We all know and love yard sales. Some of us make a day of it and shop at as many as we can. Often buying things that only end up in our own yard sales a year or so later. Lesson learned I have tried to stay away from yard sales for the past few years. I really have enough stuff. But I have to admit, it’s hard to resist the lure of poking through all the treasures that are left out in the yard for sale. As I pass yard sales I can almost hear those treasures calling me to stop and take them home. It makes me crazy!
This past summer I was driving home from work on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I passed one yard sale after another. I was trying so hard to resist the call. Finally, I just couldn’t stand it any longer and I pulled over at the next sale that came into sight. Darn, I wish I had picked another sale. It was so disappointing to finally stop and find mostly junk. I always try to buy something but I was having a hard time finding anything of interest. The only thing that attracted my attention was a chest. It was looking a little rough but interesting. Someone had tried to strip the paint from it and the feet were missing. It looked like it had been hanging around for a while.
Knowing that I really didn’t have any real use for the chest, I started walking back to my car. The homeowners called after me asking me to please take something home. Wasn’t there anything I might be interested in? I mentioned the chest and before I knew it, the thing was in my car and I was on my way home. By the way, they reduced the price to $10!
So, the chest has been sitting in my basement every since. Added to the treasures from the attic, it has been difficult to navigate through the basement and it was almost impossible to get to my treadmill. As much as I hate the treadmill, it was time to come up with a plan so this chest could move on.
The first step was to come up with some feet. My clever husband quickly crafted some wooden feet that I felt fit the style of the chest. After exploring my furniture finishing options, I decided to go with a natural Tung oil finish for the chest. I felt I would be able to get a warm consistent finish with this product. I had to chuckle to myself as I rubbed the oil over a surface that still had some leftover bits and pieces of paint deep in the crevices. If I had started to strip the chest myself, I would never have let this go. But because it wasn’t my work, I considered it a nice rustic look. Maybe there’s a lesson there. Anyway, I was right about the finish. The oil added just the right luster and the result was rich and warm.
Now I needed to tackle the feet. I dragged out my variety of stains and finishes. I could not get anything to match or even coordinate. I don’t know what kind of wood it is, but the tone is rust colored. Not being able to find the right color, I combed the hardware store looking for a creative solution. I even checked out the second hand stores looking for odds and ends of old feet that might have been left behind. I had an elderly salesman tell me I could take his old feet but I decided against that option. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t come up with anything. Back to the stains I went. It really is hard to look at that little sample and just “see” how it will look. I had to decide so I took a chance and I think I got it right!
With the feet stained and attached to the chest, I am very pleased with the result.
It’s an interesting piece that looks like it has a story to tell. The chest ha
s taken up residence in my daughter’s room for the time being but I’m hoping that it goes home with someone one of these days. Another project finished and crossed off the list. Maybe I’ll be able to find my treadmill again soon.