Restoring the beauty of an antique piece of furniture
I have lots of interests and hobbies but one I have never been very successful at is refinishing furniture. I run out of patience, and getting the gunk out of the tiniest cracks where the paint tends to get in deep, makes it even harder. So I have a piece or two in my home, but they've still got flecks and shades of paint, where I gave up before the job was truly done.
Recently, Dave brought home an old ice box he'd been storing at a friend's house. I had expressed interest in seeing if we could restore it. It's kind of unique, I can't even find a similar one online and I'm pretty good at internet searches. It's taller and more narrow than your classic old ice box. And it is grey and ugly and frankly, looks a little hopeless.
But it was my idea, so I got started stripping the first side of the ice box. When I scraped off that paint and saw the beautiful oak beneath, it just spurred me on to get it completely clean. So I applied another layer of stripper and got most of the paint off that side. By that point, I was physically tired of the work and mentally frustrated that it still had so much precise sanding to do in order to restore the beauty of the original piece. So I did the smart thing and took a break.
Later that evening, when I caught my second wind, I went and checked it out and bless his heart, Dave had done ALL the sanding on that side, getting rid of any trace of paint and even getting the sealed paint out of the corners and ridges. It was excellent work and just what I needed to get me renergized about the project.
So we flipped it over and I applied stripper to the front of the old ice box. Waited the fifteen minutes and removed it, along with most of the paint. Now, it's been hot recently and we're doing this project on the back porch...to say it's hot work would be a major understatement! But I would work on it, take a break, throw the firsbee with Mini, take another break, get back to it, and so it went.
But for the first time in my life, I kept returning to the project to work a little more at a time on it....and my diligence is paying off. Last night I finished the front and man, was that a lot of sanding in the hot sweaty back porch, whew! I was very meticulous, even used the tip of a razor blade to carefully pry the paint out of tiny places where it has soaked in. I didn't stop until all I saw was oak, and trust me, that was a lot of work. Then I shined it up with Liquid Gold and the grain of the oak came to life.
So now we're down to the other side and some work on the inside. I start on the other side this afternoon after work. This piece came to me gray, dried out and pretty pathetic looking. I've known about it for almost four years but showed no interest until now and now I can't rest until we have the ice box returned to its former glory. Although it is not as fancy as most antique oak ice boxes, it's still going to be a lovely addition to our home.
Hard work pays off! Attaching a picture of the first side I got done, which is when I got so exicted about the potential of this piece. Would love to know what you think, please leave a comment if you are so inclined!