Back when I was a little girl, hope chests were a thing.
The only company I was aware of that built them was Lane-they made cedar hope chests in different furniture styles as the trends changed, but the interiors remained the same. They were deep, cedar-lined chests where a girl could store her “betrothed” collection.
After all, hope chests were used to gather and store a young woman’s wedding dowry- you know, that whole love and marriage thing. The definition of a hope chest, according to Wikipedia: “A hope chest, dowry chest, cedar chest, or glory box is a chest used to collect items such as clothing and household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life” As a high school graduation gift, each girl in my school received a miniature hope chest-apparently our goal was to find a prince charming and get married.
The heck with that college stuff! How times have changed, fortunately. Fast forward a few decades, when I discovered this now un-used and un-loved, divorced-from-its-owner, Lane Mid-Century-Modern Style Hope Chest at our local Salvation Army.
It had definitely seen better days, and reeked of stale cigarette smoke. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, everyone smoked, so pretty much any vintage pieces from that time period will likely have that lovely Eau Du Lucky Strike Scent. “It’s Toasted” is an understatement…
This piece took quite awhile to transform, as I pretty much had to prep every surface, both inside and out. Here is the how-I-did-it:
1.Removed top from base. The top was in the worst shape and needed a complete stripping and refinishing job.
The plan was to paint and glaze the base, but to refurbish the top back to its original glowing cherry finish. I used this Motsenbocker’s Gel Stripper (yet another water-based, green product for us DIY’ers : )According to the directions, you paint it on, wait 5-10 minutes then scrape off the old paint or varnish. Repeat if necessary.
For the finish, I used General Finishes Water-Based Brown Mahogany Wood Stain
Two coats for the proper depth of color. Look at the richness of the color!
For the top coat, I used General Finishes Satin Poly-Acrylic Blend.. Three coats, with a light sanding with steel wool in between. The more I use them, the more I love these General Finishes Water-Based products. Easy application, much less odor, gorgeous durable finishes, dries fast, super easy to clean up and safer for the environment. Win,win! I also used this to paint any unsealed exterior wood to make sure the stale smoke scent was gone.
2. The base required a good cleaning and light sanding just to remove any loose particles and dust. I painted it with two coats of paint: Behr Ashwood
This is a very pale greenish taupe color, in keeping with the 50’s when avocado green was all the rage. I then added second, lighter coat of the Ashwood mixed with some Glidden Antique Beige. This is another “go-to” neutral I keep on hand to use as a base color or to mix with other colors. It is a soft, creamy beige with a hint of pink. Pretty.
To define the insides of the trim squares, I added a glaze of the slightly darker Behr Ashwood mixed with Martha Stewart Glaze Effect. You mix them together in a bowl, using a 5 to 1 ratio of glaze to paint. The more paint, the darker the glaze, so you can adjust it according to your needs.
Then the entire base was finished with Fiddes & Son Superior Wax.
I find the simplest way to use this product is to brush or wipe it on, allow to dry for a few minutes. Then I take my little Black and Decker Mouse Sander (without the sand-paper!) and then buff it using a pad of folded soft fabric.
Quick and easy on the elbows and leaves a perfectly smooth finish.
3. The lining inside the drawer was some old rotted, smelly green felt. I just wet it down, then scraped it out.
I affixed with Americana Deco-Page Matte Finish Gel.
4. The drawer pulls were dark and tarnished, but they were solid brass. I just didn’t have the heart to paint them, as I had originally intended! So I soaked them in acetone (that’s nail polish remover, folks)
to remove the lacquer coating, scrubbed with some steel wool and then cleaned them with Brasso polish. Gorgeous and shiny again, they are shaped like little bows and now pop against the Ashwood paint.
5. The little brass feet on the bottom of the legs were also quite tarnished. For this I dipped the steel wool in some acetone and wiped until they were clean, then polished them as well.
