Smithy's Painted Furniture

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A tea trolley, some drawers and my first commission!

Well, sales news from the market is a little disappointing....all I sold on Saturday was the pink tea trolley, so after a blistering start the momentum has faltered rather, no Ferrari yet then.

The aforementioned trolley was indeed very cute and could have gone three times over, which seems to be an emerging pattern. It was in good nick all over so just needed to be sanded down, the top was stripped and varnished, the bodywork painted ( distressed of course) and varnished and a flower transfer applied which really finished it off and pulled everything together, nice when that happens.....

BUT... the atmosphere was very good, I got to know a few more people, the music was pleasant, I had some beautiful ice cream, bought some old fashioned sweets and all was well with the world,  so not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

One item I though would sell is a new chest of drawers.....


Once the top was sanded back, I tried Danish oil on it, which gave a very nice finish, a bit like a varnish but more in the wood if you know what I mean? smells a bit though, so have to be a bit careful!

I was really pleased with the overall finish of this piece, the colour (a bit greener than the photos) the wax, the top, the distressing, for which I used a blade, the handles dry brushed in gold, just the look I was going for, it lives to sell another day!

And finally, on the first market day someone spoke to me about painting a chest of drawers they had at home, I went to see it, it was very pretty, we had a chat and  agreed to  make it happen. I took it away, nurtured it, painted it up a treat and delivered it yesterday. I'm very pleased to report the client loved it! So my first commission piece is a success! Hurrah!.....some pics...........

She wanted the handles removed to make way for some new ones which I have yet to see, and I think, she has some more for me to do, can't wait.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Mixed feelings! (shaken, not stirred)

Last weekend, after having it around a while the lovely 60s cocktail cabinet was put on eBay.

It was the third project I did and I enjoyed very much the transformation. We spotted it at an auction viewing one week but left it thinking it would be out of our price range and were surprised to find it there at the next viewing. So we left a cheeky bid with the auctioneer and thought no more of it.

Our cheekiness was indeed rewarded and it subsequently became ours. Once it was home it's charm only increased and I knew how I wanted it to look (if not the exact details). Once it was finished, time went on and we never got around to listing it, the Summer Market stall oppotunity came along but it was too big, and a bit delicate I suppose, to lug up there and back if it didn't sell and we had got used to having it around. More and more random  pieces of furniture were appearing in the house and as space is at a premium  it really had to go and go it did on Sunday. The buyer arranged to pick it up today so a quick dust was in order. I'm pleased to say he was a really nice guy who was thoroughly pleased with his new acquisition and said it was perfect for his new house. So everyone was happy, I'm very pleased it sold and I'm glad it went to a good home...but....I was sad to see it go...funny isn't it?

Monday, 13 June 2011

A slow day and cupcakes

 Saturday was the second market day in our series of eight summer markets to help rejuvenate a local area.

The sign was up, the sun came out and we all looking forward to a good day. At the start, footfall was a bit slow to be honest and it didn't get much better! The first market was such a success I think our expectations were inevitably too high, and by the afternoon everyone was looking at each other and shrugging.

The morning rush

 Still, the weather was very pleasant and on a personal note, I did get a lot of very positive reaction from the shoppers, sold the 'Beachy' drawers, which attracted a lot of attention ('till the buyer took them away, I told him he could leave them until later if he wanted!) and sold a tall table in my favourite colour of the moment 'gravel', honestly, it's a lovely colour.
So, can't complain really and I must say it was very enjoyable again and very interesting what people are attracted to, colours, finishes and so on..

The sold table at the back, not great photos I'm afraid.

One stallholder who did sell out was our friend Rosie, who makes cupcakes, I made a sign for her and it was surely this that boosted her sales!
Of course I asked for no monetary   
reimbursement for the sign but guess what? ......I was happy to accept a gift of a selection of delicious cupcakes as a gesture of her appreciation!

I look forward to the next market and continue to enjoy the experience......and the cupcakes.........

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Beachy drawers!

Here's a nice little makeover. Picked this up at a local second hand shop, 

it had been stripped and  painted in what I think was one of those all in one varnish/stain finishes, so looked a bit rough. The top had been cut down at some time and didn't really fit properly so that had to come off. Now on the back is a stamped crown and GR VI (King George 6th)

and the lock had 1944 embossed on it, so that dates it for us. It is good but very basic construction of timber and plywood, wooden handles. Apparently 'Utility' furniture for the home (a UK Government scheme which was designed to cope with shortages of raw materials and rationing during the war) has a different mark but this looks to be made in a similar way and definitely from WWII, it could well be office furniture, maybe civil service, anyway, quite interesting.

As it needed a new top I played around with ideas and then my brainy wife came up with the idea of using 'planks' of wood in a drift wood to get an old pallet, and spend most of the day breaking it up, those thing are tough! I used a couple of pieces for my sign and most of the rest went on the top.

With a bare wood top we needed a beachy look, so the bodywork was rubbed down and primed, then painted off white followed by blue. I distressed it with a blade and waxed it as we do, varnished the top and that's it!


It doesn't look quite as bright as it does in the photos (it must have freaked my camera out!), only has one lock in place and no key (yet) but I am pleased with the way it came out, quite a turn around, it's going to the market on Saturday. I wonder what the folks from 1944 would have made of it's new incarnation?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

It's a sign !

Thought I'd better have a sign for my tiny stall next week so here it is!

This is made from two pieces of an old wooden palette fixed together at the back, painted and distressed liberally, 
'Smithy's Furniture Emporium' est. 2011 !

That should get them flocking in...