thanks for being real and sharing it with us :)

  2. Red is my favorite color, so this is right up my alley! Love it! I'd like to invite you to share it at my Twirl & Take a Bow Linky Party. We love great furniture transformations!
    House on the Way

    1. Thanks so much, Leslie! I just linked up to your party....and I'm looking forward to reading all of the inspiring DIY posts on your blog!

  3. Ahhh the life of a furniture DIY''s always something! It looks beautiful and great color choices.

  4. Beth this is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Twirl and Take a Bow! ox