(Note the heavy rubber gloves. Also note that I am not working in the basement, but in a well-ventilated dining room with the window open and the fan blowing. Which is better for my health, but let’s just say that my dining room is no longer suitable for dinner guests-takeout, anyone?)
6. Amazingly, the interior of the hope chest was in perfect condition, even down to the little key. You can see by the sign that this one was built in 1957, true Mid Century Modern style, and comes with a $500 moth damage guarantee! I wonder if that is still in play…
looks like this-not bad for 50 years old!
If you are interested, you will find it at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market today,
awaiting some love-struck young bride-to-be to fall in love with it and bring it home to start her dowry-which nowadays is more likely to include an MBA and a 401K than a linen tablecloth and lingerie. But it would make a great storage chest or console table as well! Since this is LOVE post #7, and it is actually day 8, I will be sharing another project later on today. In the meantime, have a hopefully fun-filled weekend, everyone! Susan
This is post #6-sorry I am running late but I spent yesterday running back and forth to Norwood to set up my booth at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market! This month’s market is all about LOVE. From the lovely vintage hot chocolate stand,
to the transformed vintage tin ceiling panel turned LOVE sign
and even an “Over You” Voodoo Doll or two-so funny!
There are gorgeous painted pillows and button pillows…
and more LOVE pillows-each one unique, just like our LOVE (ew, too corny?)
And signs, lots of signs! One of my favorite James Taylor songs
and this sweet little tray would make the perfect gift for your favorite Valentine.
These are some of the prettiest mason jars I have seen yet-gotta PIN those to my A-Mason Jar Collection.
A harbinger of spring things to come-happy, happy daffodills: )
In my booth you will find the Antiqued Mirror (hmmm, it looks pretty nice on that commode, maybe it won’t sell and I can redecorate a room around it…)
and this mid-century-modern Lane Hope Chest that I just refinished. DIY blog to follow.
My sweet little lavender table- remember the before?
So this is the after. In a nod to Pantone’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid, I added my own touches of lavenders.
Every time I walk through the market prior to opening day, I am always blown away by the talent and creativity of the collective artisans who share this space.
And I have been so happy and proud to be a part of such an amazing group. But, alas, this LIVE, LOVE, JUNK market will be my final one at Vintage Thymes. You see, Coach and I are really, really tired (we are kind of old…) of lugging furniture and packing and sorting and tagging and oh, did I say, lugging furniture back and forth. This was yesterday’s mileage: A collective 3.5 hours of driving.
And you won’t believe what the inside of my poor car looks like : ( Not sure what we are going to do with the barn full of stuff I have waiting to be transformed. Hoping to find a venue a little bit closer to home sometime soon. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be heading back down to Vintage Thymes the second weekend of every month to FIND WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVE WHAT YOU FIND-love that sign!!
So hurry on over to Vintage Thymes- we open at 9! Hope you have a “find what you love” kind of Friday, everyone! XOXOXO Susan
Post #5. I recently published a Pinterest page I entitled “A-Mason Jars”. (a-mason, amazing…get it?). Creativity knows no bounds when mason jars, a can of paint and some glue is concerned. Lights, vases, drinks, candle sconces, even Valentines are just some of the many, many ways that mason jars have been transformed by amazing DIY’ers. In true Valentine fashion, here are a couple of painted vintage jars that I just finished for the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market coming up this weekend. They are painted with Behr Naturally Calm (lol-most definitely NOT named after me) and Behr Ridge View…
Allowed to dry, then lightly sanded off around the raised writing to highlight the brand names: Ball & Kerr. Added a burlap tie glued with a couple of little fabric hearts I purchased at the Dollar Store. Cute? Here are a few other inspired designs from some very creative DIY’ers! From the blog Shaken Together, this Corny Valentine Mason Jar has a message on a jar filled with pink candy corn. Super Sweet! From Crissy’s Crafts, these popcorn-filled jars with free My Heart Pops for you Labels from Bird’s Party.com-adorable! Make Something Mondays (LOVE her tag line…”keep your head open, something might fall in” : ) made Mason Jar Valentines Hot Chocolate Mix-yum! From the blog Vintage Street Market, this sweet Jar Full Of Love created by Vicky Chrisman using a vintage Bingo card and a photograph. More sweets for your sweetheart from The 36th Avenue. These candy-filled jars are simple-DIY instructions included-PLUS free printable Valentine tags! These hand-painted Valentine Mason Jars are from Lemon Tree Dwelling. Super easy, super cute and you can see the treats inside too! And finally, if you’re not into that whole glass and paint and glue thing, how about some Sprinkled with Love Mason Jar Cookies from Munchkin Munchies-LOVE! For many more sweetly-inspired mason jars, check out my Pinterest pages- Be Mine Valentine and A-Mason Jars. Hope you are having a warm and toasty Wednesday, everyone. XOXOX Susan
Yikes, Day 4 of the Valentine’s series- this is tougher than I thought!
These three hearts started out the same, in an “Autumn” markdown bin at a local craft store. They already had the wire handles and the stars cut out. They were painted orangey and decorated with autumn leaves and raffia. The fun of DIY is just that- I do it my self so I can really personalize each piece however I imagine it. I love to use unusual and distinctive antique trim items to decorate a piece, including old lock sets, drawer pulls, knobs and locks to have a vintage, industrial kind of vibe.
Heart #1: I dry-brushed with Antique Beige paint and then sanded it to give the heart its aged appearance. For the decoration, I stenciled LOVE in block letters in a taupe color along the right side. The bottom decoration is a piece of leftover antique painted tin from a ceiling panel, fixated with some old brass screws. Burlap bow for cuteness.
Heart #2: Painted this one with some lavender in the same dry-brush technique. For the LOVE, I took an old shutter slat and spelled out the letters in hot glue. Allowed to dry, then painted over it, then wiped most of it off, revealing the raised letters. For the decoration, I used an old drawer pull. It looked to me a bit like angel’s wings-cupid, perhaps? Added the burlap bow.
Heart #3: This one I dry-brushed with the Antique Beige paint and stenciled the LOVE letters down the side. For the embellishment, I used another old drawer pull that had been painted and was chipped and worn. Added the bow. LOVE the way this one looks!
There you have it, three rustic country hearts ready to hang for Valentine’s Day. Do you have a favorite? These will be available this upcoming weekend at the Vintage Thymes Market. (as long as Mother Nature has a heart and spares us the snowstorm : ) Hope you are having a heart-ful day! Susan
It’s Day No. 3 of my LOVE posts. I LOVE pillows, the more the better. On the bed, on the couch, on any chair and bench in my home you will find a pillow(s). The more color, the more style, the more designs, the better. This is a needlepoint pillow that sits on my porch.
I made it sooo many years ago, and back then it was actually a framed picture, but now it’s a cushy pillow. Here are some other inspired Valentine’s pillows I found around the web (It’s not too late to make one for your very own Valentine)
Key to My Heart Pillow by Kathy Kuo Home-sweet and simple. Love the vintage, rustic style.
One single pillow can create a vignette and make a space pop, like this little pink heart by Mhouse Inc, shown here on Houzz.com
Loving this Pixilated Heart Pillow by S.O.T.A.K. Handmade. Super cute, especially if you love quilts.
This gorgeous hand-painted silk pillow is by Crystal J Silk. Loving the aqua and red combo!
Loving this adorable quilted heart pillow with all the buttons in the center by Sew Me Something Good (and don’t you just LOVE that name?!)
One of the first posts I saw this morning on Facebook was by Setting for Four– absolutely LOVE this sparkly gold LOVE pillow!
No way! These awesome heart pillows were created from drop cloths!! I always LOVE inspired design. These are from Posed Perfection and they are perfect : )
Seeing all of these pillows makes me so inspired to go and grab my sewing machine and start stitching something sweet! On the other hand, seeing these pillows makes me think it would be nice to curl up on the sofa..Susan